Communications

Church Event Planning Essentials

The start of the ministry year brings about planning events. Save stress, time and money by using a process that works for ministry gatherings.


Deborah Ike  ·  September 7, 2017

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How many events does your church host each year?  Whatever the final tally, that list may include marriage retreats, VBS, community outreaches, back-to-school bashes, and special Christmas services.

Hosting events is an excellent way to attract new people to your church and help members grow in their relationship with God and with each other. Unfortunately, the weeks leading up to a big event mean late nights at the church office, frustrated staff members and volunteers, and last-minute requests to vendors. 

Between the workload of planning weekly services and keeping the wheels turning for various projects around the church, planning an event can easily get lost in the shuffle. 

Also, the outcomes of an event may be disappointing to pastors and church staff members.  In his post, “Three Reasons Why Big Events Are Ineffective In Most Churches,” Thom Rainer states that a lack of strategic preparation for the event and follow-up afterward keeps churches from seeing real fruit from their events.

Another aspect that complicates preparing for an event is how many departments within the church are impacted.  This isn’t a project you can hand to one person and have that individual complete every task. 

Planning events requires the involvement of several departments within the church including communications/marketing, worship, facilities, security, parking, childcare, finance, and more.  If the coordination of tasks among those departments isn’t handled well, you’ll quickly have conflicts and issues pop up.

Fortunately, there’s an easier way to host successful church events.  By using a standard, repeatable process, your team can plan incredible events while staying on-schedule and on-budget; avoiding late nights at the office and stressed out team members. 

Here is a planning process that works for events of all types and sizes:

Step #1: Clarify the vision for the event

You wouldn’t take a long road trip without a specific destination in-mind.  However, it’s easy to get into the rut of always doing the same events each year without considering why you do those events.  Before you start any detailed planning, determine why your church should host this event.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Ike
Deborah Ike (formerly Wipf) is the President & Founder of Velocity Ministry Management; a company dedicated to vision implementation for church leaders. Over the last ten years, Deborah worked in the corporate arena to discover how to leverage business principles for ministry vision. She worked for Deloitte Consulting in their Strategy & Operations group and most recently, for Williams, as a project manager and risk manager. Deborah has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems along with the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute. She’s the author of The Volunteer Management Toolkit (Church Edition) and you can find her articles on sites such as Pastors.com, XPastor.org, WorshipFacilities.com, and via The Church Network.
Contact Deborah Ike: deborah@velocityministrymanagement.com ·  View More by Deborah Ike


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COMMENTS

By Deborah Ike on October 2, 2017

Thank you!  I couldn’t agree more with your addition.  For example, an event with 1500 people and a high-profile guest speaker could easily take 6+ months to plan.  Starting ASAP gives your team time to plan without rushing around at the last minute or wearing themselves (or their volunteers) out.

COMMENTS

By leftshot on September 7, 2017

This is excellent!  Add one.  Start early enough to allow time for all of this.  In my experience more events have been torpedoed by not getting started early enough than any other single factor.