Why Are We Still Doing This?

Why Are We Still Doing This?

Have you ever looked at your church calendar and wondered why your church is still doing a particular event? Sometimes in the life of a church, an event that God has used in the past becomes ineffective. In other cases, someone suggests an idea for an event because other churches are doing it or because they did it at their prior church. How do you decide which events to do? How do you take an old event that has lost focus and breathe new life into it? The answers to these questions are found in the Six P’s of event planning. Here they are:


First, establish the purpose for the event. Simply put, why are we doing this? We don’t do events because of tradition. Rather, we do events because they will help us to fulfill the vision for the church through one of the essential strategies. You can find more information on the essential strategies here. Before an event is planned, the specific purpose of the event must be outlined in detail.  For example:

  • To build community between college students through a group bonding service project.  
  • To get the word out about our church out to 4000 people letting them know that we are here and offer something relevant and needed in their lives.
  • To build more and better relationships between missionaries and church members.

The purpose must be specific and measurable.  Some events may have a primary and secondary purpose.


The second step in event planning is to design the program to fulfill the purpose for the attenders or those involved. The program may include an emcee, music, teaching, activities, prayer, games, service, bags of food to hand out etc.


The third P, Planning, takes the purpose and puts it in action. The plan outlines the specific steps necessary to achieve the purpose and accomplish the program. This includes timelines for all preparation, meetings, rehearsals etc.  The plan is derived from each of the other “P” categories and must include the plan for programming, people, publicity and the physical components.  A good plan allows you to complete all the needed preparation for an event without the last-minute rush.  It should include all deadlines from the beginning of planning until the completion of the event.


There are many ways to publicize an event. They include: announcements, flyers, brochures, posters, marketing, invitations, e-mails, texts, website, social media etc.  The publicity plan must include dates and times for each form of publicity.  Publicity for each event must begin at least 3 weeks prior for smaller events and at least 6 weeks for major events.


The people aspect of every event is vital.  It starts with identifying the leaders and team members and their roles. Communication and commitment to specific responsibilities are essential when working with people on any team.  This includes the recruitment and training for every aspect of the event.  Leadership and encouragement are the oil that makes the “people machine” work smoothly.  When done well, each person involved leaves glad to have contributed to a successful event.

Physical Components

The last category includes the specific pieces of equipment and supplies and also the details of their use.  This can include set-up and tear down of chairs, decorations, signs, food, flyers, sound as well as room rentals and budgets etc.  Each event must include a specific budget.

When planning events remember every event must be relevant to your particular context and vision and it’s more important to do an event right than to cram in a poorly planned event.

~ Eric Oleson