Why the Chick-Fil-A Day worked | Church and Social Media

Chicken hysteria broke out Wednesday as people from all over the U.S. flocked to their local Chick-fil-A to support Biblical marriage and the right to free speech. Former Governor Mike Huckabee, tired of the continuing rants against Dan Cathy for his statement of support for Biblical marriage, called for Chick-fil-A appreciation day on August 1.
Although I have not seen the official numbers yet it was, without a doubt, a huge success. The Chick next to the office was so busy that cars were wound around the building and down the street. That scene repeated itself over and over again around the nation. Many restaurants ran out of food before the day was over. People waited in long lines, for over an hour at some locations, during the peak. The chicken is good – but it is not that good! People were waiting in line to make a statement more than they were to get some nuggets.
So, why did that work? It seems that the Christian community tries to rally around topics and are completely unsuccessful most of the time. How did the Chick-fil-A event garner a flood of support.
I offer these 4 reasons:

1. Trust

Trust is important for any movement to succeed. We want to trust the people leading and rallying us. In this case, we trusted two very trustworthy guys – Mike Huckabee and Dan Cathy. Huckabee has been a Pastor, Governor, presidential candidate, and now a talk show host. All of those positions scream trust to the American people. Dan Cathy is the CEO of a very successful and generous chain of restaurants. He gives much to charity, teaches Sunday School, and does a host of other things that say “trustworthy”. For any movement to take root trust is an important factor.

2. Social Media

When Huckabee called for the show of support he mentioned it on his radio show and on his television show. The truth is, I do not normally listen to either one of those shows. How did I find out? Twitter. The idea went viral on Facebook and Twitter. Not thousands, not tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands of people engaged, commented on, and shared the idea. Before the age of Social Media it would have been near impossible to pull off an event of this magnitude in that short amount of time. You couldn’t have spread the word fast and clear enough. But with Social Media, ideas and information spread quickly, accurately, and virally.

3. Simple Action

The idea was successful because it called for a simple action – visit the Chick-fil-A of your choice on August 1.No complicated directions … no tedious instructions. No one asked me to do something that wasn’t within my normal routine of activity. I eat most every day. So, all I had to do was make sure that I ate at the right place.If a movement is to gain momentum it will only be with simple instructions. Complexity ruins a movement.

4. Positive

Finally, the idea became a movement because we had the opportunity to be “pro” something. It seems that the Christian community enjoys being against a lot of things – and we should. But, this was an opportunity to cast a vote in the positive. We weren’t boycotting something -we were supporting something. We like to add more than we like to subtract.

We like to add more than we like to subtract.

Being for something that day made us feel good inside. By in large (from the leader at least) it was done in a humble, positive way. Huckabee said on his Facebook page, “This is not a stand against a person, a group of people, or even someone else’s belief. The only protest that I know of is coming from the chickens, who will give their lives in large numbers to accommodate what hopefully will be a big day at Chick-fil-A.”

In all of this we can find a good lesson for leaders. If we want to move people, the movement will have to entail these four elements in today’s society:

  • Trust the leaders of the movement
  • Use Social Media to spread the word
  • Call for simple action
  • Stay positive

What else do you think made the day successful? Leave your comments below:



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One Response to “Why the Chick-Fil-A Day worked | Church and Social Media”

  1. Justin Grice August 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    Great points Joel. I’ll try to incorporate this in my ministry and business.

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