FIRST-PERSON: Add pizzazz to your women's event
PENSACOLA, Fla. (BP) -- Are you planning a women's event at your church this fall -- a retreat, luncheon, conference, mission project or weekly ministry? Try adding these elements to create exciting, God-honoring pizzazz:
-- The Buzz Factor. Generate anticipation. Give the event a great title or theme. Do excellent promotion, using social media, quality graphics, email, church website, bathroom walls, church exterior sign. For your biggest event, assign your friendliest ladies at worship exit doors to personally give both a verbal and printed invitation to each woman. Even better, give them two invitations, so they can bring a friend.
-- The Team Factor. Include new people of varying ages on the planning team. Our team usually consisted of five ladies -- each with a specific major assignment to fit her talents, such as program, décor, publicity, tickets, table hostesses. After an initial meeting, each one recruits her own separate crew to accomplish that assignment with excellence, intentionally including new and fringe people. The event coordinator or staff leader synchronizes.
-- The First Impression Factor. Every detail is done "as unto the Lord." From the moment a woman steps from her car, first impressions count. Directional signs and greeters simplify her arrival. Entry foyers are attractive and point to God. Even if she's early, there's a joyful atmosphere, friendly ladies and Christian background music as she arrives.
-- The WOW! Factor. Create the unexpected. Strive for a gasp, "Oh, you've got to see this!" Brainstorm your theme to make one thing very memorable. A gorgeous entry. A surprise guest. A unique decor. An amazing dessert....
-- The Flow Factor. Leaders use a minute-by-minute private schedule, assuring the event begins and ends precisely on time. Anyone who attends feels it was "worth her minutes." Most announcements are printed in the program to avoid drag. Although flow is meticulously planned and implemented, the mood is relaxed, with plenty of fellowship before and afterward.
-- The Purpose Factor. With each event, you're creating a church reputation for fabulous God-centered events. Plan every detail to glorify God and make Him known. It's not a secular club or performance, so the focus isn't on entertaining our current members or cheering planners or performers. Focus on Him. Convince church members to joyfully bring many, many unchurched friends.
-- The Friendship Factor. Train every church member to act as a hostess and to befriend newcomers. Enhance friendships with nametags. Assure that every guest leaves with several new friends -- invitations to lunch, coffee, small group, playgroup, golf. She'll have new FaceBook friends and emails or phone calls before the day is over. God will use those friendships to introduce her to His grace because your members are radically intentional.
-- The Reflection Factor. Plan ahead so ladies leave with something memorable in their hands. A separate creative team could craft handmade theme bookmarks or keepsakes to fit the theme. For a "walking with God" theme, we found tiny glass slippers that cost pennies. My little slipper still sits on my counter as a reminder. For an event with a theme of trust drawn from Luke 12:27, give each lady a lily as she leaves.
Add pizzazz and joy to your upcoming event. Ladies outside your church are waiting to be invited. They're dying to know your Savior.