February 7, 2011 Leave a comment
I did a little research (well, Wikipedia) before composing this post. I know right, crazy. I wanted to see what, when or how this term came into existence. Turns out, the first use of the term “Flash mob” was in a blog post in 2003, to describe the even that had just taken place in New York City. Some creative fellow, by the name of Wasik, orchestrated 100 people to converge on a giant rug on the 9th floor of Macy’s Department Store. Says he was doing a social experiment. I think he just wanted to have fun and get some attention. Anyway, there’s your history lesson, now onto the post.
I know you have seen this next video before, a bunch of people start singing in the food court of a mall. What? You haven’t? Oh, well here you go.
Pretty good right? I like it. They took the idea of a flash mob and gave it purpose. Grab some attention and spread the gospel. Love it! Well we did a similar thing in college with a lot of cardboard and duct tape. The video you are about to see is graphic in nature (not really), so shield your grandmother’s eyes and guard your daughters. This isn’t the actual time we shared the Gospel (that was a year later), but the video has most of the same guys, and the exact same idea.
As you can see, lots of fun. I still remember, a year after the original medieval massacre, wielding my cardboard staff and beating my friends senseless. What was really cool, was that after everyone had collapsed to the ground, one man was left standing. With, I’d estimate, at least 200 onlookers, this lone warrior presented the Gospel to a stunned crowd of college students. Well I’d like to perfect this idea and provide some structure for a good Gospel driven flash mob experience. To plan it out properly you need to start from the end.
Create a destination, a place you want those seeing the event to end up. Kind of like the lookup316.com commercial during the Super Bowl. Obviously you want your message to be clear, being that the end result is someone accepting Christ’s gift of salvation right? You then need to make that destination obvious to those watching. I envision a short simple website emblazoned on the backs of bright green t-shirts or sweat shirts. Another cool idea would be to have some sort of text messaging service set up that viewers could send a text message to. This would allow for an immediate interaction on their part.
The next step is to have a good local in mind. Now, we don’t want to be disruptive to businesses or other functions of a public atmosphere. Angry people do not make for good audiences. You want a place with above average foot traffic, as well as a wide viewing angle to draw distant onlookers in. I suggest if you come up with a good idea, to scout at your location in advance around the same time of day you would be doing your event.
As for the event, singing is always fun (as long as you have a group of good singers). It also doesn’t hurt to be creative, but not weird. Don’t just have a bunch of people standing around. Remember, the idea is to get noticed and keep people’s attention. Make sure that whatever you do is filmed in some manner. Going viral should be a secondary goal as your message gets spread beyond the initial event.
As a disclaimer, I have yet to do any of these ideas. I don’t have time or current have the resources to organize something like this. I just have lots of ideas that I hope someone else can pick up and run with. To me, it seems so simple and obvious to do these sorts of things, but follow through has never been one of my strong suits.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Isn’t a little embarrassment worth it?