It's More than a Tea Party!: Practical Tips When Planning an Event Within your Ministry
I am a visionary.
I live in the tension of seeing a bird’s eye view, and strategizing the details to ensure the vision is executed. The following tips come from a place of learning, from a constant position of taking risks, and from a place of trusting that God is the ultimate planner.
Note: These tips are not in any particular order.
Let’s start planning!
Tip 1 – Who is your Team?
Who has God designed to be building with you? Who loves Jesus and loves you? A team is essential. No one can operate solo. As a leader, we need accountability, and the team is there to carry the weight of the assignment with you. Remember in Exodus 18, Moses needed to share responsibility to make his load lighter. Pray about who is on your team. When it comes to your team, smaller is better, with 3-4 people on a team with clear roles.
Ask questions like who is doing what, and what are their roles and responsibilities?
I suggest to write out what roles you need on the team and a description of what is expected of someone within that role.
Administrative Manager: oversees database, registration of event, and logistics.
Event Planner: oversees details regarding event, contacts venues, establishes event team to execute, and contacts vendors.
Remember, these are only suggestions, you will need to assess who you need on your team!
Tip 2- Get Organized!
Some people feel comfortable using a hard-copy calendar, which can be useful. I prefer using Google Calendar, mail, and documents since they can link to my computer and phone.
I also use an event planning system: Basecamp. This compiles to-do lists in categories and helps everyone on the team stay on the same page. There is a feature that assigns tasks to a person with a due date attached.
In addition, we use Google Docs to share Excel sheets and Word documents. These documents can also be uploaded to Basecamp. Nothing will ever be forgotten and everyone will know what is expected of them!
Find what works for your team. Don’t be afraid to try something new! There are so many great tools that will help you be the most efficient for God’s kingdom work to advance in your community!
Tip 3- Set the Table
Plan for extraordinary spaces regardless of the numbers. We tend to measure success in terms of how many bodies are in the room. We can find ourselves disqualifying an event if there isn’t a “big” turnout. But what if we began to measure success in terms of excellence?
What does the room look like? Is the décor intentional, and not just a bouquet of fake flowers as a centrepiece?
Is the event welcoming? Are the ushers smiling, are the greeters kind and hospitable, and is the check in or registration clearly labeled?
Is everything on time? Is the content of the event solid, with the foundation in the Bible and not merely emotionally driven?
What are the stories that surface after the event? Did people encounter Jesus? Was the gospel message clearly presented? What feedback from individual experiences can you concur?
If we plan a meeting place with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we keep the main thing in focus, and remind ourselves to be laser focused on the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tip 4 – Pray at the Beginning, Pray at the End, Pray all the way Through!
Many of us are gifted planners and administrators, and we can dream up an event in seconds! If we can’t do something, we will find someone who can complete the task! God has equipped us in this fashion!
However, we can’t forget that it isn’t about our planning skills but it’s about the Holy Spirit enlightening the eyes of the heart (Eph 1:18) and revealing the mystery of Christ to God’s children (Eph 3:4-5).
It’s not about us at all. Saturating an event in prayer means you don’t rely on your own strength, but fully depend on the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to change lives, renew minds, and save souls.
By Anne Miranda
Born and raised in Canada with a Lebanese heritage, Anne understands the challenges and beauty of being a first-generation Canadian. Anne is passionate about seeing the lives of women transformed by Jesus and loves encouraging others to reach their full potential as they advance the kingdom of God in their lives. She loves the Bible and is dedicated to training up women to be students of the scriptures as she directs the women’s ministry at Village Church in Surrey, British Columbia.
Anne and her husband Carlos have been married for eleven years and are parents to Nathaniel and Hannah. She enjoys walks on the beach, cheerleading really loud at her kids sporting events, and exploring new cafés.