By Jake Douglas
Hosting a special event at your church requires a few extra steps than Sunday services. As you start the planning process, include these steps to prepare the church facility for the event.
- Reserve the space.
Each ministry department likely hosts a few events throughout the year. The last thing you want to do is double-book rooms or even the entire church facility. If you don’t already have a room reservation system, now is the time to look into putting one in place. You need to make sure the facilities team knows what you need for this event in plenty of time for them to support your efforts.
- Gather event details.
The facilities team will need several essential details as they plan to support this event.
- Estimated number of attendees
- What room(s) you’ll need to set up
- How you want the room to be set up (number of tables, chairs, audio/visual requirements, lighting, etc.)
- The date(s) and time(s) for the event
- If any activities will occur outdoors
- If you’re providing childcare for event attendees
- Allocate time for setup and teardown.
Don’t just reserve the space for the time of the event. Depending on how extensive the décor and setup are, you may need to reserve the area for the day (or more) before the event. Also, allow sufficient time after the event to restage the rooms for weekly services and clean the church facility.
- Arrange for staff to be present.
You might need someone available to run the sound, video, and lighting. You may also need facilities staff to let you into the building on an early Saturday morning or to lock up the church afterward. Also, consider whether you’ll have members of your church security team at the event.
- Ensure proper climate control.
This is something to discuss with your facilities team when you ask to reserve the space. Depending on how they manage the central heat and air, they’ll need to arrange to have the areas of the facility you’ll use properly heated or air-conditioned. They might recommend using certain rooms that are covered by the same HVAC unit to save on energy costs.
- Conduct a church facility walkthrough.
Especially if this event will attract first-time guests, you want to make sure you’re making a good first impression.
In the parking lot:
- Do you see any potholes?
- Are there large cracks in the sidewalk?
Approaching the church:
- Is the entrance you want people to use for this event obvious?
- Is the paint chipped?
- Does the landscaping need fresh mulch or weeds removed?
Inside the building:
- Does the doormat look frayed or dirty?
- Do you see scuff marks on the walls?
- Are there lots of stains on the carpet?
Children’s area (if you’re providing childcare at this event):
- Is this area clean?
- Do the toys look well-organized?
- Does it look like a safe, fun place for little ones to play?
Work with those responsible for each area (facilities, children’s ministry, etc.) to freshen up the church as needed.
You might arrange a volunteer church beautification day a week before the event to spruce up areas that need extra attention.
Special events are a great way to disciple your congregation and attract new people to the church. With intentional planning and working together as a team, you can pull off excellent events that draw people closer to Christ.
Jack Douglas is the owner of The Church Operations Toolkit, which helps churches unlock the full potential of your ministry through a comprehensive range of church management resources, www.churchoperationstoolkit.com.