Chrismas Is Coming - Are You Ready?
Over the past few months, the phrase "get ready" has been thrown around a lot and used in many different contexts. As a nation, we’ve been 'getting ready' for the best part of the year.
Whether it's Brexit, Make Tax Digital or any number of other campaigns, it seems that not a week goes by without being asked whether or not you’re ready…
As the Church, we’re moving into the most significant time in the Church calendar. The nights are drawing in, the days are getting colder and there is a definite sense of expectation in the air. In the famous words of Coca Cola, “Holidays are Coming”
The whole Biblical account of the Christmas narrative permeates a sense of anticipation and preparation. From the Lukan passages filled with Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, through to the pregnant, almost apocalyptic first chapter of the Fourth Gospel, it’s eminently clear that something significant is afoot. It’s not really until the Shepherd’s encounter with the heavenly host in Luke 2, that we really begin to get a visual understanding of what is at play. God’s invasion of the world in His campaign against sin is forming a beach head. And it’s not until the proclamation of “He is not here, he is risen” on Resurrection Sunday that we see the coup de grace.
Therein lies the glory of the Christian message. God calls and invites each and every one of us to play a part in this glorious plan. But to truly play our part, we need to be ready. So I ask you…
Are you ready?
From my time working in ministry, I know full well how stressful the lead up to Christmas can be. Juggling preparation for so many different events and community activities and still trying to maintain all of our usual regular appointments. But busyness doesn’t need to equate to stress. Even in the middle of all of our busyness and preparations, we can still serve with excellence. In this short article, I want to share just a few ways that technology can help you prepare and ‘get ready’ for the season of joy and celebration that is to come.
1 - Use a Calendar
I don’t want to be teaching you to suck eggs or anything here. I’m sure many of you reading this will already have a diary and calendar in place. Honestly though, this was one of the biggest things I learned in my time in ministry. That thought, appointment or meeting I’ve just been told about. When I leave this room, there is a solid 80% chance that I will have forgotten the details. Write it down… Write down as much information as you can. Calendars on smart-phones can be great for this kind of jotting. I almost always have mine with me, and it takes just seconds for me to note a few things down. If needed, I can always consult another calendar with more detail at a later date, but at least I now have the core details.
Calendars on your Church’s website can be such a great tool too. Not only does it keep people informed of what is going on in the life of the Church, but it can also be a gauge on how active a Church is too. If someone looks at your Church’s calendar and only sees the sunday service, they may be less inclined to investigate further, as there is less opportunity for them to get involved in the Church community.
Did you know, the iKnow Church calendar can now be embedded into your Church website too? So to prevent duplicate work, and still maintain all of your preparations, for a guide on how to do this; check out our website here: https://support.iknowchurch.co.uk/modules/events/events-calendar-integration/
2 - Communication is King!
Just when you thought you’d communicated everything, you might want to communicate some more. Clarity of role and purpose in event organisation is absolutely everything. Remember, the most important element of communication is what is heard (not necessarily what is said… That’s a really important definition). Hopefully you’ll know the best way to communicate with your team members already, but if you don’t we’ve written several articles on this already… Why not have a look through some of these to help with your team leadership.
iKnow Church can help with your communication by enabling you to streamline the emails and communications processes through the use of teams and circles. You can also produce any rota’s, run sheets and meeting agendas all within the core programme!
3 - What Next?
Following on from your events, hopefully you’ll have some form of debrief to discuss with your wider team, whether or not your events achieved their intended purposes. For many events, it might just be that you provide a Christian experience for your local community, and that’s great! But what are you going to do after the event? If your guests have provided any information, how do you plan on following up?
Did you know, according to research conducted by the Church of England, the vast majority of people impacted by the Church through a service of some kind, wanted to keep in touch with the Church. They genuinely wanted to be informed of further upcoming events. They want to have a connection to you. Do you have systems in place already to capture contact details and follow up effectively? Could you use this to invite people back to Church, perhaps for a different service?
Again, iKnow Church can be great for this. You’re able to add contacts into your database, and track the events which they have attended. Invite individuals to specific future events and follow up on their pastoral and discipleship journey. If you needed help with utilising these features, you can always get in touch with us. We’d love to have a chat with you!
We’d love to hear from your experiences of event planning and preparation. Why not join the conversation on Facebook!