No one attends an event, Christian or otherwise, without anticipation and expectations. The spectrum is as broad as attendees who anticipate all the great, memorable moments of the event, to some who are hoping for a short-and-sweet occasion that provides a quick exit.
Now, if you’re the organizer or producer of a Christian event, the last thing you want is a disgruntled attendee, thinking, “I wonder how long this ____ will be.”
Or is it?
See, the awesome thing about Christian events is: Even when skeptics, naysayers, and those too polite to decline attend your event, that’s your golden opportunity to transform their resistance into acceptance, to offer enlightenment or encouragement where perhaps their spirit was dark. That’s the beauty of God’s love which has the power to soften even the hardest of hearts.
But, unfortunately, our Christian events don’t always go down like that. It’s embarrassing to admit, but there are some Christian events that leave a bad taste in visitors’ mouths, and people leave with a worse impression of the body of Christ than before they came. Sad.
Let’s get it together, Team! God wants us to produce events that shine – not suck! Take a long, honest look at the misses below so that your Christian event is always a winner.
How do your Christian events stack up?
#10. Late, late, and more late
Does your event respect the time of your attendees? Have you mastered the “bear with us” speech? Have your attendees grown so accustomed to your lateness, that they typically arrive late? This sucks, Team.
Try having protocols in place to keep the event moving along in case of a missed step. Not sure how? Enlist an experienced event planner to be your “General” to keep the event team in step. Honor the time of your attendees, and make it your business to start the event at its purposed time (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
#9. Money manipulating maneuvers
Love offerings and donations are key to the support and longevity of many events. Does the Word of God instruct us to “manipulate and you shall receive”? Not at all. We are simply instructed to ask (Matthew 7:7), and give attendees the freedom to give as they have decided in their heart (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Guilt-trips, excessive asking (begging), and pressure tactics will sour a Christian event every time. Follow the Bible’s prescription for asking, keep it moving, and watch attendees respond positively in-kind.
#8. Event staffers don’t smile, unfriendly.
If mean ushers were simply fictional characters, we may be able to ignore this point. Unfortunately, if ushers, event staffers, greeters – people on the front lines of your event can’t buy a smile, and they wear their feelings and attitudes on their sleeves – that’s not a good look.
Those with the honor of welcoming attendees to your events MUST be skilled at leaving their worries, their troubles outside the venue (hold this, God), and show up ready to serve and support the event with gladness (Psalms 100:2). If they’re not glad to be here, why should your attendees? Be mindful of the countenance and personality of your people at the door – they set the tone for the event off the rip.
#7. Too many events mashed into one (too) long event
How many selections, sermons, dance routines, reprises can your event realistically handle before it becomes ridiculously overkill? Know your event type and your target attendees, and how to best manage the event’s allotted time.
There comes a point when you may need to host an event over days vs. hours in order to accomplish a goal or give space to all agenda items and guests. Don’t torture your attendees trying to make it all fit.
#6. Sloppy venue preparation
Was more attention given to your flyers, uniforms and outfits, the main event area than the total venue experience? Would anyone believe that cleanliness is next to godliness by the look of the venue bathrooms, floors, or ceilings?
It’s easy to become complacent and comfortable with the dirt and disarray we accept on the regular (Proverbs 30:12). Not so much for newcomers, first-timers. It’s human nature – you AND your event will be judged by the cleanliness, or lack thereof, of your venue.
#5. Haphazard marketing collateral
Is your flyer laced with typos and grammatical errors? Is there pertinent information missing from your invitations and ads? Do your graphics use outdated clipart and fonts? The bar has been raised, Team. There are too many online tools and free stock photo sites (check copyright and attribution requirements) available – e.g. Canva, PicMonkey, Snapwire Snaps, Fancy Crave – to represent your Christian event with mediocre collateral. You’re not just representing your event, you’re representing Christ’s character and glory through the event (1 Corinthians 10:31). Need help? Drop us a line for a free consultation.
#4. The regulars are too cliquey
Sure, you have your die-hard ‘squad’ who never misses your events. Cool. But how do your ambassadors treat others? Do they welcome newcomers to experience your event, or do they carry an air of “we’ve been here, we belong here, and we’ll think about letting you in”? Encourage your go-to-regulars to have welcoming hearts, not stinky attitudes which breed disorder – not harmony (James 3:16).
#3. Too much churchy-speak
“And now here cometh…the propitiation whereunto the immutable…” C’mon, Team! If the average visitor needs Webster and a concordance to understand what you’re saying, “look at your neighbor and say” that’s a problem! Don’t miss the opportunity to reach someone who’s not “churched” or Christian because you’re too busy exercising (flaunting) your Biblical vocabulary (Matthew 6:5). Keep the simplicity of the gospel simple and relatable to ALL. It’s not about you.
#2. Self-focused vs. Son-focused headliners
Does your event promote the leader or headliner higher than Jesus? Many Christian events have become the So-and-So-Look-at-Me show, with very little room for Jesus, or serving others to shine – this is a turn-off to many. When our events return to making Jesus famous vs. ourselves, we’ll draw more hearts to the One who deserves all the glory and shine (John 12:32).
#1. There’s no love in the room.
Point blank and period. Where’s the love, Team? Visitors can often feel or hear the judgment loud and clear, but the love of Jesus Christ is a faint whisper at best. We are known by the love we have for one another (John 13:35). If we don’t show love and do ALL THINGS in love (1 Corinthians 16:14), how can we be “known” as children of God? Love like our Father loves, Team – it is both our duty and our privilege.
So how’d you do, Team? See any areas where you can improve or implement some changes to your Christian event? We hope so. It’s all about making the name of Jesus GREAT – we are the ambassadors of that great name.
What are some other ways we can improve our Christian events?