There are a lot of things that I didn’t realize went with the territory of ministry. Yes, I figured where ever I served I would be doing administrative tasks in some form. I’m well organized and I have a mind for details. Over the years, I have felt a stronger call to the pastoral side of ministry as well, but admin is something I know will always be a strength of mine. When I first saw myself going to into ministry, I thought there could be nothing better than spending my days at the church and investing in people. This is still very true. I love being a mentor and being a part of the lives at Bethel Church. Mentoring is a passion of mine and the students that I get to build relationships with are the highlight of my ministry experience.
However, one thing I really didn’t think through was large event planning. Working in children’s ministry gives Jeremy and I the opportunity to throw multiple large events each year. Girl’s sleepovers, harvest parties, giant Easter egg hunts are all a part of normal calendar of events for us. Take this weekend for example, nothing like throwing a party for 2,500+ children… The breakdown for this event looks like 60,000 candy filled eggs, pony rides, face painting, balloons, inflatables, petting zoo, prizes and more. Now, let’s be honest, Jeremy and I don’t pull this off all by ourselves – that would be impossible. Days like this involve a team of dedicated volunteers. The planning and prep does land on our shoulders and it’s important to make sure all the details come together. There is a lot that goes into a big day like our Easter Eggstravaganza. After 7 of them we’ve watched it grow and expand. Each year is a little different and each year is a chance for improvement.
Another example of party planning would be the Missionettes Sleepover. This event is fun for me because we have a new theme each year and it gives direction to the crafts, games and decorations. I told Jeremy after our last sleepover that I’m positive that our future children will have the coolest birthday parties because we are so used to planning parties. The crafts at the sleepover are items they can take home to remember the event. The games are fun and run off energy – this greatly enhances the chance of sleep that night. It’s a big party!
The purpose of these big events is to provide fun opportunities for people to come to our campus and see how great it can be. Church shouldn’t be intimidating or scary. It most certainly shouldn’t be boring. These events are open to our people, but they are also extremely invite-able. It gives our congregation something they can bring neighbors and friends to. Not only are they easy to invite people to, but our volunteers get to rub shoulders with the community and share genuine love with visitors. Through our smiles and friendly conversations, we have an open door to share what we believe as a church.
So, did I think that party planner would be high on my list of skills going into ministry? No. It can be overwhelming at times, but mainly it’s just fun. There is a lot of room to dream and get creative. Ministry really lends to a diverse résumé – administrator, organizer, teacher, mentor, large event planner, hall monitor, counselor… The list goes on! I have truly learned to be a jack of all trades. However, I hope that I’m not a master of none. Personally, if given the choice of what I would want to master it would be teacher or mentor. No matter what hat I’m wearing or how many balls I’m juggling, I hope that I can serve with a smile and a willing heart.