February 7, 2011

Tips for the Church Valentine Banquet

We’re in Valentine’s season, and final preparations are underway for the traditional Valentine’s Banquets that churches often host. Here are some tips for making your church Valentine banquet even better.

  • Get people involved. Valentine banquet guests are going to enjoy and remember the event better if they are actually involved. Getting your guests involved doesn’t mean that you need to put them on the spot or pressure them into doing something that they don’t want to do. Have some table games to break the ice. It’s pretty easy to come up with some simple group games that will involve the people and get the banquet started off right.
  • Let people serve. Getting people involved is more than just icebreaker games. It also means allowing people serve. Make use of willing volunteers for your church Valentine banquet. One idea is letting the church youth group be the servers for the event. A nice outfit and a quick tutorial on pouring drinks and clearing tables is a great way to get the youth involved in the church Valentine banquet.
  • Give people lasting memories. To help people remember the event, provide some memory token. Too often, small mementos left at the table go to waste. Tin bells and plastic pink hearts just don’t make the list of items you want to decorate your home with. Edible take-home items are preferred, but they don’t last long. A better idea is to take pictures of the couples (or families, if it’s a family banquet), compliments of the church. You may choose to print the pictures, frame the pictures, or simply email digital copies to each couple. Plus, it makes for great memories in next month’s church newsletter.
  • Get the Valentine’s decorations right. Some people aren’t going to notice or care, but for those who do, make sure that your Valentine’s decorations are done right. Atmosphere is everything. Candles. Red carpet. Red or white table cloths. Valentine-themed napkins. Valentine placemats. Roses on the table, etc. In order to put on a bona fide Valentine’s Day banquet, you’ve got to have Valentine’s decorations for the tables, food tables, entryway, and elsewhere. Valentine’s decorations are essential.
  • Keep the sermon short. If you’re putting on a church Valentine’s banquet, it is only appropriate to give your people a short sermon or challenge on a relevant topic. Just be careful that the speaker keeps it brief. An hour-long sermon on the practice of sanctifying marital love is a fine topic…for another day. A Valentine’s banquet “sermon” should be brief, to-the-point, anecdotal, and engaging. It may even be better to allow several speakers or even couples. They could tell others a lesson they learned from marriage, share their success story after a marriage difficulty, or some other theme.
  • You must have music. A church Valentine’s Day banquet would cease to be a church Valentine’s Day banquet without music. Music is a must-have. Whether you opt for a hired band, a chamber orchestra, or just a big stereo, you’re going to need music. Hint:  allow couples to dedicate songs to the one they love. If you have a good DJ, this is a fun way to add some humor, involvement, and interest in the church Valentine event. You may even want to let them write a small love note along with their song dedication.
  • Avoid awkwardness. Have fun. Any elaborate church event runs the potential of being awkward. Valentine’s banquets are especially prone to awkwardness. When you create an event that is intended to be really romantic, some people just aren’t going to feel it. Romantic is okay, as long as you can pull it off. Realize also that you can have fun and still be romantic. The best way to avoid awkwardness is to infuse some fun into the Valentine’s Day banquet. How do you “infuse fun?” Door prizes are a great idea. Giving away books, flowers, picture frames, or (best of all) candy as door prizes will lighten the mood and banish awkwardness at the door. Lively professional music (as opposed to a reflective violin solo by someone who hasn’t played their violin in 17 years) is a good option. Avoid Valentine’s karaoke. Give prizes. Prize suggestions:  ”most Valentiny Valentine’s Day outfit,” “most romantic couple,” “most mature in-love couple,” “the couple that has been married the shortest amount of time,” “the couple that has been married the longest,” etc. Any way that you can input some appropriate fun will be a great way to enhance your church Valentine’s Day banquet and avoid awkwardness.
  • Enhance everything with Valentine’s Day media. Want an amazing way to enhance mood? Three words:  Valentine’s Day media. With access to a screen (or white wall in a darkened room) and a projector, you’ve got yourself instant tools for enhancing your church Valentine’s Day banquet with media. Sharefaith has hundreds of Valentine’s Day media resources.
    • Valentine’s Day PowerPoints. Each Valentine’s Day PowerPoint contains Scripture on the theme of love. You may want to display these slides during the banquet.
    • Valentine’s Day Videos. For welcome videos, lyric backgrounds, or just mood-setters, our Valentine’s Day videos are an invaluable resource.
    • Valentine’s Day Bulletin Covers or Program Covers. Use these attractive program covers to feature the banquet program, the menu, or other information.
    • Valentine’s Day clipart. Valentine’s Day clipart, when used strategically, can be a great asset in making decorations, enhancing a program, or embellishing name cards.
    • You may also use our great Valentine’s Day mini movies. One movie discusses the topic, “Make the Most of Being Single” from a humorous point of view. . The other Valentine’s Day mini movie, “Christian Valentine Day Movie,” traces the history of Valentine’s Day and the meaning of true love.
  • To use Valentine’s Day media, all you need is a Sharefaith membership. A Sharefaith membership gives you more than just great Valentine’s Day media. It also gives you access to our online library for a whole year. You get unlimited downloads, and total access to more than 38,000 designs. It’s an amazing deal. Sign up now.

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