How to Coordinate a Church Picnic

A church picnic is a great way to bring members of a congregation together for fellowship and fun. Whether it's a small gathering or a large event, picnics give members a chance to connect in a relaxed setting. 

There are several important things to consider when planning a church picnic. Check out these tips and ideas to coordinate an event that runs smoothly and is enjoyable for everyone involved. 

1. Determine the purpose and scope of the picnic 

The first step in coordinating a church picnic is to determine the why and what of the event. Is it a laid-back gathering to encourage members to get to know each other? Is it a fundraiser to benefit youth programs or church missions? 

It will be helpful to ask questions like: 

  • Will it be a small get-together for a particular group or a large event for the entire congregation? 
  • Will it be a casual gathering or a more formal event? 
  • Will there be a specific theme or focus for the picnic?
  • Are you providing the meal or organizing a potluck?  
Answering these questions will help you to determine important aspects of the picnic like budget, location, and activities. 

2. Choose a date and time 

Once you have determined the purpose and scope of the picnic, the next step is to choose a date and time. Keep in mind factors such as weather, holidays, and other church events when selecting a date.  

Also, choose a time that works for most members of the congregation, such as a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Make sure to provide plenty of notice to give people time to plan and RSVP to the event. 

3. Select a location 

The location of the picnic will depend on the size of the event and the activities you plan to include. It's important to make sure there's enough space - it's always better to have more space than too little!  

If it's a small gathering, you may be able to host it in someone's backyard or on church grounds. For larger events, consider renting a pavilion at a local park or reserving a space at a community center. Make sure to choose a location that is easily accessible and has sufficient parking and restroom facilities. 

4. Create a budget 

Creating a budget is a huge factor in determining what you need to coordinate for the event. You have to expenses such as food, beverages, decorations, entertainment, and rental fees.  

You may want to consider fundraising to cover the cost of the picnic or ask for a suggested donation from families and individuals. It's easy to use an online program like SignUpGenius to collect money for the event. This makes it especially easy to keep track of all expenses and receipts to stay within the budget. You can quickly create a report of your donations to track spending and keep for next year's planning. 

5. Plan the menu 

Food is the main event at a picnic! The menu is one of the most important aspects of your event. Plan the menu based on the size of the event, dietary restrictions, and the preferences of the congregation.  

For a smaller gathering, you may want to consider having a potluck-style meal where everyone brings a dish to share. Worried participants might bring duplicate dishes or too many of one item? When you use SignUpGenius to collect RSVPs, you can add slots for people to sign up for specific food items. When those slots are filled, no more participants can sign up, ensuring your picnic has all kinds of dishes for everyone's tastes. 

6. Coordinate activities 

A church picnic should have more significance than just a meal. Plan activities that encourage community-building, fellowship, and fun for everyone. Activities may include games, sports, music, crafts, or a bounce house for children. Make sure to choose activities that are inclusive and appropriate for all ages. 

It also helps to have some icebreaker questions in mind to help members connect and share some laughs!  

7. Collect RSVP's 

It's important to know how many people will be attending your picnic and gather their contact information. This can help make sure you have enough seating, activities, space, and food for everyone. It can also be a way for your church to do outreach for future events.  

SignUpGenius makes it easy to collect RSVP's on your sign up. You can even customize your sign up design to match the theme of your event or your church's branding. You can schedule automatic reminder messages to send a few days before the event and create custom messages to share important information. 

8. Promote the event 

Promoting the church picnic is essential to ensure that everyone knows about the event and is encouraged to attend. To spread the word in person, create flyers or posters to hang in the church and make announcements during services.  

You can also send the sign up directly to your church's email list through SignUpGenius and share the link in your newsletter, on your website, or on social media to reach a wider audience. Encourage members of the congregation to invite friends and family - it's easy to share the sign up via email or text. 

A church picnic brings your congregation together to uplift and grow your community. Remember to keep the focus on fun and encourage members to participate in the planning and execution of the picnic. By working together, you can create a memorable and enjoyable event for all.  

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