Special events are “special” because they touch four of the five aspects of Parish Advancement, namely, Fellowship, Revenue Management, Evangelization and Stewardship. Last week, we focused on Fellowship, since it deals with the members of the parish who are working together to make the special event a success. This week, we look at Revenue Management.
A special event needs to generate revenue. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t touch four of the five elements of Parish Advancement. You might argue that it does because people of parish work together, others from the community are invited to participate, and the parishioners are giving of their time, talent and treasure to make the event happen. The only way that I would agree is if Revenue Management is replaced by Initiation – in other words, when a special event is held, the goal is to increase membership, since those who are not members of the community are invited to be involved in the event.
Some folks have commented that their “Mission Week” is a special event. While it is special, is the goal to bring in additional members? No. Is it to raise money? No. Is the intent to evangelize? It could be, but its focus is on renewing members of the parish community to strengthen themselves and their relationship with God in order to be able to do the work of building the Kingdom. Even though it doesn’t put time, talent and treasure to work for the parish, it’s to renew and energize the current parish community. It’s a Stewardship Event – but it’s not one that touches four of the five elements of Advancement.
Let’s go back to the example of the Burger Bash again, since it does touch all those elements. People of the parish staff the event and work together to make it possible (stewardship). Other members and businesses of the community participate (fellowship). They buy burgers (revenue). It’s not an exclusive event for members of the parish only…there are yard signs all around the community a week before that month’s Burger Bash takes place (evangelization). Do many people that are not parishioners come? Indeed they do! Does the event provide revenue to the parish? Indeed it does! And, there’s no one else in the area copying their success. That’s really special!
Next week we’ll look at how evangelization figures in to a special event.