UnGlued: 4 Event Planning Mistakes

unglued event planning mistakes


Connections are essential to church leaders because they create connectional glue that makes the truths and relationships stick. We have a desire to get students connected to God, His Word, and others, and do so through creating regular gatherings around Bible teaching and discussion. While our regular weekly gathering times are powerful, we know that our kids and students need other strong moments to bond socially, and that is why we create events.

Events take our kids and students out of the routine to give them opportunities to make those weekly truths adhesive to their lives.  Events can be peer-to-peer sticky moments, opportunities to solidify connections with adult leaders but most importantly they are great occasions to create stronger unity with parents.

We as leaders, however, often find the strain and stress of running events pulling on us, quickly finding ourselves coming UNGLUED in the process.

These are just four mistakes to avoid becoming UNGLUED planning your upcoming events.  

STICK with it!

Like those little glue sticks in your children’s ministry area, that have been around since the 90’s, little by little stick with it!   One of the mistakes ministries make in event planning is to announce a big idea and then not sticking with a plan. They plan quickly for an event, without much thought or process, revealing their big ideas, and then continue to change as they actually try to plan.

Nothing is more frustrating for a team and for leadership is to start working on a big plan only for it to change a couple times along the way.  It is like trying to shove a glue stick back in the tube over and over again, it just going to get messy.

Slowly plan and process, then make a decision on what is going to happen. Little by little work to reveal that needs to be done next and directions things need to go.  Stick with what was originally planned and like we all learned don’t spread yourself to thin, otherwise all the plans will quickly come unglued.

RUBBER cement!

“I am rubber, you are glue, what bounces off of me, sticks to you?”  The classic from the school yard and the Sunday School classroom.  Summing it up, don’t listen to the haters.  There is always going to be someone that has something negative to say.  There will always be those people that have a list of reason why something won’t work or why people won’t attend.

If we have done our research, asked the right questions and planned well in the beginning learn to not listen.  Allow the negativity to bounce off us like rubber.   Another one of the fastest ways to become unglued is to listen to the negative voices.   Cemented in our good planning, allow those people just to “bounce” out of our mind.

Feel the SQUEEZE!

Time is as valuable as our money, resources, and people.  Like the classic bottle of Elmer’s, don’t get almost to the end of a project and realize you ran out.  Plan time wisely.  Assign each step and preparation a time frame.  There is nothing worse than feeling the squeeze right before an event because there are still things that need to get done.  Use your calendar and day planner well.

An additional big mistake that will make us and other feel unglued is running short on time. It will turn our event planning upside down as we work to shake out whatever is left of our time.

Don’t be CRAZY!

There is always another church or ministry doing it bigger and better.   Our ministry books a DJ, their church books a live band.  We are excited about having an Easter egg hunt, they are dropping their Easter eggs out of a helicopter.   It is enough to make us crazy…if we let it.

One of the biggest mistakes, overall, that make so many people in ministry come unglued, is the comparison game.  Ministries are constantly trying to be just a little crazier, than the place the down the road.   Let your event, be your event.   Do an event that fits your people, budget and style.

The ultimate glue of our planning, of course, is Christ.   Beyond the agendas, calendars and budgets.  Allow our focus to be on what the purpose is for events, bonding people to Christ.   May your events be as low-stress as possible and your relationship with Him be as sealed in His grace!