10 questions to ask before adding an event to the church calendar
Thursday, July 05, 2018
Many churches now are very event-driven. In addition to weekend services, they have small-group Bible studies, men’s/women’s events, marriage retreats, summer activities for kids, and a variety of other events throughout the year. As you start adding these to the church calendar, the schedule can quickly become crowded and overwhelming.
As you consider adding an event, here are several questions to discuss as your team works to ensure this event is the best choice for your church.
1. If we’ve hosted this event before, how did it go?
Before you decide to include an event you’ve done in prior years, discuss whether it was successful.
Did you achieve your goals? Was the event well-attended and well-received? Did you go over budget?
2. Why do we want to host this event?
Be painfully honest with yourself. Is this an event you want to do because you heard of another church hosting something similar?
That might be OK, but make sure you know why this event is best for your church and community — not someone else’s.
3. Who are we trying to reach?
Do you want to serve a particular demographic within your community? Are you trying to reach people who don’t typically attend church?
The answers will have a significant impact on when you schedule the event, where you host it, and a myriad of other details.
4. Does this event align with our overall mission/vision?
Is this something that would be a great idea in another community or even at another church but doesn’t quite line up with your church’s mission and vision? If so, it’s OK to say this isn’t what’s best for how we feel God has directed us to serve.
5. Does this event align with our culture?
If you decide to hold this event, how do you think your congregation will respond when they initially hear about it? Will it feel like it fits well with the culture of your church or will they be confused by it?
6. Is this event insider-focused? If so, why?
Consider whether you can change the event so it will reach people whether they're members of your congregation or not. We want to help those in our churches mature in their faith while still reaching into the community to serve people who don't have a church home.
7. What else do we have on the calendar within 6-8 weeks of when we want to host this event?
Events require staff members to perform work in addition to their weekly service responsibilities. Consider whether you’re adding too much to the schedule with the addition of this event.
Do you have any other big events or efforts in that timeframe that will require a significant amount of staff time and energy?
8. Do you have the financial capacity for this event?
Hosting an event can also involve a sizable financial investment. If you don’t already have money in the budget set aside, you may need to develop a plan to raise the necessary funds.
9. If we plan on hosting this event at our church campus, do we have any constraints from a facility perspective?
If you’ve had a major roof replacement project or other maintenance work on the calendar for a while, that could prevent you from hosting this event during that timeframe. Do you have maintenance planned or repairs needed that would conflict with this event?
10. Do we have the volunteer base to make this event happen? If not, do we have a plan for changing that situation?
You’ll need volunteers to handle greeting, setup/teardown, child care, music, audio/visual, and many other tasks.
If you have several events in a short timeframe, you’ll wear out your volunteers (or they won’t be available to serve at each one due to their scheduling constraints). Consider the volunteer workload and determine whether it makes sense to include this event and if so, when.
Hosting events can be an incredible ministry tool. From serving your community to making disciples, you can use events to draw people closer to Christ.
As you consider what to put on the church calendar, use these questions to aid your decision-making process.
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