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Setting the Table Makes All the Difference
For those of us familiar with the LifeSteward banquet model, we know the importance of table hosts. In short, sound table hosts make a great event.
When I served as a LifeSteward trainer I made it a point to say that table hosts do not need to invite the 8 richest friends they can find to fill out a table of 10.
Instead, the key is inviting friends who, if they knew more about the ministry, would be inclined to join our ministry's team of financial supporters. We should join our Lord in looking at the heart. If we find people who we believe will have a heart for the ministry, we're on the right track.
To keep this from happening, let's make sure and train our table hosts. Here are a few possible pitfalls, or commandments, we need to share with our hosts at our pre-banquet dessert or over the phone (and on paper, if necessary!).
#1 Thou shalt not invite 1/2 couples
#2 Thou shalt not invite the whole family
#3: Thou shalt not invite friends who only want to hear the speaker
#4 Thou shalt not create "Church" or "Group" Tables
This is not to say that if every couple or single invited by a host is from the same church or club that this is always wrong. If each person or couple understands this is a fundraiser and they will be asked to consider their individual gift, we're fine. But when a club comes with a "group check" in hand and fills a table, or when a supporting church gets a full table for "whosoever wants to come," our results usually suffer.
Four quick thoughts, or commandments, to share with our Table Hosts. When we share these possible pitfalls up front, we give our table hosts a great opportunity to succeed in their task of inviting friends who will consider joining our team of financial supporters.
Letter reprinted by permission from LifeTrends. Kirk Walden is Founder and President of LifeTrends, one of America's leading development firms serving more than 1,000 pregnancy help ministries. He is also a humorist, a writer and frequent banquet speaker, having envisioned audiences at more than 100 events. If you'd like to know more about the resources provided by LifeTrends that can be used to encourage your volunteers, educate your Board and reach your supporters, or if you're looking for a great speaker for your next banquet, contact Kirk Walden at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit LifeTrends' web site at LifeTrendsOnline.com.
© 2011 Focus
on the Family