Tips for A Successful Ministry Fair

Preparation

Pray! Pray! Pray!

Doesn’t this sound like “location, location, location?” When you think about purchasing buildings or property, you really can do just about anything to the physical appearance, or productivity of the place – but the one thing you can NOT change is the location. Similarly in our ministry, we can do an awful lot to change our appearance, or what we do, even what we accomplish. But we cannot change GOD, and we cannot change HIS plans.

  •  Begin now by asking Him what he wants to accomplish through your ministry and the Ministry Fair. Ask Him what you should present to the Church Family and what you should ask them for.
  •  Pray for the people He wants to add to your team. Pray with FAITH that He has brought people to our church and ask Him to help you find them.
  •  Pray for our Church Family as they are presented with a nearly unlimited list of options – that they won’t be overwhelmed by it all and that they EACH can find at least one area of ministry where they can feel like they’re contributing to the Kingdom of God.

    Begin with the End in Mind – Plan Your Follow Up

    What will you do AFTER the Ministry Fair? Think out to April 27th… you have a list of people who have expressed interest, but they haven’t really committed yet. How are you going to get back to each one of them? How will you stay in contact until they make their decision?

    •  Capture Contact Information – You will provided with a Sign Up Sheet to collect people’s name, phone number, address, email address and a comments/question section.

      Some people may be reluctant to give you information about themselves; for these, consider bringing Calling Cards with your name and contact information. Then they might call you instead.

    •  Plan/Host an Open House – even BEFORE the Fair, plan an Open House/Fellowship that you can invite interested people to. Have the rest of your team come too. This will give all of them an opportunity to mingle and find out more about your ministry – especially the people in your ministry.

      Once your Open House is planned, create Post Card/Invitations to hand out to those people who seem reasonably interested. Make sure the date/time/location and your name and contact information is included. Cleary note your Ministry in case they pick up similar invitations along the way.

    •  Bring Your Calendar – some people just want to sit down and ask a lot more questions. Can you schedule a one-on-one with them? If so, have your calendar ready to make that appointment before they leave your booth!
    •  Job Shadowing – Some people might be willing to invest a little more time BEFORE they make a decision. What job shadowing opportunities exist? Be sure to plan ahead and match people appropriately. For example, it might not be best to have a 55 year old man shadow a 22 year old lady… While this amount of control is always feasible, do your best to put likes with likes. Have a schedule handy so interested people can schedule themselves for the next best opportunities.
    •  Plan Orientation & Training – WHAT IF… somebody knows they want to start, right away! How will you assimilate them? Do you have a training plan in place? Do you have somebody else on your team that you can give them as a mentor/buddy? How will you set them up with that person? How will you alert the mentor/buddy? A very interested person wants to know: what do I do next?

Help Them Know Who You Are

  •  Put Your Best Face Forward – people follow leaders and often make their decision based on the leader. Be there and be yourself. Show your passion for your ministry. Show your love for God and His church. Show your genuine interest in the people, not their potential as servants.
  •  Team Members – have people there that can talk about what it’s ‘really’ like to be on your team; have enough there so some can stay in the booth while others maybe go off with a potential recruit to give a tour or have a private conversation.

    This is also a great opportunity to develop potential leaders. Ask someone on your team to share the responsibility of putting this together. Collaborate on goals, table layout and the information you will provide. Can this person be a mentor/buddy? Can this person oversee most of the follow- up with new or potential servants?

  •  Plan Meetings – People in the Sales field use shows similar to our Fair to invite prospects to visit their booth. Think about it… you have everything you need in one place, and it’s already a spot on your calendar. Set up some time slots. In the coming weeks, contact anybody who has previously expressed interest in your ministry and set up a specific appointment. Schedule people every 1⁄2 hour or so… but do be sure you have others at the table to respond to those that “walk- up.”
  •  Wear Name Tags – name tags are not for Nerds, they are for new people, and for people challenged to remember names! How many of you can identify every person in our church that you’ve ever met? If your team doesn’t have its own Name Tags, contact the office to have name tags made for those who will be in the booth.
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Tell Them What You Do

  • Make handouts that briefly describe your ministry. Include things like: o The mission of your ministry – why do you exist?
    • Who do you serve? How? When?
    • A list of relevant team leaders and their contact information
    • Pictures of events or activities where you serve or just have fun
  • Have role descriptions available so if somebody is interested in a particular role, you can give them a detailed description of what the job entails. The Connections Ministry has a form and samples that will help you define each role in your ministry. Briefly, people may be interested in:
    • What experience or skills are required?
    • How much commitment is required?
    • Is there any training provided or required?
    • What spiritual gifts or passions best fit this role?

Making Copies – please plan ahead if you want to use the church copy machine to make your copies. Can you only imagine how many people would show up at the last minute to make copies? The office staff uses the copy machine (and the entire work room) MOST on Thursdays and Fridays, so the deadline for making copies in the church office is April 22nd. It may be less stress to have them done by the previous Wednesday, April 15th.

Tips for a Successful Ministry Fair Embellish Your Booth based on our theme of Y here? Y now? Y us?

  • Use Posters, Handouts, Photographs, Scrap Books, and Samples; anything people can touch.
  • OfficeMax sells self-standing back-boards that you can glue things to.
  • Feel free to bring Computers, TVs (VCR/DVD player) – but keep in mind the event will be crowded and noisy, so please don’t plan on audio. There will be background music playing in the space.
  • Food is always a hit!
  • Add activity like demonstrations or practicing something, trivia games, etc.
  • Ask Relevant Questions – what questions can you ask to get your visitor talking AND help you

Draw Guests into Your Booth

Sample Questions:

  • Have you volunteered before (church or other)? What did you do?
  • What has been most satisfying to you about serving? What are you interested in?
  • What do you like to do?
  • What do you do for a living?
  • How much time do you have to invest?

Last-Minute Preparation

Don’t forget to Pray!!!
Setup – majors/minors/electronic-technology tests…

  • Be sure to plan for final setup and testing Meeting with fellow booth-mates
  • Can you get together with your team before the event to make sure you have all the time covered; are there different responsibilities?

Tear Down

Tear down of booths begins at 2 PM Sunday and should be complete by 3 PM that day.

 

    Chris Eller is a Christ Follower, Husband, Father, Pastor, Geek, Writer, Photographer, and Church Technology Consultant.