Always remember why you are doing an event. Sometimes we put so much effort into the preparation for a nite or off-campus activity that we make the mistake of letting the actual event be the high put of the ministry. This is natural. When you put your time into something you want to make sure that it gets the credit and impact that you intended. This is especially true surrounding larger events that take weeks to months of preparation. As our ministry grew we began to see this more often.
I remember leaving a huge event like an All-Niter at the church or following arriving home from camp and thinking, “Man, that was awesome... but I am glad it's over!” All my energy and tiem was put into the success of such an event and all I wanted to do was come down from it and rest. But I did not realize for the longest time in my early days that the actual event was never the main event at at all. The main event was the opportunity for deeper and more meaningful relationships, both for the staff with students and me with the staff and parents. We do these events to connect to others on different levels. It is through those relationships then that the love of God can enter and permiate the very lives of those persons.
That is why the most important part of any event is to not come down from it. Yes, you are human and need to rest. But you cannot get sloppy with your ministry using the excuse that you just put so much into the event, no matter how long or short it was. Cobb always sat down with me and we plotted out how we were going to follow up with peeps after an event. But here is the kicker... we made plans to do this and had it in our calendars to do these follow-up meetings and activities before we even had the event. That way when we got back we did not have to think about it. These were a natural part of the event planning process.
Do your homework and be ready for the unexpected. I know that you have tons on your plate, that you have a family and have to keep your sanity in the midst of all of it. However, you will be doing yourself a favor by putting the time in on the front end. If you wait until the event is over to think about what kind of follow-up and impact it should have, you are waiting too long and it will be too late. If you have the process in place you will have a greateer chance of success. But it starts with you as the leader to create that culture and those expectations with your staff. This will put you in a position to see some really good ministry and relationships... and that is why we do ministry.