HOW TO STRATEGIZE YOUR EVENTS
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
- Why doing fewer events can make a greater impact.
- How to strategize a year of events for kids ministry.
- How to strategize a year of events for youth ministry.
- PLUS: What’s included in Grow Curriculum and Strategy to help you plan events for kids and teenagers more effectively.
Events are a pretty big deal for most kids and youth ministries. They’re a way to have fun, connect with students or families, get new people in the door, and create some excitement. Events matter, but we’ve got to keep things in perspective. That’s why we’re fans of keeping your event strategy really simple, because you can make a bigger impact each year if you choose to do fewer events with more intentionality.
There are a lot of things we could put on our ministry calendars each year. Camps, concerts, retreats, trips, conferences, tournaments, game nights, movie nights, themed nights… the list could go on forever. But if we did every event we ever thought about doing, we’d have a few problems.
- We’d be adding to the chaos of family calendars that are already full.
- We’d be burning out our team, and we’re all pretty busy already.
- We’d be giving teenagers so many options that we’d probably see them attend just a few things each year, resulting in lower participation in everything we do.
- We’d be spending time, money, and resources on things that aren’t always strategic.
With so many potential options, we need a strategy to help us guide which events we’ll do when, which is we suggest doing fewer events for a bigger impact. We can’t do everything, but the events we do can be done with purpose, when our events are scheduled in a strategic rhythm and strategically designed to connect students with each other, with trusted adults, and with God.
So when it comes to events, our “win” shouldn’t be about participation, but about strategy, because even the most well-attended events can actually be a hindrance to our growth, if those events are not leading kids and teenagers somewhere strategic.
Here’s our recommendation for keeping your event strategy simple: do one event each quarter for kids, one event each quarter for teenagers, plus a summer camp and a mission experience for teenagers. Here’s what that looks like each year…
Every fall, we recommend doing an event that aligns with the fall discipleship focus of Spending Time with Others by helping kids and teenagers connect with each other and with their small group leaders (as well as their parents, if you’re doing kids ministry). In Grow Students, this is usually an all-nighter or half-nighter. In Grow Kids, this is usually a fun fall event that kids can attend with their friends, family, or both.
Every winter, we recommend doing a just-for-fun event that gets teenagers or kids’ families together before the busyness of the holidays really kicks in. This might be a fun game night, a Christmas experience, or anything else you’d like!
Every spring, we recommend doing an event that aligns with the spring discipleship focus of Spend Time with God by creating an opportunity for kids and teenagers to grow closer to God. In Grow Students, this is usually a weekend retreat offsite or in host homes. In Grow Kids, this is usually an Easter experience for families.
Every summer, we recommend putting a mission trip and summer camp on the calendar for teenagers, but we also recommend doing another just-for-fun event that gets kids or teenagers together before the busyness of the summer begins. This might be a fun outdoor game night, carnival, tournament, or anything else you’d like!
And hey, if you’re using Grow Curriculum, we’ve already done this work for you. For every quarter of every year, we provide an event that corresponds with that quarter’s discipleship focus or time of year, and includes everything you need to make it happen — supply lists (with handy links to purchase the supplies), instructions, graphics, handouts, and more!
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN GROW CURRICULUM
While every event in our Event Strategy is unique, we always provide you with the same core tools and resources to make each one happen. With each event, we’ll include…
- Editable event graphics in PSD format
- Event title slide images in horizontal, vertical, and square formats, so you can use them easily on all print, online, and social media platforms
- Event background slide images in horizontal, vertical, and square formats, so you can create your own slides and use them easily on all print, online, and social media platforms
- Event guides with instructions for you, the ministry leader
- Planning timelines in PDF and DOC formats
- Suggested schedules in PDF and XLS formats
- Shopping lists in PDF and DOC formats
- Volunteer roles in PDF and XLS formats
- Volunteer meeting guides in PDF and DOC formats
- Event flyers in PSD, PDF, and DOC formats
- Parent handouts in PSD, PDF, and DOC formats
EVEN MORE STUFF
For some events, we also include…
- How-to guides for subjects like booking transportation, budgeting, or finding a venue
- Sermon guides for teaching sessions in PDF and DOC formats
- Small group guides for discussion time in PDF and DOC formats
- Editable teaching graphics in PSD format
- Teaching title slide images in horizontal, vertical, and square formats
- Teaching background slide images in horizontal, vertical, and square formats