Night on the town was started as a 1st date ministry in 1994, which failed. The no asking out at the event rule was there because the thought was guys would be bringing their dates to the event. Instead the disconnected single person found refuge due to no asking out rule.
It is easier to create events for disconnected singles than it is for high social skill singles. The disconnected singles all they want is a conversation and the knowledge that there are people at the event. So after over 45 different events over a 22 year period, we found that doing the same event at the same time on the same day creates a core group and a leadership base.
What you want to do in a community ministry is to average 2 people per church represented. Failing community ministries look successful but average 10 to 20 people per church represented. As these church groups grow they break off to form their own ministry temporarily not realizing the reason they have members is due to the community ministry. If 3 churches start their own singles ministry, the community ministry looses 30 to 60 people plus their friends. Where as if the community ministry is averaging 2 people per church and 3 churches start their own singles ministry, you loose 6 people.
Night on the town is primarily a leadership development ministry.A lot of community ministries look successful but are actually near failure and does not know it because they have no leadership develop program in place at all times. As we develop our leaders for our ministry the home church see their people doing work outside the church that they need inside their own church. One day all your key leaders could be recruited or they have found a relationship that does not want them to be in leadership of a singles ministry. I am always trying to recruit new leadership. I try to find 4 leaders for every one position. I have a main host, 2 back up hosts that regularly attends and an emergency host. The best emergency hosts are those people who can commit till the last second so you can call them the day of and know they have no plans. Always train your host before allowing them to be in charge of an event. I usually do a 3 month training period. First they are given a copy of Safe People to Read. The most important aspect is whether they show up or not and on time. Then I sit and watch them create conversations plus making some suggestions. About the 2nd or 3rd month I take them out to eat and explain the night on the town concept. We go over the 21 conversations and 60 questions to ask a total stranger plus go over the book Safe People.Recruiting leadership outside your own church you need a reference form signed by their pastor or priest. It is like they are going into the mission field. A reference will screen out the trouble makers and those who give a false witness on who they are. This is an excellent tool to always have.
Total direct expenses on an annual basis are less than $180 per year to do Night on the Town. Average cost of an event is $3.40.
Please review the 3 rules of Night on the Town .This is a strange concept for non leaders to understand. When you create an event, you create the event where people want to volunteer for. Thus you create boundaries when inviting people outside your church to attend. What the 3 rules allows clear boundaries in decision making. They define where the host responsibility and the person who is in charge of the event's responsibility. Yes, people do not like them but these are the same people who are not going to help.
Social Skills are a learned behavior, you can have a low social skilled person who becomes a high social skilled person in less than a year with a couple of hours of conversations. In a Community Ministry there is always new people thus the mistake you made last month does not matter only if you repeat yourself. In looking for leadership I look for low to medium social skills in my selection process. I want someone who wants to learn.
I have people who come look around and see 16 to 24 people. They tell me we need to recruit more people. I have to sit them down and say no. People come to connect with other people . I try to have one leader to every 8 to 10 singles. To have more people we need more leaders. We are using public space on an availability basis so you need to have enough seating for the regulars of the business to have a seat. Having too large of a group destroys your relationship with the host business. You need to define your event to available space and the leadership you have.
Our goal is to have singles from other churches meet in a safe environment.
Night on the Town, voice mail: 919-790-1191 email: