Monday, April 21, 2014

So.....Your Event BOMBED!

Bombed...the old fashioned bombed....tanked....stunk...failed! You put tons of money or time or effort and prayer into was awful, or it was great and nobody came. We've all been there. If you are smiling smugly and saying it's never happened to you....just's coming.

First, realize if you are going to try new things, there will be some bombs. Remember, Babe Ruth set some kind of record for strikeouts. You can't just bury your bombs you have to learn from them. I've had lots of bombs in my College Ministry career, but two particularly standout. Many years ago on the first campus where I served, we had an outreach event in the University ballroom with a contemporary singer. The attendance was small and just my regulars. I later figured up that I could have paid $10 each to students to come....maybe hear me speak....and had a larger crowd.

Then, a few years back at Arkansas State, we had an event on Sunday night after students had moved into the dorms on Saturday. We were having a very popular Christian band for a night of worship. They cancelled and I went with an alternative which cost me more and then he sang love songs, because he was trying to break into the secular market. Oh yeah, the crowd was small too.

Lessons to learn or Questions to Ask after The Bomb:

-Is it a good idea that was done at a bad time?

-Was there a change that affected the event (the popular/well known Christian band cancelled) and you should have scrapped the idea?

-The idea was good, but there was a breakdown some where you were not aware of (after one event, I found all of the posters to be put out laying on a shelf.).

-Something else was scheduled up against it that was out of your control and it was too late to change.

-Did I force an idea onto my Leadership Team that they were never bought into?

-Did I count too much on money and not enough on personal effort and even....prayer?

-Did I get enough partners to go in with me or did I try to "Lone Ranger it"?

-If it had worked, would it have been worth what it cost? I admire the Church College Ministry that stopped doing a big annual special event for students simply because they decided it wasn't good stewardship.

-Is it better than some extra effort and possibly money put into one of our regular events?

-Even though the response was not what I had hoped, did it help the campus as a whole be more aware of our ministry? That may still be a win.

I will confess to to loving special events and outside speakers. If we are trying to reach some students we have never touched before, we have to try different things....some will work...some will not. Learn from your bombs and never ever give up on the idea of trying to impact your whole campus for Christ and touch students you've never seen before. Remember, A little boy named Billy Graham was the only one to accept Christ at a two week revival....what a bomb!

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