From marriage seminars to outreaches and more, events can be an incredible ministry tool. However, it’s easy to get into a familiar routine and host the same events every year.

It’s also tempting to fill the calendar with activities to provide something to everyone. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to lackluster events that don’t achieve your objectives along with staff and volunteers who are exhausted from rushing to make these events happen.

Ideally, your church leadership team decides which events to host a year in advance. As you discuss various event ideas and look to determine which events to approve, consider the following questions as a filter for that decision-making process:

1. Why are we doing this event?

"Because we’ve always done this event and people expect it." That may be true but if the event isn’t well attended or isn’t successful, then perhaps it’s time for a change.

Also, defining why you should do an event becomes the filter for all decisions related to that event. This includes how to communicate about the event, what theme to choose, stage décor, the color scheme for promotional materials, what guest speakers to invite, and more.

2. Who are we trying to reach or serve?

Are you looking to help a particular segment of your local community through this outreach? Do you want to help newly married couples or all married couples? Is the target audience 18-24 or 55+?

When you get clear on exactly who this event is for, it’s easier to communicate it well and plan the details with that group in mind.

3. How does this event align with our overall mission and vision?

The church down the street or across the country may have had great success with a specific event. That’s great! However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll experience the same thing if you host that event.

Review each event proposed through the lens of your church’s mission, culture, and vision. Does this event "feel" like your church? Make sure you host events that are an excellent fit for your church.

4. What other events do we have on the schedule within a few weeks of this event?

If you have several significant events planned within a few weeks of each other, you will wear out your team. You’ll also have a hard time getting the message out about any single event since you’ll be trying to communicate about several at the same time.

Your congregation will also get overwhelmed or frustrated with too many events in a short period of time. Focus your time and resources on fewer events that will have the most significant impact.

5. If we’ve hosted this event before, was it successful? If not, what will we do differently this time to make it successful?

Before you approve an event, you need to decide whether it’s an event that’s worth investing time and money into.

If you’ve done this event before and it didn’t go well, determine if you should try again. If you want to try it again, you’ll need to consider what to do differently this time that will fix the previous issues.

Events can be wonderful outreach and disciple-making ministry tools. To make them as effective as possible, it’s best to carefully consider which events are the right fit for your church.