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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  • What are our goals with this event?
  • Who are we trying to reach?
  • Are we trying to fulfill a specific need within our community?
  • How does this event advance the overall mission of our church?
  • How will we know if this event is a success?

If you can’t articulate why your church should host an event, you’ll have a hard time communicating why people should attend or even volunteer to help. The answer to “why” will guide your decisions throughout the planning process.

  • How should we promote this event?
  • Should we have guest speakers?  If so, who would be a good fit?
  • What décor and theme will work best for this event?
  • Should we sell tickets or offer this for free?

This step is where an event planner comes into play.  You need someone responsible for understanding the “why” of this event, who will work with each department to make sure everyone is coordinating effectively, develop a plan, monitor progress, and troubleshoot issues. 

Step #2: Develop and document a plan

If you’ve visited a new city, you likely needed directions to make it from point A to point B.  A GPS device with turn-by-turn directions is useful in that situation.  A project plan is similar to those directions. 

It’s a list of all the tasks the team must complete to make this event a success.  This includes deciding on a theme, décor, and location.  It also includes purchasing supplies, updating the church website, opening up registration, and much more.  Your event planner will talk with each person involved in the event to gather his/her tasks, decide on task deadlines and assignments, and document the full project plan.

Step #3: Assemble your planning team

Here’s where your event planner will bring together everyone who’ll have a role in pulling off this event.  This step includes:

  • Defining each person’s role and responsibilities (document these and review with each team member).
  • Reviewing the project plan at a high level (discuss key milestones such as “Guest speaker locked in by X date” or “Early Bird Online Registration starts on X date”).
  • Establishing a schedule for providing updates to the event planner:
  • letting him/her know when you’ve completed a task.  Online tools such as Asana, Basecamp, and Trello are useful for keeping track of tasks and collecting status updates.

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ARTICLE TOPICS

Communications · Guest Services · Outreach · Leadership · Communication · Staffing · Blogs & Opinion · All Topics

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.