5 Lessons I Have Learned About Leading Special Events December 9, 2013

Events are not everything; life is made up of many ordinary days.  Yet special events are simply a way of emphasizing what is important.  We have just returned from our annual Christmas Mission to New York City with the Crown College Choir.  God blessed in an unusual way.  It is my joy to be involved in many of our conferences and events throughout the year.  Every month is an adventure and every event is an education.

Coordinating special events is very different from attending them.  Nothing just “happens.”  Big events are made up of little details and every good thing requires work.

Reflecting on so many special events over the last few months, I have come to understand several truths…

  • Preparation is primary.

Leaders look ahead.  They think.  They ask questions.  They gather information.  They make lists.  They plan.

(1) Think it through.  (2) Pray it through.  (3) Talk it through.  (4) Write it down.

There is always an element of flexibility required in running special events.  Things do not always go as planned, but those who have planned are best prepared for that.  Gifted people have a tendency to “fly by the seat of their pants”, but wise people realize that is not enough.  Be intentional.

  • No one can do it all alone.

The most capable people know the limits of their capabilities.  More importantly, they understand that everyone has a contribution to make.  It is pride to think that any one of us is self sufficient.  The best events require team work.

Those who care for things behind the scenes are just as important as the spokesman.  Perhaps more so.  A key principle of any worthwhile endeavor is: to influence more you must involve more.  Take the time to build your workers.  Train them well.  Work together in a spirit of unity to accomplish a great purpose.

  • Leaders must enjoy the process, not just the result.

It is easy to get so consumed with the work that you miss the meaning of it all.  Pastor Sexton taught me that if you work hard before the event you are better able to relax and enjoy it when it comes.

Take time to talk to people.  Walk slowly through the crowd.  Refuse to allow small disappointments to become distractions.  Leaders want everything to be perfect.  It never is.  Enjoy what God has given you to do and make the most of every moment.

  • The greatest work is often done after the event.

The meeting is over.  The event has concluded.  A sigh of relief.  Done.  Finished.

Or is it?

Could it be that the most important part of the event is the follow up?  The Lord Jesus took a boy’s lunch and fed five thousand.  What a miracle!  What a victory!  When He was finished He instructed the disciples to “gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”  It was not that they needed the food.  They needed to learn a valuable lesson: Christ is more than enough.

It is often true that after the “main event” we miss the fragments that remain.  Reflect.  Take the time to record lessons learned.  Follow up on people who were there.  Write thank you notes.  Make a list of what could be done better next time.  This is the difference in a good event and a great one.

  • There is no substitute for the favor of God.

It was D.L. Moody who used the motto: “My human best, filled with the Holy Spirit.”  God deserves our best, but our best is never enough.  In the end we must have the blessing of God upon the work (Psalm 90:17).

“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain” (Psalm 127:1).

The builder must still labour.  The watchman must be awake.  But the builder and the watchman must have the Lord’s enabling.  All of our work must be done in prayer.  All of our labor must be with simple dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Another year of meetings and events are ahead!  Do not accept mediocrity.  Remember that every event is to reflect what is important to God and should be done for His glory alone.

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  1. Marc Cheney on December 10, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Excellent! This, from a man who for many years,”flew by the seat of my pants” and still have a weakness in my character to do so. Thank you for this blessing!

    • Simeon Brazzell on December 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      Hi there Bro. Cheney,
      I don’t know if you remember me but I was in the last group of Crown College tour groups you trained. Glad to hear from you and hope your doing well. Yes this is a weak spot for me too! I have to daily trust God to help me to get ready for things instead of trusting myself at the last minute

  2. Byron Chesney on December 17, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Thank you Bro. Pauley, just what I needed to read today! I need to work harder at enjoying the process.

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