For the past few months Liam has been obsessing over Lego Hero Factory. From the cartoon, to the sets, to the books and everything in between, Hero Factory has set up shop at the Scott house.
When Liam first got into Legos, someone got him a Bionicle.
Really, cool right? But there was a problem: he never played with it. He maybe took it apart and put it back together, but really it was more of Lego’s answer to the action figure market than a next-generation building toy. Lots of potential for greatness, but these just missed the mark. Sure they had an engaging storyline played out in comics, novels, and video, but no matter how much you tried in the end Bionicles didn’t hit the market the way Lego intended.
Then in the past year, he got his first Hero Factory.
At first glance, Lego Hero Factory is just a Bionicle in new packaging, but then you notice a key difference: Hero Factory is all about modification, adaption, and innovation. Liam LOVES them!
The storyline is still engaging with comics, videos, on-line and mobile games, but Hero Factory takes the Lego core-brand and takes it to the next level of imagination and creativity for a child.
I don’t know how much money went into the years Lego spent creating and marketing their Bionicle line, but I’m guessing it was a fairly significant dollar amount. I wonder why it took them so long to recognize that they weren’t creating a product with their customer in mind.
Lego is about building, creating, and innovating. Kids buy Legos because they like to do those things to imagine a world where knights and aliens make perfect sense in the same scene or Luke Skywalker might just play the part of Jesus in a Bible story.
Hero Factory opens Lego to the action figure market in a way that pushes the boundaries. Hero Factory may actually serve as an on-ramp to the rest of Lego’s vast product lines. And most importantly, Hero Factory recognizes why people purchase Legos in the first place.
Lego made a difficult but wise choice. They scrapped something they’d been working on for years to make way for what would actually work.
This begs the question, what do we need to scrap-or at least modify-in our ministries?
As you’re preparing for the coming budget year, take time to evaluate what you do and why you do it. Take each major ministry area and be honest about how well they are building forward momentum for your ministry. Does what you do work, and even if it does work, is it best? Honest evaluation is important for ensuring that your ministry is connecting with the intended audience.
Here are some questions to get you started:
What are we doing now?
How do any of our programs (events) compete with each other – for time slot, for demographic, for resources?
How much do our programs each cost us – labor, staff, production, meetings, etc.?
What has been the return on that investment?
How is what we’re doing now meet the needs of their intended audience?
What are the needs that we’re missing?
What is working that we need to allocate more resources towards?
What is sort of working that needs some tweaking?
What needs to go?
As a point of disclaimer, this will not be easy. Deciding to scrap something never is, but making the right priorities for your ministry is necessary. Those kids and families are worth it! Don’t allow fear to prevent you from creating your next “Hero Factory” in ministry.
Have you ever scrapped a ministry in your church? Or What questions would you add for your evaluation session? Comment below with your stories and ideas!