How to Plan Community Events for a Multi-Site Church

If your church loves an event (and we’re sure it does), planning them well is paramount. From who it’s meant to serve and who will make it happen to location, food, and funding, there are countless things to consider. If you run a multi-site church, think of this x10.

Grant Glas
August 1, 2022
Kids Ministry Leadership

A Guide for Event Consistency and Coordination

Creating consistent experiences across all your sites is a central part of managing church growth. Otherwise, a feeling of distance might begin to brew between your church sites. You might start to wonder if you even are a multi-site church at all or a cluster of independent churches under the guise of a collective ministry.

Church events are the perfect time to celebrate over the holidays, fundraise money in times of need, and raise awareness of your church mission for the public. Harnessing the essence of what it means to be your church in particular and sharing it among your church ensures your events are aligned and consistent.

Here’s our handy step-by-step guide for multi-site church event planning. 

Plan Everything Far in Advance

Church event planners at work

A well-thought-out single-site event might take a few months to plan, so allow even longer to plan your large-scale church event. Your sites are probably all different sizes and have different resources available, so applying exactly the same formula won’t always work. 

For example, one church site might be large enough for a big table and a sit-down meal, while another would require a buffet-style dining experience. Avoid any site feeling disappointed when comparing by choosing the same central elements for each. 

The further in advance you plan your multi-site church event, the sooner any potential issues will become apparent, and the easier they will be to solve!

Allow Some Space for Adaptation

Having the same central pillars is a must, but allowing some room for adaptation isn’t always a bad thing. If the event feels like a top-down cookie-cutter project implanted on your sites without much consideration of each site’s individual qualities, the event risks feeling soul-less.

Listen to the opinions of each individual site to create a comprehensive event that serves each group of people as well as the next. Do this by having a representative from each location as the "events coordinator" be responsible for sharing their site’s views.

You’re a multi-site church, but if the distance between management and live church experiences gets too wide, it stops feeling like a genuine community.

Choose Events for Everyone

Church event that's for everyone

Include a representative from each site in the discussion phase to ensure everyone is on board with the event. Asking each site which events they would like to see and why will ensure everyone is on the same page.

Classic events like a Thanksgiving meal donation or a Christmas family experience tend to be universally appreciated, but for events that focus on fundraising and community outreach, make sure they align with your central church vision and appeal to all.

Throw All Under One Roof Events

Throwing a multi church event at one site

We love a multi-site event, but throwing some all-under-one-roof events into the mix will be a blast. It allows people to network, build community bonds with church members who live in different cities, and reaffirm your multi-site church’s central identity.

You are all members of the same church, so you should get together and celebrate once in a while! These events are not frequently feasible, so select a special occasion like your church’s anniversary to throw a big event and share the time together.

Open Communication Channels

Communicating through social platforms

If your church events are taking place on the same day, keep communication channels open to enhance the community feeling. Have a social media representative from each church site upload a story showing the behind-the-scenes action, and give all congregants a taste of what is going down at each site.

You could create a Twitter hashtag specifically for the event to give everyone a chance to share their thoughts, feelings, and comments, creating a lively atmosphere online as well as in person. To take this feeling of togetherness to the next level, why not try video calling or watching the same content simultaneously?

Multi-Location Live Screening

Providing church evetn live screening

Complete the consistent multi-site experience by live screening a sermon or a clip of the event from each site. Get your pastor to share a few words that summarize the event's purpose and reiterate the central sentiment of your church to build a feeling of community that exceeds the individual site. Cultivate a strong community.

There is nothing quite like a live video when it comes to capturing the electricity of an atmosphere and bringing people together, so use it to build long-distance bonds between your sites. Read our blog on distributing videos across a multi-site church for tips on how to do it smoothly.

Stay on track in the lead-up to the big day by using a church event planning checklist. Having separate lists for each site will keep you on top of your game, ensuring that each of your church sites gets the same experience. When done right, this opportunity can connect your different locations, while encouraging even more church growth.

Harness the energy of your event through your church social media posts and reach more people than ever before. Create an Instagram reel of the day by asking each site to record a short snippet from their location, and post it for the wider online community to see.

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