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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Step #4: Work the plan

One advantage of going through the effort to create a detailed project plan is you get to make mistakes on paper during that process.  As the event planner reviews the plan with the team, someone will realize they forgot a task or that they need another department to finish a specific task before they can start one of their own. 

Since you’ve had the luxury of making those corrections before any actual work began, now is the time to follow the plan.  The event planner will make sure each team member knows what tasks he/she has coming up, will help the team troubleshoot any issues, and will work to keep the team on-task.

Step #5: Monitor progress and update leadership

This step happens at the same time as step #4.  Your event planner will gather updates from the team and consolidate those into an executive summary to keep senior leadership up-to-date. 

Weekly updates tend to work well for most events but check with your pastor or other senior leader to find out when he/she wants to receive updates.

Step #6: Run Event Day

We’re finally here!  The day of the event is filled with excitement, a few nerves, and hopefully no last-minute surprises.  If you created a detailed plan and kept the team on-track, this day should simply be a culmination of all that effort. 

Setup a Command Center where staff and volunteers can come to get clarification, ask questions, and receive help.  The event planner, plus an assistant or two should be at the Command Center to provide direction and troubleshoot issues. 

Step #7: Wrap-up

While it feels like you’re done once the event is over, there’s one final step to complete.  You need to conduct a few wrap-up activities to ensure your planning process for future events benefits from this one. 

First off, take the time to celebrate as a team.  Savor the moment, share stories of attendees who were impacted by the event, and recognize the team’s efforts.

Next, hold a lessons-learned meeting.  This is a time to discuss what went well that you want to repeat for the next event.  It’s also time to address what didn’t go well and how you’d like to improve for future events. 

Assign someone to take notes at this meeting, distribute them to the team, and save them in a central location to refer to as you start planning the next event.

Finally, create a planning notebook.  Include vendor contracts, the project plan, meeting notes, artwork samples (graphics, flyers, and more), videos, and other documents you used to keep the project running smoothly.  The purpose behind creating a planning notebook is to have something to start with when you plan the next event. This step alone can save time and money for every future event, so don’t skip it.

It is possible to have impactful events without wearing out your team.  By using a standard planning process, you can greatly reduce the last-minute issues, miscommunications, and long days at the office. 


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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,,, and via The Church Network.
Contact Deborah Ike: ·  View More by Deborah Ike

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By ToneyBartoletti on January 16, 2018

These type of events will attracts the people to come to the church. In, I have read the many hosting events organised by many churches. Churches are conducting many events to encourage the people to follow the community.


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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.


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.