Statistics show that only 17.7% of christians attend church on any giving weekend. Those who don’t belong to a church still identify themselves with their church roots. I bet they attended a Church Fellowship Dinner.
Looking back six years ago. I had been on the job for a day or two and all I can remember when I made the statement to the Senior Pastor we would have our first Wednesday Night Fellowship Dinner. If you could be there to see the look on the Senior Pastor’s face after I made that statement. Well, all I can say is “Priceless.”
What you don’t know is, the dinner would be in three weeks. Also in the Wesley Center under the cover floor are many prayers written by the members of the church. The Senior Pastor’s asked me to take a walk with him to the Wesley Center, and he showed me where his prayer was. Just about 5 feet from the of the kitchen door is a prayer to have a Wednesday Night Fellowship Dinner. So I marked the calendar, and it would be April 8, 2009.
The journey of planning such an undertaking since they hadn’t had a dinner of the magnitude. In the past they would serve maybe 75-100 people but gave it up.
Many volunteers, many hours, and time was short. In the next few post, I will share with you the before, during, and after planning. All of the planning took place just in three weeks.
When I look back at it, I can tell you that I had people asking me if I lost my mind trying to pull off the dinner in such a short period. They really did’t know so lacking of confidence was not in my demeanor.
Count Down Three Weeks
The most important aspect of this undertaking is to have the senior pastor on board. Without their support, you will not get the rest of the church staff on board either. One thing I did was to have a meeting before the meeting. The meeting allowed me to explain my vision and to be clear what my intentions were. You also can make sure your have the senior pastors blessings.
The first thing that happen in our first meeting, was the senior pastor explained what was about to happen and what his expectation was from the church staff. Then the meeting was turned over to me. I initially laid out the vision of the dinner and what kind of help I needed from them. I clearly explained their responsibilities and expectations and that I would only need their help for first few Wednesday’s until I had volunteer leaders in place. I also wanted to follow what was already in place about volunteers. So we would transition from a staff driven event to a volunteer driven event.
As I continued to described the team leaders that on Wednesday night they where to guide the volunteers and explain there particular positions so each time they worked with them that the staff would have less hands on and take the roll of being a mentor.
The positions I set up was I would be facilitator of the overall plan. The technical person was for sound, any screen slides, and lighting if needed. Hospitality was for organizing volunteers, greeters, front of the house, and back of the house. Facility Management was for setting up tables, parking attendants, and parking lights. Marketing was for table tents, insert for the church bulletin, and preparing the Sunday announcement.
As you see, it takes a lot of planning and organizing and Part Two I will describe in detail each position with tips and ideas.