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Every event (weekly gathering, retreat, camp, or whatever) I learn something new. One rule of event planning is keep learning and keep trying to take the event to the next level. When you think you have arrived that is the exact point where you go backwards. This is what kills me about churches and ministries who never change up their environments…IT GETS OLD and when it gets old you loose momentum and energy. People start coming to your event out of obligation and tradition rather than with JOY. So here are a few other lessons I have learned about event planning…

  • For all you youth pastors…Transportation is a big deal, always have a plan to get people moved around SAFELY! Transportation is not a last minute deal. Also always call the bus company and make sure they REMEMBER. We had three buses not show up after camp one year!
  • Sound / Lighting / stage “look” MATTER – work hard to mix what you do up. Change the stage around, change the lighting, get creative. It really does help set people up to listen / learn / experience in a fresh way.
  • STAFF your weakness – if you are not good at “games” add a game coordinator to your team for the event. Contract out your weakness with paid staff or volunteers. A special event is not the place to get better at what you are not good at. Your weakness can make the event very UN-SPECIAL.
  • Make sure you trust EVER PERSON LEADING ON STAGE. Know what you have to work with. I have made some bad calls on this one!
  • PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY then PRAY MORE. If you want God to work in a specific way at an event you better start praying. The cool thing is if we make prayer a central part o the event God might just change our plan.
  • When the event starts, BE FULLY PRESENT! Once the event is on the roll, get in the mix and experience it as it happens. You can make changes after each phase of the event but know that your event is what it is after it starts. Get engaged, take notes, and trust God to work.
  • Have fun! If you do not enjoy the event you are leading or planning and can never enjoy the process, you have the wrong job. Have fun – when you have fun it sets up your team to enjoy the ride.

What are some lessons you have learned about event planning???