It is important that you start with a vision and hold it in your heart. When God spoke to start our multi-media event, Revelation, he placed a burden in my heart that was so strong nothing would stop me! I held that vision and it sustained me when things were tough. Remember that what you do must fit in with Biblical principles and aims!
Assess the need
The first stage is to assess any need. If you want to put on an event, ask yourself why. It cannot be because you want to or because you think so. Assess the need
What does that mean?
Contact a wide variety of people to assess need in your area. This can involve any number of the following depending on importance: the police, the council, secular youth workers, health visitors, the local councillor, other churches, other youth workers, the leadership at your church, young people at church, and local young people
How do I assess need?
Difficult. The more widely you consult, the more varied the perceived needs will be. Very important is the young people, your church and other churches in the area. What they think matters. How you go about this is up to you. You can ask the local teenagers hanging out; ask your youth group; speak to other youth workers; design a questionnaire for people to fill in; get the local school to help if you have a good relationship.
Just also be careful that you don’t assume the needs of a community. I have seen various churches do this and it does not work. What else is going on in the local area? Find out and maybe even get involved in that too.
And firstly and essentially, ask God yourself. He’s usually more than happy to put his finger exactly on the pulse! Meet with the team and seek God together. Ask any people with proven prophetic giftings you know and trust and then test the prophecy.
Be careful to be open to the need and be ready to change your mind. However, if God has put something on your heart then you may need to keep on going, no matter what people say. Be sure it’s from God – if it is, you may need to be prepared for resistance from within!
Know the score
One of the aspects of running an event that I have come across recently is youth leaders who perceive the event is reaching out to non-Christian young people when in fact it isn’t to the extent it should. The reason that we know is that we work with secular youth agencies – and the other youth workers don’t. So check out your facts and know the score.
Is God in it?
Very important question which we deal with in another section. When we started Revelation we knew God was in it and God provided financially. How did we know God was in it? Well, God spoke to us to tell us to do it, it reflected the gifts and skills in the people God had assembled and many people wanted it and supported it
You must check out what other churches are doing in the area. Get together, share dates, support each other, communicate. It will make such a difference. Try not to overlap with other churches on dates or types of events
Other youth agenices and projects
Have you ever found out what else happens in your area in youth work? Do you work with secular youth workers? Why not? I have learned so much from them. I work with them, spend time with them, discuss need and various approaches to youth work. Don’t put on an event when they’ve got their disco! Try to work with them if you can – maybe you can get the young people from their clubs to come to your event. Christian youth workers are usually more experienced in putting on big events
Get together a group that will act as the core group. We had around 5 people, including one of the leadership team to whom we were accountable. Remember accountability – it is important but don’t let people bully you! Meet together, pray, discuss and worship God to catch his vision together
You need to assess the young people you work with. In some areas, a nice youth event will be just the ticket but in other areas you’ll run the risk of the place being vandalised or attacked. Just think about it!