10 Ways to Maximize Your Ministry or Church Anniversary Celebrations

In our consulting ministry, a question that occasionally presents itself is what to do when it’s time to celebrate a church or ministry anniversary. Most people intuitively get that something could/should be done, but often find it hard to know what to do about it.

Ironically, in the past few weeks, we’ve consulted with 4 different ministries or churches about this. My goal has been to help them wrap their minds around how to maximize these opportunities to strategically gain momentum. Two of the ministries are turning 40. One is turning 10 and the other a whopping 175 years of age! What a contrast.

Anniversaries represent a significant opportunity for you and your constituents or members to pause, reflect and celebrate God’s activity in and through your ministry historically.

But, they also represent a great opportunity for you to help others see the vision God has burned in your heart and to open a window for them to peer into the ministry’s future. A celebration that’s done well can help open minds and prepare hearts for further Kingdom impact.

Here are several ways to maximize your ministry or church anniversary:

1. Start with spiritual renewal. Nothing will set the tone better.

2. Glance back. Biblically, people need to remember where they’ve been, why they’ve been there and what they’ve done while they’ve been there. Reflect and remember.

3. Pause. Think and talk about what is happening now. This is a great way to set the stage for what’s to come. Sometimes people need to zoom in on what is happening in their immediate context before they’re ready to receive grandiose ideas about the future.

4. Focus forward. Cast huge vision for the next major phase of your ministry. There is no more natural time to do so. An anniversary that is properly celebrated goes full cycle and begs some questions about the future. You should at least attempt to answer them.

5. Encourage your internal team and supporters. Those who helped you get to this point will appreciate you appreciating them. It’s what gracious men and women of character do.

6. Give back to your external community. Celebrate with class by giving back. Look for creative ways to pour into your community, either locally or nationally. They will not forget.

7. Go multi-site. If you’ve been considering going multi-site, an anniversary represents a natural bridge to talk about it and to get the ball rolling. My friend, Jim, knows all about it. He’s sharp, I like his heart and you can connect with him @MultiSiteGuy.

8. Unveil a master plan or build a new building. Some ministries shape their entire anniversary celebration around a new or remodeled facility, a land purchase or a comprehensive plan for their campus. The good folks at Cogun have helped over 700 churches of all styles and sizes with their turn-key process. They are top notch and I like their approach.

9. Initiate a financial development campaign. An anniversary allows you to address some of those topics that warrant a special touch and a distinct level of sensitivity—like money. Generis knows how to handle that conversation and they do it right.

10. Launch a new ministry emphasis. It just makes sense to start something new when you’ve just completed a substantive milestone. Capitalize on the good will associated with your previous success. Momentum breeds momentum.

Have you celebrated an anniversary in your ministry or church? If so, do you have some ideas you could share? Please post your thoughts here.

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  • http://kevinmartineau.blogspot.com Kevin M.

    Great ideas! Our church will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year so I will be looking at implementing some of these.

    • http://www.ministrymarketingcoach.com Kerry Bural

      That sounds great, Kevin. I'm glad they were helpful! Please let me know if we can assist you guys!

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  • Lazell Ofield

    I’m glad I found this… I’m planning my churches 3rs year anniversary and looking for out the box and spiritual renewal ideas..to celebrate the ministry. So if you can provide any ideas that will be Great..may blessings!!

    • KerryBural

      Thanks for your comments, Lazell. I would think you could focus on celebrating all the major milestones that have happened in the last 3 years. Just a thought!

  • pastor Joe

    This is wonderful….we are celebrating 10yrs and people we serve as well as our church leaders helped. we placed a suggestion box and we were surprised about the ideas we received to plan the anniversary…I suggest you use your congregation….they know things we pastors don’t know God gave gifts unto men not only pastors.

    • KerryBural

      Great suggestion, Joe. They will definitely own it if they shape it!