Events That Matter: 2 Events to Put on Your 2017 Calendar

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By Ryan Murphy

What’s been one successful, special event that you’ve pulled off in the past year?

Without a doubt the most successful event we’ve had recently was our annual Double Dog Dare-A-Thon. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, check out this website: DoubleDogDareathon.org) This event has been a HUGE win for us.

We announce the event two or three weeks prior. However, the week before the event we discuss sharing our faith with others. Our bottom line that week is, “The easiest way to share your faith with someone is by simply inviting them to church with you.”

Here’s how the event works:

Students are encouraged to invite friends their age over to their house for a sleep over on Saturday night. More specifically, they’re encouraged to invite friends who are unchurched. In fact, we require that at least one student per household that’s participating in the event not attend our church regularly. Students can have anywhere from 1 to 3 million friends over. The parents notify us that they are hosting a home and would like to participate. At a specific time on Saturday night we start emailing dares. Students have 10 minutes to complete the dare before the next dare is emailed out. We usually have about 10 dares total.

Here’s the “catch:” We don’t announce the winners of the dares until the next morning or evening at church. Following the sleepover, students bring their unchurched friends with them to the service where we have a big game show type of atmosphere. Our band plays both worship and main stream songs. We bring the winners up where they choose a prize from mystery boxes. (Prizes range from gift cards and doughnuts to useless things we find around the church). Finally, I give a gospel presentation and give students a chance to respond. Before the students leave we connect them with a small group leader and invite them to join us the following week for service.

Here is an example of a dare we send out:


 

What’s one way you’ve been able to motivate and encourage your small group leaders this year?

This year we’ve taken being a small group leader to another level! Just before we kicked off our new church year we did something we called The Best Weekend Ever Event.

We invited all of our preschool, children, middle and high school volunteers to an hour and a half event the Saturday before we kicked everything off on Sunday. We gathered everyone together in our worship center where we kicked things off with a fun game. We had one person from each ministry area involved so we all had someone to cheer for.

Next, the directors/pastors from each ministry environment got up and shared why “we do what we do” in their particular area. Followed by the “Just A Phase” videos. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. We dismissed from the worship center where we gave our volunteers doughnut holes, cupcakes and soda…they loved it.

Lastly, we went to our specific ministry environments where our leaders cast vision, shared stories and we prayed for our coming year.

It really seemed to encourage and excite everyone for the coming year of ministry. I could tell a big difference the next morning when everyone showed up to serve. We are already planning next year’s event. We are dreaming of ways to make it bigger and better!

 

Ryan and his wife, Tiffany, live in Eden, North Carolina. They are heavily involved in their local church, Osborne Baptist Church, where Ryan has been serving as the Middle School Pastor since May 2010. He received his Bachelors of Science in Religion at Liberty University Online in 2011. He has a strong desire to help middle school students develop a faith of their own. He and his wife have no dogs, absolutely no cats, two cars and about no children…so far. They love discipling and mentoring the next generation. In their spare time you can find Ryan watching Star Wars or Everybody Loves Raymond, going for runs or cleaning the house. You can find Tiffany making homemade candles, working out at CrossFit Eden or cooking. To get in touch with Ryan, follow him on Instagram.
Orange Conference 2018