When planning a special event, you first need to determine your purpose. Why do you want to host this event? Your purpose will determine how you plan. For example, the purpose of the fall festival at my church is to provide a safe family event in a Christian environment where children and adults can experience the love of Jesus. Keeping this purpose in mind, I put quite a bit of emphasis on safety. Our workers have been carefully selected for their ability to fulfill their specific roles; we have supervision near the restrooms; there is adequate lighting near all of the activities; we have a team monitoring parking, etc. The second part of our purpose is for children and adults to experience the love of Jesus. We include a puppet show with a Christian theme and look for ways to share the gospel message. One year we had a magic show with gospel illusions. We offer all of the activities (inflatables, face painting, games, food, prizes, and candy) free of charge. Making money is not part of our purpose. There are other events that have fundraising as their purpose, but our goal for this night is to PROVIDE, not sale a product.
Always keep in mind that the purpose of any special event should include an opportunity for people hear about Jesus. You may choose to do this in large or small ways, but if you don’t mention Christ, then you are missing your ultimate purpose!
Below are several different purpose statements for outreach events. Possible events are listed for each purpose. You may notice that some events can have more than one purpose.
Purpose: We want to encourage people to visit our church.
Events: participate in a community or neighborhood festival; host a Christmas living Nativity; parents night out
Purpose: We want to share the message of salvation and invite people to accept Christ.
Events: VBS, sidewalk Sunday school, day-camp
Purpose: We want to improve communication in families.
Events: family movie night, game night, or craft night
Purpose: We want to offer practical solutions to community needs. (tutoring, child care, food, etc.)
Events: after-school tutoring, weekend meals for children, food baskets at Christmas, after-school childcare, school supply give-away
Purpose: We want to help parents disciple their children.
Events: parenting classes, mentoring program for young parents, parent fellowship night with resource swap
You can download a list of possible special events below.