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Whether you are hosting a picnic, a church revival, fete, bible camp or a gospel festival you have to have a good plan of action. Start by determining the purpose of your function. If it is a bible study camp you may have different planning goals to planning a church fete. Write down every single thing that will be needed to be taken care of for that specific function. The common things you will need to arrange is a venue, tables and chairs, food, sleeping arrangements (for a camp), entertainment, notes or lectures, restrooms and parking.

The good thing about a church function is that you will have lots of willing and helpful hands to assist with various functions. During your planning, be sure to allocate specific tasks to specific people so everything will come together more smoothly at the event. If one person tries to handle everything lots of details can slip under the carpet and the event will suffer. For example, for a fete, make one person responsible for arranging the venue and the marquee. Make another person responsible for co-ordinating stalls, tables and stall holders, while another handles entertainment.


Start planning your event 3 months in advance. This gives everyone enough time to get their tasks together as well as to schedule the event into their calendar. Most big events will take up a significant amount of contributor’s time in the run up to the function. You do not want your team to have other commitments if they are responsible for major parts of your event.

Have regular meetings so everyone is aware of what is happening and keep communication open so any hiccups can be dealt with immediately. Forming a Whatsapp chat group is a good recourse where team members can update everyone. It also helps to keep people motivated and builds up momentum for your event.


At your first team meeting, choose your venue, generally it is a good idea to get people out of Church for a church social. This helps everyone to bond with other church members outside a formal service. It also helps members to feel connected to the church socially as well as spiritually.  A picnic, fete, bible study or camp will be perfect in a nearby park. If your church does not have their own tent there will be plenty of church tents for rent from your local tent supplier. It makes sense for a church to own their own tent with a large enough capacity to fit all the members of the church if they host regular church functions. There are many good quality missionary tents for sale in South Africa that are suitable for use for church functions.

It is important to find a tent that has a suitable capacity for your churchgoers. So for example, if you find a 40 x 60 tent for sale but you only have 100 church members, this may not be the church tent for you. This tent can seat up to 200 people comfortably and 400 people seated church-style. Larger tents are more suitable for Church revival events even though they look impressive. Revival tents cost a bit more and will stretch your local churches budget to hire. Let’s look at church tents for rent and for sale that are suitable for different types of church events

Church Fete

A pole tent will be the most reasonable cost option for a Church fete that is doing a charity fundraiser or raising funds for the church. There are plenty of reasonable pole tents for sale. If your church is a larger church or services or the fete is likely to attract non-church members as well consider looking for a 40×60 pole tent for sale. You can easily accommodate stall holders, a tea garden and an entertainment area for a small fete in this tent.

Church picnic

This calls for a mainly outdoor event but you will still need some kind of shelter. Try looking for a smaller missionary tent for sale or for rent. Usually the best option for a church picnic is a bring and share so have someone co-ordinate the bring and share. Make sure you decide on your games and activities in advance so your team members can prepare everything that is required for any sports, games or children’s activities. If you find a 30×30 tent for sale it can accommodate about 120 people seated picnic style in the event of rain or bad weather. No need to cancel the church picnic!

 Christmas Party

These usually require a bit more of a formal setting, so look at commercial frame tents for sale. This tent looks more formal and can accommodate a ballroom and banquet seating beautifully. A 40×80 frame tent can seat up to 400 people comfortably, less if you want to accommodate a dancefloor or a stage area.

Church Revival event

This kind of event is designed to attract outsiders so you should try and find a commercial events tent for sale cheap or consider hiring one. These look impressive and accommodate bigger crowds, which you will need if you have a charismatic speaker preaching. If you can find a 40×60 frame tent for sale you will be able to accommodate about 400 people seated in front of your stage for each session.  Make sure you have space for a table for all your relevant booklets in the tent.

Food, catering or refreshments 

An event without good food is usually a recipe for disaster. Humans are motivated by simple things, and food is one of them. If there is good food to look forward to at church events, you will get a better turnout. Usually, most church members are happy to contribute something and quite often there will be many talented bakers and cooks to handle a church fete tea garden, bible study refreshments or any other event.

Restrooms and Parking

Ensure you have an adequate amount of restrooms for your members. Portable toilets are usually the only option in venues that do not have restrooms. Try and ensure you have a few mobile toilets if you are having a larger event. It is better to separate the male restrooms and female restrooms for the sake of privacy.

Ensure that there is a good field or parking lot within short walking distance to your event or tent.


If you are hosting a Bible study, consider planning a few fun activities between sessions. If the study is for adults, a game of soccer or some group games like Charades may be perfect to break the ice. For children, consider hiring a jumping castle, setting up an obstacle course or doing story time. For a Church fete it will work out really well to hire a comedian or some gospel singers. You can even get children from the church to do some short plays or songs. The parents and children will love getting involved!

I hope you found these tips helpful, happy planning!

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