Planning Powerful Events

4 Tips To Take Into Consideration

Those of you who follow me know that I’m not a huge fan of events.  They take a lot of time and can be a distraction from a consistent and healthy ministry.  Nonetheless, they are an important part of your ministry because they can have a great impact in a teen’s relationship with Jesus Christ.

If you are looking to plan a camp, retreat or an event you need to plan carefully.  It’s not something you can jump into and to do them right you need to make sure there is:


An event that doesn’t lead to something is an event done in vain.  If you are going to give teens an experience you need to make sure there is a follow up that will help them process the experience.

One way to follow up is by inviting teens to join you for your regular program.  While they experience will move them what they need is consistency.  Before planning an event or retreat make sure you can answer the question, “What’s going to be their next step?”


Camps can be fun and they can be full of profound moments.  What is key is finding balance in the content.  That doesn’t mean for every game you need to plan a reflection.

Balance in the content answers the question, “Why are we doing this?”  If you are clear on the purpose then you should be able to determine the components (i.e. games, activities) to implement into the event.


Events take a lot of work and to do them on your own is dangerous.  You will wear yourself out and miss out on the enjoyment that can come from it.

Find a team of people who are focused on the event.  Give them authority and ownership.  Not only will you ease your burden but create a succession plan.


Feedback is key to making sure you consistently grow the camp.  You need to review so that you know what works and what doesn’t.  On top of reviewing logistics you need to review purpose.  While an event might continue to feel successful, you can only know if it truly is by answering the question, “Why are we doing this?”

Bring the right people together and discuss the event’s purpose.  If the purpose seems unclear don’t be afraid to make changes, tweaks or even eliminate the event entirely.

Events, camps and retreats are good because they are filled with ministry.  Don’t make them the only thing, but look at making them something your ministry values.

Question:  What’s the best ministry event/camp/retreat you ever held and why?  You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Toohill Matt

    This has to do exactly with my biggest questions about small group ministry. What happens to the weekly schedule when preparing teens for large events. NCYC is coming up, so on a day when there is NCYC preparation, is there no small group meeting? How do you handle follow up if 2 or 3 members of a small group attend, and the other 2 or 3 do not?

    • That’s a great question. I try not to have preparation meetings on the same day (or at least the same time) as our consistent programming.
      If I have teens who attend something that others in their group do not I encourage the attendees to share their experience with the others in their group. It serves as an evangelization tool.