BIG DAY – Take a Breath, It’s Done… NO, Wait! There’s More To Do…

“…in Jesus’ name, AMEN!”

The piano starts to play. Everyone crowds toward the back door. A youth pastor tracks down a 7th grade boy who is already lost. A youth group is taking a group photo on the platform, and another is loading onto their bus.

Plenty of “Good-bye” and “Thank you” salutations are said between comrades, fellow youth-pastors-at-arms.

The last bus pulls away.

Whew. All done. What a day! Time for a nap.

But wait… there’s more!

Following the Preaching Rally is another list of stuff to do. Thankfully, the POST-PR list is not as long as the PRE-PR list. Here are a few things we do AFTER the Preaching Rally.


Cleanup. As soon as the auditorium is cleared, our church members start to tear down the decorations, hauling most of them to the trash and saving the items that can be reused (like the canvas backdrop, furniture, etc.). In our church announcements leading up to the Preaching Rally, we ask that members stay for 30 minutes to help with the cleanup. Cleanup is split into two main areas: the gym and the auditorium. The food crew cleans the kitchen and the gym, and everyone else helps with the auditorium. I usually end up with a giant pile of stuff in my office–leftover books from the sale, registration cards, random decorations, reserved signs off the pews–but I process those the following week.

Setup. After the cleanup, the church is set up for services the next day. The chairs in the gym are rearranged into their class setting, the sanctuary is vacuumed, the platform is returned to normal with all the hymnals, chairs and microphones back in place, and the restroom are restocked.

Leftovers. The Preaching Rally “leftovers” are arrayed on a table in the foyer for anyone to see and take the next day. The “leftovers” include all the rest of the booklets, bookmarks, and pens.

Pictures. The photographers rush home and immediately process their photos, uploading about 50 of their favorites to the church’s account.

Preaching Rally “Review”. I take the photos and arrange them into a grid on a 2-sided 12”x18” document which we later print and fold in half into a 9”x12” booklet. We call this the “Preaching Rally Review” and allow people to see pictures of the event the next day.

Dinner/Airport. I take the guest preacher to a quick dinner where we talk through the event. I pick his brain for improvements and thank him for being with us. If he has a flight scheduled, we arrange for him to get to the airport in time.

Crash in bed. The last thing on the POST-PR list is to crash in bed. And sleep like a non-colicky baby.