Guest Blogger: Deborah Ike
What events are coming up at your church in the next few months? VBS, back-to-school kickoff, small group launch, Thanksgiving outreach, Christmas plays, and more?
Are you ready for those events or are you feeling a bit stressed at the moment?
The first step for any plans you may develop must include seeking God’s direction. From there, we should develop plans to carry out the vision we believe God has given to us.
So, if planning is such a big deal what happens if we don’t plan?
What if we wing it or throw together a to-do list at the last minute?
While that can sometimes work, here are five reasons why planning is a better choice:
1 – Planning can increase volunteer engagement
Volunteers have day jobs and family commitments. Many want to serve at their church but need advanced notice to coordinate their schedules.
If you’re scrambling around the week before a big Saturday event to get more volunteers, you’re going to have a rough week.
Sure, you’ll find some people who’re able to make it work. However, that’ll be the exception rather than the rule. In addition, you’ve shown a lack of respect for their time by asking them to drop everything at the last minute.
If you do this too often, you may have a hard time getting volunteers to serve again.
However, if you’re planning a September event in May you’ll have time to:
- Determine how many volunteers you need and in what roles
- Identify who you’d like to invite to serve in each role, starting in June or July
- At least leave a voicemail or send an email even if you miss seeing them at church. Summer vacations may make contacting people a challenge, but by contacting them as soon as possible you have a greater chance of them saying “yes” than a last-minute plea in late August.
2 – Planning prevents exhaustion and missing important family moments
Last minute scrambling to get everything done leads to late nights at the church.
You fall into bed each night completely worn out and wake up still tired.
You’re missing dinnertime with your family, your kids’ sports activities, and even bedtime stories.
If this becomes too much of a pattern, your family will feel like they’re losing you to the church.
When you start planning months in advance, you can find volunteers to share the workload, spread out the work, and complete a few tasks each week instead of cramming it all in a couple of weeks beforehand.
3 – Planning saves money
A key part of the planning process is determining what services or products you’ll need to purchase for the event.
When you gather up all the potential costs early on, you can quickly see if it looks like you could go over budget.
When you start planning early, you have time to reconsider potential purchases and even bargain shop.
Without planning, you’ll realize you’re over budget either after the event is over or when your finance director says you can’t spend anymore (even though you still have to buy the food) because you’re over budget.
Here’s the deal…
I’ve seen and felt the consequences of not planning well. It hurts you, your church, and those you love most.
If you’re going to host a special event, planning will help you achieve the vision and goals you have for that event (without burning out yourself or others).