Evoke: Creating Moments People Never Forget
Can you remember the first time you saw the ocean?
You walked toward the surf as it foamed and tumbled toward your bare feet. You had to squint to be able to see where the blue sky turned to liquid and the waves disappeared over the horizon. Can you remember your grandmother’s apple pie? The golden crust cracked open just enough to smell the cinnamon and apples marinating just below the surface. Each piece that was cut seemed too small to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Can you remember your first junior high dance?
A cafeteria never seemed so small until there were a couple hundred middle schoolers with hormones raging and each one clamoring to get as far from the opposite sex as possible. Each young heart began to race once it finally heard the first beats of the Electric Slide. Even today, when you visit a beach, the sand and sun take you back to the day you first set eyes on the ocean, one whiff of apple pie makes your mouth water as you recall your grandmother’s tasty treat and when you hear the Electric Slide you are taken back to the 8th grade gym.
What is it about certain moments in our lives that evoke memories from the past?
How is it possible that they can be so vivid and powerful that you could actually feel you are being transported back to that event? Everyone has had moments in his or her lives that they think, “I will never forget this” or “this has changed my life”. There just seems to be instances that are so exciting, happy, tragic, perfect or terrifying that they never ever leave us.
In the Old Testament you have a God who capitalizes on this uncanny ability humans have to remember and recall.
This God seems to do things that inspire awe and wonder or fear and respect. The very thought of these supernatural encounters evoke emotion and devotion from those who experienced them. The followers of this God witnessed rainbows after massive floods, rivers split in half, amazing victories in battle, giant man-eating fish, pillars of fire and smoke, angelic beings and bread from heaven. Generation after generation heard these wonderful stories because they would take the teller back to the very moment they saw these things. This God even tells people to stack stones and create memorials as a way to remember what He had done for them.
This God even becomes a human and walks among people.
He does amazing signs and wonders. He heals and restores those who are sick and broken. He delivers those who are oppressed. He does things like feeding 5,000 people with a boys lunch, smearing mud in a man’s eyes, throwing over tables in a crowded temple, bringing a girl back to life, turning water into wine, dying on a cross and coming back to life. This God eventually comes to live inside of people who follow Him. He becomes intimately involved in daily life. He gives people the power and authority to do greater things than even He has done. This God knows that when people encounter His power, grace, mercy, authority and love, even the smallest trigger can evoke memories that come flooding back. So how do we facilitate moments where people encounter God in life changing ways? How do we give opportunity for God to move in their lives in such a way that they are forever changed?
The word “remember” is used 166 times in the entire Bible in the New International Version. It is used in two different ways. In reference to God remembering something He has promised and also in reference to people remembering their devotion to God. Part of God’s character is an ability to remember. As creatures who are created in the image of God we have been instilled with the same quality. God has given us the ability to recall because it is something He does. The Bible seems to suggest that this ability is the very thing that can evoke an emotional response to God’s activity in people’s lives. Memories that evoke this kind of response are a gift from God. They are a part of His plan to catapult us into new levels of spiritual maturity.
God has called us to facilitate creating moments for our people.
I believe God desperately wants us to create environments, programs, and conversations that will never be forgotten. I believe God has placed us at pivotal points in people’s lives to give them the experiences they need to go from spiritual infants to men and women who remember what God has done in their lives and trust Him because of it.
How do we facilitate moments where people encounter God in life changing ways? @TrevorAlvin Click To Tweet
Three questions for creating memorable moments:
- What makes this programming piece memorable?
- How can you remind people of their pivotal moments often?
- How can you help people share their experiences with others?
This article is for creatives who are serious about seeing long-term change in the lives of the people that participate in our experiences. It’s for the volunteer that thinks you are only serving to push a button. We must long to create experiences that our people remember. Experiences that evoke life change.
Trevor Miller is a graduate of Columbia International University where he earned his degrees in youth ministry, outdoor leadership and Bible. He has a background working in student ministry and currently serves as the Director of Worship Production for Mt. Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington, SC. Trevor has a passion for creatively communicating the transforming power of the gospel. He and his wife, Jenna, currently reside in Lexington with their 2 boys, Eli and Owen.