7 Must Do Events for Your Church

Posted by Aaron Buer on May 28, 2019

Not all events are created equal!

Some are incredibly impactful and worth the effort and some...well, not so much.

Here are 7 events, that in my opinion, are worth the effort.

1. Volunteer Celebration Event

Your volunteers are the backbone of your church.

Without your children’s ministry volunteers, small group leaders, elders and deacons, ushers and parking lot attendants, the ministry of your church is dead in the water!

One of the smartest things you can do is celebrate and appreciate your volunteers because retention is a better strategy than recruitment and volunteers who feel valued often continue serving.

Now, let me say this: Put on an event that celebrates your volunteers but consider NOT adding eleven-hundred events to your already busy people’s calendars.

Keep in mind that many of your volunteers serve in multiple ministries and if each ministry throws a party...that might not feel like a win to your volunteers.

Two suggestions here:

  1. One big volunteer celebration for all volunteers across all ministries
  2. A volunteer celebration event that is attached to the program where the volunteers already serve. As in, a special dinner during the youth group night where the volunteers already serve.

If you’re going to do an event this year...celebrate your volunteers!

2. 5th Grade Visit Night

Let me tell you about an event we just did last week that works really well for us that you can contextualize for your church.

Our middle school ministry is 6-8th grade.

On one of the last nights of the ministry season we invite all our 5th grade students, parents and small group leaders to our middle school ministry.

Here are our goals with this event:

  1. Help the 5th graders get comfortable with the upcoming transition
  2. Generate excitement in the 5th graders. “I can’t wait for this!”
  3. Create a bridge between our children’s ministry and youth ministry
  4. Make 5th grade parents fall in love with our student ministry

The basic idea behind this event is to bridge the gaps between your ministries. We do a similar event between our high school ministry and young adult ministry. Here’s the challenge: identify your gaps and bridge them.

3. LGBT+ Training Event

Oh hey! I have your attention now.

Here’s the deal: I’m not telling you what your church should believe or how your church should respond to this conversation.

All I’m saying is that you need to engage the conversation.

Something like 15% of Gen Z identify in some way as LGBT+.

If we are afraid or unequipped to engage these students, we are missing it!

In order to engage, you need to equip your leaders and volunteers.

And, how do you do that?

Well it starts with learning and listening.

Something we did recently was host a few events around this conversation for our staff, board, volunteers and parents.

We also invited other churches from our community.

If you’re looking for a place to start, we have partnered with The Center for Faith, Sexuality and Gender and also Hole in My Heart Ministries.

We have had a great experience with both, however, you may find that your personal or church’s theological position differs from them.

Please understand that Breeze is not endorsing them, just me...as in Aaron, a pastor from Grand Rapids who happens to contribute to this blog.

And, I am perfectly comfortable with the fact that you and I may have differing beliefs on the LGBT+ conversation and I’m ok with that.

I’m not trying to convince you of anything other than...your church needs to engage the conversation.

4. Budgeting Classes

I recently read an article that stated that the average American household has $38,000 in personal debt—excluding mortgages.

Most American families live paycheck to paycheck.

I would argue that these Americans are in your church and that their financial situation is impacting their lives in negative ways!

Our people need help with money.

One of the best events your church could offer is a budgeting class.

There are many great ones out there.

I’m personally partial to Balanced and Financial Peace University.

Something that our church is considering is Momentum or Churchwide, which is a program where your entire church goes through Financial Peace University at the same time.

Statistics are off the charts on how Momentum impacts the financial well-being of a church.

Give it some thought. It might be an idea worth investing in.

5. Conversations for the Curious

If you’ve read the book Sticky Faith by the Fuller Youth Institute, you know that one of the biggest reasons young people are walking away from the church is unexpressed doubts about faith.

Something we have not been good at in the American church over the last few decades is creating space to for people to wrestle with their doubts.

An event that we’ve run over the last few years to help with this is something we call Conversations for the Curious.

In this event, we invite people from our congregation to text in questions about faith and our senior pastor and special guest answer these questions live.

We’ve received great feedback on the event and we know that it is helping our people understand that everyone has doubts.

And as Kara Powell says in Sticky Faith:

Doubts aren’t toxic to faith, but unexpressed doubts are.

6. Community Serving Events

Over the last six months, I’ve been interviewing young people, trying to understand what they care about and the kind of church community they are looking for.

One of the themes in these interviews is that young people want to be part of a church that is actively engaged in meeting the needs of the surrounding community.

They don’t want to be part of a church that appears to be about itself.

When I think about the reputation of the early church, the Christians were known for their love and service.

I believe that the best outreach event you can put on is an event that mobilizes your people to serve in the community.

A suggestion here: Start your planning by actually asking your community what the needs are.

Then, find organizations or other churches that are already engaged and partner with them.

7. Springhill Day Camps

Alright, one last event! This may not be an option for everyone, depending on where you are in the country.

There is a great ministry in the Midwest called Spring Hill Camps and something that they do, that I think is phenomenal is Day Camps.

The way this works is they take elements of their camp on the road—to your church or to your neighborhood and partner with you to put on a week of day camp.

What I love about this is that they are REALLY good at what they do—professional, skilled and experienced.

And, they tailor the experience to your chruch and use your people to staff the camp.

The impact of these camps can be really cool because it’s a great way to attract families in your community and invite them into your church community through a worldclass experience for their kids.

Anyway, I think it’s fantastic and I’m a big fan of Spring Hill.

Check them out.

Wrap Up

So there you go, 7 must do events for your church. I hope this has been helpful. If you have an event idea you want to share, tell us all about it in the comments below. I hope this has been helpful and thanks for reading.

Topics: Advice

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