My local Chick-Fil-A Operator’s team is super creative. They just offered a pajama party event at their restaurant, but not for kids. The event was a sleepover for a kid’s stuffed animal. As I watched the night play out on their Instagram, more like stalked, I saw pics of kids with the CFA cow in its jammies, with their stuffed animal friend, security bracelets matching a kid with their animal, and fun pics of the animals in fun poses all over the restaurant. Some pics included sleep masks on the stuffed animals and others posed at tables enjoying some CFA snacks and dinner.

The children were given a drop-off window around dinner time 5-7pm and a pick-up time around breakfast 8-10am for more pics and fun staged with the cow reading a night-time story to the pack of animals, pics of the chaperones, at the drive-thru in a toy car (think Toy Story), and at other locations in the restaurant.

It got me thinking about offering a stuffed animal church lock-in over a Sunday night, when there isn’t school on Monday, all the places a stuffed animal friend could be posed throughout campus, doing stuff that kids do at church, scheduling hourly posts on social media throughout the evening and morning….

If we offered the friend’s lock-in the Sunday/Monday of Thanksgiving week, we could anticipate new families joining the closed kid’s Facebook group to check out the lock-in shenanigans right as we begin to promote and encourage families for the season of Advent. The algorithms could actually work for us to roll in their feeds during advent. It’s the perfect time to grow the online community for Advent.

It would also give us a way to communicate and practice our systems for security when the kids are the bigs of their little stuffed animals.

Rarely do I come up with an original idea, but inspiration can come from lots of places. Where do you get your inspiration to roll out new things with a purpose?

“We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 1:3