Regular readers of this blog know that there’s nothing necessarily regular about this blog. Some days we talk about Bibley things, some days we talk about family things, some days we talk about guest servicey things.

But today we talk about productivity things. So here’s your fair warning, free spirits! This post will make your collective heads explode. Go back to sniffing daisies or petting puppies or running through fields of cotton candy or whatever it is you do. The nerds need to talk for a minute. Or 186 seconds, depending on your reading & comprehension speed.

If you’re a leader who tends to run regularly recurring events, you need an event template. Weekly events are one thing: you get into the rhythm of planning a weekend service, and you can typically do it with your eyes closed (worship pastors do that all the time, it makes ’em look holy).

But when it comes to a not-so-weekly event, you need a template in place to keep you from reinventing the wheel and wasting time. Our First Impressions Team for our monthly Equip Leadership Forum is one example of how we pull that off. Away we go…

  1. We usually depend on our paid pastors and staff to run the First Impressions Team for Equip events. Because we have to get to be here anyway, and because we want to allow our people to fully engage in the event, ministry heads and interns will often serve alongside each other on the Parking Team, the Entry Door Teams, etc.
  2. Ahead of the event I’ll sit down with Eric Stortz, the director of Equip, to ask event-specific questions. What venues will be used? How many attendees do you expect? What breakouts occur (and where) after the main sessions? All of those questions help determine the types of teams and how many people we’ll need to serve.
  3. A monthly invitation goes out to all staff, inviting them to serve on one of the First Impressions or Summit Kids teams. We push all sign ups to an online form that is generated by our database.
  4. A couple of days before the event, I’ll pull names from the form and start plugging them into the team roster. The roster needs are put together based on the answers in #2 above. On the roster, I’ll typically have first level teams: those that must be staffed, and second level teams: those that would be a nice touch if we have enough people.
  5. I assign team leader roles to the especially awesome staff members (defined as anyone I think will say “Yes”), and send them the Equip First Impressions Playbook. This is a quick-glance guide that helps certain student pastors understand their job for the evening (I use small words). Those team leaders are then responsible to disseminate that info to their team members.

And at that point, it’s all gravy. Staff members show up, they serve, and the events generally go off without a hitch.

Templates are processes that need to be tweaked frequently, but again, the wheel is not being reinvented on a regular basis.

So what about you? Where do you need a ministry template? Better yet, where are you already using one? Share the goodies and comment below.