A pair of painting techniques artists use can be very helpful when designing the timing of your next women’s ministry event: loose and tight.
Painting tight means you use tiny brushes, small strokes, and pay attention to smallest details. Loose painting, on the other hand, uses the biggest brushes, broad strokes, and suggests the big picture.
If everything in a painting is tight— rigid lines, over-mixed color, too many details—the piece can be over controlled into lifelessness. On the other hand, if it’s too loose, there’s no structure at all. Chaos reigns and it’s meaning may be is unrecognizable. That’s why I think it’s wise to use both approaches in art and in event planning.
Tight timing is a tentative, minute by minute carefully timed plan for the event. (I say “tentative” because the Holy Spirit may step in at any time and move things in a different direction. We never want to hold on to our plans and schedules so tightly that we neglect Him.)
Who needs to know tentative tight timing?
- Event Coordinator
- Sound and video technicians
- Platform leadership (including those making announcements)
- Caterer (if applicable)
Remember: The tight schedule is a tentative goal for the event, but should not be held on to so tightly that it becomes a noose. Nooses choke the life out of things, and that’s the last thing we want for a ministry event.
Provide a “tight” schedule for those in leadership and a “loose” schedule for others…
This approach is for the majority of the audience (and child care providers) during the event. Here’s what sets it apart: it lists the general order of events, but does not assign specific times (other than, perhaps, meals).
A loose schedule benefits the audience because it. . .
- communicates an orderly plan to the group
- provides a sense of direction for the event
- identifies key elements of the time spent together so women know what to expect
- allows women breathing room from the tight schedules they’ve kept before coming to the event
- prevents anxiety in participants who are clock- or schedule-watchers
If any specific times are mentioned in a loose schedule, I typically suggest it only be start times and, in the case of a weekend retreat, meal times. (One other exception may be break out sessions.)
The schedule we follow during a women’s ministry event is always an important consideration to plan carefully and communicate clearly. Looking at it from these two perspectives- tight and loose- may help your next event run more smoothly.
PS Please let me know if you’d like to schedule a Wisdom In Watercolor event for your group!