Planning a church event, even if it’s focused on a single ministry area, requires involvement from multiple departments.

For example: Running a week of Vacation Bible School involves more than the children’s ministry leader and his/her team. That department will take the lead role, but they’ll need support from those in facilities, finance, marketing/communications, and more. The same principle applies to a ladies’ brunch, marriage seminar, or men’s event.

Unfortunately, it’s easy for the department in charge of an event to forget that the other groups work on more than one event at a time.

  • The facilities department may have to prepare for Sunday services, Vacation Bible School, small group studies, and a youth group event all within the next few weeks.
  • The communications team has to work several months ahead to ensure the congregation and community know about upcoming events.
  • The finance office needs to review the budget and cash flow, provide approval on various event-related purchases, and maintain the regular schedule of monitoring the church’s finances.

As a result, the supporting departments end up with work to complete for several events all within a short time frame.

This scenario leads to frustration, confusion, and stress for everyone involved. It also tends to negatively impact the overall success of these events. To avoid this scenario, each department needs to focus on working together to manage the workload and make each event a success.

Here are a few tips on how to collaborate more effectively:

Tip No. 1: Assign an event planner

Assign one person to understand the vision for the event and coordinate all the detailed tasks required to make that vision a reality. This person leads the coordination and collaboration among departments.

Tip No. 2: Learn about each other

Get to know how each department or ministry area functions.

  • What does it take to produce graphics and web pages for a marriage retreat?
  • Why does the finance office need certain information about upcoming purchases?
  • How does the women’s ministry leader decide what events to host this year?

By taking the time to learn about how each area functions, you’ll gain an appreciation for why they need certain lead times on projects or why a particular form they ask you to complete is so helpful.

Tip No. 3: Create a church-wide calendar

It’s easy to stay in our departmental silos and forget to talk with other groups. Instead, create a church-wide schedule for the next 12 months.

Put every event on the calendar and see if you have any scheduling conflicts. Also, consider how the number and size of events within a given time frame may impact the supporting departments. If you have three large-scale events happening in the same month, that may overload them. Consider spreading those events out across a more extended time frame instead.

While you work in different functions, you’re still on the same team with the same goal: to reach people with the Gospel and make disciples. As you continually seek to collaborate more effectively, you’ll appreciate the different gifts God has entrusted to each team member and you’ll accomplish more as a team.