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Steps for Planning a Successful Partner Event

Prepared by: Pat Rode, 2002

The members of this planning committee have covenanted to hold an event for congregations in their conference. The main purpose of this event is to share the excitement of Partners in Faith: Home and Congregation Nurturing Faith Together process.

An event could focus on selected concepts and the practical ways to do this ministry as congregations partner with their homes. The Partner church sees itself as working as a partner with the congregations in the conference.

The purpose of this outline is to assist the Partner congregation with the task of designing and hosting such an event. The outline presented here has proven successful. The ideas and time line will assist in planning a successful event – with as few surprises as possible!

An effective working group is 4 to 6 people. It is essential that those leading the event be part of the planning process. Planning needs to begin several months prior to event date. There will need to be several meetings of the committee entrusted with the task of making the event happen. Meetings should take no longer than 1–½ hours (and hold to it!).

Before meetings are adjourned every member of the group should be given a task to accomplish before the next meeting. Meetings should be scheduled at least one to two weeks apart to give members a chance to finish task assigned.

3 months prior to event
At the first meeting committee will appoint the chair and the secretary of the group. The responsibilities of these 2 positions are:


  • Oversees the whole process.
  • Writes agenda for all meetings.
  • Leads all meetings.
  • Is available to help.


  • Takes minutes of every meeting.
  • Distributes minutes one week after meeting.
  • Records times and dates of future meetings.

The committee will also;

  • Post and review the goals of the Partners in Faith initiative.
  • What does the team see as a strength that they could share with others?
  • How will this event fulfil this congregation's commitment as Partners in Faith Resource for this conference?
  • What exactly does the team wish participants to take away from this event?
  • What will be the content of this event?
  • Will this be a day long or evening event? Will it include lunch? What would the costs be?
  • With these questions as background what other congregations or groups will be invited to participate?
  • Brainstorm the theme of this event. Perhaps someone might suggest a "catchy" name for the event. The name must suggest the overall theme and should "grab" the interest of possible participants. Thinking of a name for the event could be the assigned task for the whole group for next meeting.
  • Finalize the theme, time and date of the event. Choose the participants who will be invited.
  • Plan the dates of all future planning meetings. Schedule an evaluation meeting within one month after the event.
  • Assign tasks according to interest. Decide on the timeline for completing each task.
  • Choose tasks from the following responsibilities:

Registrar (Communications)

  1. Design a publicity piece. This should include time, date, place, location (map?), and costs. Provide a "tear off" (with any special needs) response portion to be returned 2 weeks prior to event.
  2. Set date for distribution. Use all available means –mail, e–mail, conference newsletter, personal contact.
  3. Send out an early "news release" to participants – suggesting that everyone "watch for coming event"
  4. Design an evaluation form for participant use
  5. When registrations come in send confirmation notices or e–mails. Send reminders to churches not replying.
  6. Confirm any needs for workshop leader/s.
  7. Gather materials for the day – name tags, paper. Make name tags for responding participants.
  8. Collect all evaluations at close of event, collate them and have them ready for evaluation meeting.


  1. Check availability of site chosen for workshop.
  2. Decide on space/s needed.
  3. Meet with caretaker/s to discuss set up and clean up responsibilities.
  4. If a lunch is required, make arrangements for caterer.
  5. If it is an evening workshop ensure that someone will prepare a snack.
  6. If more than 1 workshop is running concurrently label spaces and set up sufficient number of chairs.
  7. Set up for registration. Coffee is a nice touch.
  8. Be available for any problems during event.
  9. Assist with clean up.


  1. Choose a get–acquainted mixer. Work the theme into this, if possible.
  2. Find or write an opening and a closing devotion relating to theme. This should be as interactive and intergenerational as possible.
  3. Use an appropriate module from the handbook or
  4. Write a design for the workshop relating to the theme chosen using the following suggestions:
  • In the workshop, input of information can come from keynote speaker, video, drama, brainstorming, etc.*
  • The rest of the workshop should also include the principles of active learning with little 'leader talk'. Small group activities , sharing with the larger group , and drawing of conclusions involve all participants.
  • *Select workshop leader/s and/or keynote speaker. Invite their participation.

2 months prior to event

  • Check and send out the publicity.
  • Check progress. Resolve any questions from planning committee on their individual assignments.
  • All assignments should be completed during this month.

1 month prior to event

  • Finalize event plans.
  • Make sure all advance preparations are completed.
  • Contact any churches that have not responded.

The event

  • Give out and receive evaluation sheets
  • Remind members of scheduled evaluation meeting. Evaluations can be read and salient points recorded to assist the next planning group.
  • Have a good event!

Permission is granted to reproduce this module for use in ELCIC congregations. Any other use requires copyright permission. Please contact bfast@elcic.ca.

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© Copyright 2007 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada