Businesses and non-profits know how to use a banquet to make things happen. Maybe to draw in new clients or to raise a base of donations. But how many events happen in your church without any defined purpose to further the mission? Lots of events happen just because they always happened.
A dinner is held one year to thank a new set of volunteers or launch a new ministry . The next year it makes sense to do it again. After a few years, it begins to lose steam. More energy is needed to sustain the event. Soon the event itself is mostly about thanking the people who put on the event and raising volunteers for next year’s repeat!
Don’t just have an event. Use an event.
What is the event for? It could be primarily to reach out to members of your community and make a first contact with them, introducing them to your church for the first time. Let that be the goal. Let that be the win. Build the event with that purpose in mind, pray that it is effective and celebrate if that, just that, happens. A stranger now knows our church. Win!
It could be to help people who are loosely affiliated see how important worship is, and how worthy of praise and adoration God is. That’s a hard move for people to make. Do they see why worship is the most important thing your church does? (By the way, worship is the most important thing your church does. No matter what else you do, you never stop holding worship. Your building might wash away in a flood, but when the church body gathers what will it do first? Worship and pray). Make sure an event like this helps people see something praiseworthy about the Lord. That might be the only win. Define it. Pray for it. Build your event to produce that result.
It is all too easy in church life to keep holding events way past your ability to define why the event is being held. It can sap motivation and wear out volunteers. Return to the “why.” Define the “win.” Build events to be used, not pulled off. This is a leadership responsibility. Your people will thank you for it.
'Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” ' Luke 14:12-14