I want to take some time to encourage ministry event planners and address an alarming trend that is happening in the dance conference realm. I have written several times about how wonderful it is for dance ministries to seek training and development in the ministry of movement. Some may order books, DVDs, or other ministry-related products. Others invest money travelling to conferences locally and abroad. Travel over long distances can cost a significant amount of money that includes registration, airfare, hotel accommodations, food, and transportation arrangements. For groups, the expenses could amount to thousands of dollars!
When events are cancelled or postponed at the last minute, rumors abound. Questions surface as to why the event is not taking place including: Were there enough registrations? Did the conference host run out of funds? Will I get my money back if I have already paid registration? What about the non-refundable airline ticket that I purchased? Event cancellations can have a domino effect that spreads beyond the challenge of telling the world that the event will not take place. We could be affected by this for years... BUT GOD!
As an organization, when we cancel events, our reputations may be compromised. Although there are circumstances that may make cancellation inevitable, how we handle the aftermath will determine whether people will continue to trust us for the next event. We must notify any registered delegates as soon as possible, and refund them promptly. In any case, we must always obey God!
Conference hosts and event planners must continue to be good stewards through much prayer and discernment. We must ask the Lord concerning dates, location, speakers, theme, schedule, administration, and so much more! Too often we call not counting the cost "walking by faith," when we really must set budgets and forecast how the bill is to be paid. I have learned some difficult (and expensive) lessons myself in this area. Thank the Lord for miraculous deliverance! We must ask tough questions up front and not be afraid to conduct Kingdom business with confidence.
Finger-pointing is not going to help us, but Spirit-led planning will. I am encouraging every organization that had to cancel or postpone an event this year: Keep pressing on! For those who have been adversely affected or disappointed by conference cancellations or postponed events; please extend forgiveness. We are living in a time of financial difficulty, but do not want to stop supporting the events of other ministries because we suffered a few setbacks.
I encourage every event host to read books on conference and event management, improve your financial management, and seek God earnestly concerning His will for your ministry. I speak the truth in love. We are all in this together. Let's fight the good fight of faith!
New King James Version
1 Corinthians 3:14
If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.
1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
2 Timothy 4:5
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.