by Marie Huggins McCurley
This book is a step by step guide to planning a church conference. You will learn how to select a facility if church is not large enough, how to select topics and speakers, how to determine registration fee, and many other helpful suggestions. Included in this book is a bonus monograph, Five Ways to Enhance your Interpersonal Skills, that can be used to develop your volunteer committee or as an outline for a workshop. Through the years there has been a tradition to set aside several Sundays a year to celebrate and honor men, women, and youth. Due to the desire to offer members more information on health issues, self-awareness, techniques and strategies for personal growth, and dealing effectively with others on a personal and professional level, many churches are changing that one-day service to an all day Saturday or a weekend event. This event can also be used as an annual fund raiser. During these weekend events, various activities are planned and speakers are invited to speak on various topics. There is a main speaker for the group session and other speakers that facilitate classes or workshops. These events usually begin on Friday night. On Saturday there are classes and/or workshops on various topics that affect the lives of participants and their families. One or two meals can be provided during the conference. The conference concludes on Sunday with a special program during the morning or afternoon service. These conferences can be held on site (your church) or at an off-site facility such as a school or hotel. The decision to have the conference on site or off site will be determined by the number of participants you expect to attend and the amount of space available at your church. The following topics are covered in this book: advance decisions, committee selection and development, speakers, vendors, facilities, publicity, registration fee, expense and income, fund raising profit, other appropriate topics. Small- and medium-sized churches that don t have a full-time staff to perform the necessary planning will benefit tremendously from this book. Read this entire book before planning your conference. Read it again and highlight the suggestions you want to use. Examples of forms, letters, etc. are in the Appendix. I have also included a monograph titled Five Ways to Enhance Your Interpersonal Skills. This monograph includes five modules: Communicate Clearly, Adjust Your Attitude, Solve Problems, Manage Conflict, and Deal with Difficult People. The idea to include this monograph came to me when I was standing in my empty church about 2:30 p.m. one Sunday. The attendance on any Sunday is approximately 1500 or more between the 8:00 a.m. service and the 11:00 a.m. service. I realized at that moment that members attend church for a short time on Sunday and leave. Many of the members attend midweek Bible Study classes; but many of them go back to their homes, jobs, and communities to live another week before they return for their spiritual teaching. During that week, along with the preaching and teaching, they need effective interpersonal skills to cope with the interactions of life and to deal with people who know nothing about the Gospel. Because I am a trainer, I could not miss an opportunity to research and gather information to provide this monograph. Even though you may not work on a conference planning committee, or on any committee, I hope you will be able to use the information provided in the monograph. If you know of someone who has talked about planning a church conference, please consider telling him or her about this book.
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