PS = pre-script!
Before continuing my series I encourage you to look at the following YouTube video. Fascinating and challenging about the change in economies and life expectancy in 200 countries over the last 200 years.
So far I have shared with you my approach to event planning – I will develop a series in the New Year related to some aspects of planning a ministry i.e. something that is continuous and has no particular climax. But now we will look at some of the matters related to implementing the planning methods we have been discussing.
Many at this time of year will be preparing for a Christmas event, maybe a Carol Service or Presentation. Often this will come out of the creativity of one or more church members. But who should lead the planning and implementation process?
My recommendation is that normally there should be an Project Leader who is not the creative visionary. In earlier blogs we have seen how, in Acts 6, the apostles were in danger of having their ministries limited by the need to resolve a problem among some widows in the early church. Their solution was to recognise this and the need to focus on their gifting (which was seeing very rapid church growth – so presumably was working well!) and to delegate the resolution of this particular problem to those who were appropriately gifted.
The same is true of event planning and management. Once the direction has been set and the purpose agreed let those with creative gifts flow in their gift and release them from the nitty-gritty of implementation and all that that entails – hospitality, publicity, venue etc.
It is also very important that that leader is clearly recognised and acknowledged in his or her role. All must know clearly who is in charge of the event. For obvious reasons, if there is a separate Event Manager on the day, this is best carried out by a non-performer in the example cited.
Motivation and Leadership Example
I am always struck by the way that Nehemiah did not just manage a huge project (building a wall a mile long around Jerusalem in 52 days) but literally ‘got his hands dirty’. This demonstrates humility and the desire to lead by example. Nor did he use his position to take all the privileges which were available to him – special food, the right to purchase land etc (Neh 5:14-16).
At the Stoneleigh Bible Week I always sought to be actively involved in some of the practical aspects as far as time permitted. I particularly felt it important to be involved in the ‘clear up’ when the excitement of the event was over and the mundane and necessary unseen work had to be completed. I believe this helped motivate the wonderful army of workers who served so faithfully.
One secret to success is to have really good teamwork. Much has been written elsewhere about teams and how they function. Suffice it to say here that in a team everyone should know the strengths and weaknesses of the other members and also each member must know clearly what is his or her role.
Communication between team members is vital for successful implementation. This will ensure that all the necessary actions are being achieved on time and also that any frustrations and difficulties are quickly resolved before they grow out of proportion.
How can this be achieved? I like to hold regular monitoring meetings and also to use all the common mechanisms such as phone and email. The frequency of ‘regular’ depends on the situation.
Can you imagine the excitement when the walls around Jerusalem were finished? There must have been a great celebration! An important part of implementation is to include celebration of success. Be sure to thank the team well at the end of the event.
That completes this part of the series on Planning and Implementation, but, as I have said above, I will return to another aspect in the New Year.
In my next post – maybe the last before Christmas – I will return as promised to the series on Time Management. I have now resolved how to use my system on an iPhone (may be applicable to other equivalent phones) and will share my experience. See you next week!