Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Events and churches have long gone hand-in-hand because church families enjoy spending time together and often seek out ways to gather as a group. Efficient church event planning helps make these gatherings memorable!
So whether it is the annual children’s vacation bible school, church picnic or a church anniversary celebration – having a template for church event planning is crucial to facilitating great church events.
Most events entail the same planning elements. An event planning template can help the team think through the event details.
Once that template is laid out, event planning can be streamlined, efficient and fun!
10 Elements Of Planning A Church Event
1. Event Goal
It is always helpful to understand what the goal of an event is. Questions you need to ask:
- Is this event to provide fellowship?
- Is it a community outreach?
- Is it a fundraiser to raise money for a cause?
Depending on the goal of the event, the planning can vary. Make sure your planning team understands the why behind the event.
2. Event Budget
Planning for any event should always begin with a budget.
Understanding how much money is available to support the event is critical to the planning process.
Some events may require charging people to attend. Determine during the initial planning whether the money will be collected from participants, if there will be any money raised at the event, or if the event is strictly an opportunity to give back to the congregation or community.
An event budget should include things like marketing materials, decorations, food, entertainment, equipment rental, and supplies.
Each of these line items should be considered when putting together an event budget.
3. Church Event Theme
Every event should have an identified theme that helps determine all other supporting aspects of the happening!
A theme helps to create the atmosphere and should be used throughout the event.
For example, a Mexican theme dictates the kind of food, decorations, music, and atmosphere.
4. Church Event Marketing
Attendance for events is only as high as the church’s ability to get the word out or advertise the event.
It is important to create a marketing plan to ensure people are aware of the event and excited about it.
Depending on whether the event is solely for the church or if it is open to the community dictates the kind of marketing or advertising that needs to be done.
It could be as simple as posting the event on the church website, in the church bulletin, and in weekly announcements to as complex as printed brochures or advertisements on local radio or television.
Regardless, taking the time to think through who the target audience is and how to get the word out is an important part of successful event planning.
5. Event Activities
Activities are the fun part of every event and provide things for guests to do.
So whether it is planning the games for the church picnic or creating questions for a trivia night, the activity planning should include all details of the activities such as what supplies are needed, instructions for playing games, how prizes are awarded, etc.
The more detail that is laid out ahead of time, the fewer “hiccups” there will be on the day of the event.
6. Food Planning
The food is often the highlight of any event so taking the time to plan and prepare great food can help create a memorable experience for guests.
So whether the event is catered or a group of church volunteers prepares the food – planning the details is important.
The menu should support the theme and plan for adequate paper goods and tasty food is what ensures a great food experience!
7. Event Set-up and Tear-down
When I attend big community fairs or art shows, I always think about the invisible army that provides electric power, sets up tents, tables, signage, trash cans, etc.
And then the group that shows up after the fact, takes it all down and cleans up the mess.
This is potentially the most important job in facilitating a big event.
A well-organized setup and tear-down plan can eliminate last-minute chaos and stress for event organizers.
8. Event Decorating
Fun decorations help create an atmosphere and can be a great way to reinforce an event theme, so it is important to have a team that can be creative and dresses up the event.
This requires some creative thought and skill at hanging, laying out, or designing decorations.
These little added touches can take a mediocre event and turn it into something to remember.
9. Job Duties
Events require people to pull them off so it is important to have someone assigned to identify what jobs need to be done and assign people to those jobs.
It also entails creating a chain of command and identifying leadership over each area.
The larger the event the greater the chain of command becomes and the more volunteer help will be needed.
Regardless of the size of the event, volunteers will need detailed job descriptions and training to successfully fulfill their job assignments.
10. Organizational Chart
I am a visual person so I like to work with organizational charts because they clearly show who has responsibility for what and what the pecking order is.
Chain-of-command is less about who is on the top of the rung as it is about who can make decisions and help facilitate a smooth process. Here is an example event organizational chart:
Church events are a lot of fun and can provide great fellowship for a congregation and community.
Event Planning Form and Worksheet
Having a structured church event planning process can help streamline the planning and ensure that no detail gets forgotten.
Start by using an event planning form and worksheet. This tool can help you think through the necessary details of the event. It also helps you identify those key roles that will help ensure great success!
How does your church plan events?
If you are a member of SCM you can log in to your account here to access editable copies of an event planning worksheet, event organizational chart, event manager/coordinator job description, and event budget form.
If you are not a member and would like access to editable copies of these documents, you can learn more here.