Michael Hyatt, chairman of Thomas Nelson Books, has written a lot about creating “wow” experiences. I think we can learn some things from him and apply his “wow” principles to our RCIA processes. The first step, as I wrote about here, is to identify the wow experiences in our own lives. Then, Hyatt says, we need to ask what it is about those experiences that makes say, “Wow!”
First on his list is surprise. “A wow experience,” he writes, “always exceeds our expectations. It creates delight, amazement, wonder, or awe.”
I wonder how we can surprise inquirers when they seek us out to learn more about becoming Catholic. What are they expecting? I think some might be expecting a class, some rules to memorize, perhaps some low-level judgment about their “shameful” past. What are some things that might surprise and delight them?
Here are just a few things off the top of my head. Please add your own ideas as well.
- No classes
- No judgment
- No expectation that they follow a lot of rules
- Someone who listens to their story—and then listens some more
- Church ministers (priests, deacons, catechists) who are vulnerable and share from their heart
Here are some more things I thought of. What if, as we get to know them better, we do thing like:
- Send a card on their birthdays and anniversaries
- Remember their children’s names
- Give them free tickets to parish events and banquets
- Invite them to a movie
- Invite them to dinner
- Ask their advice
Share your surprising ideas
Can you think of some other things? Have you done things that have surprised and delighted the folks in your process? Can you imagine doing some things you haven’t tried yet? What would make your inquirers, catechumens, and candidates say, “Wow!”?
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