Now that your new church campus is complete, you need ideas for a dedication service. The service honors those who provided the funding that made this building possible and those who lead your church. The service honors your vision for the future and the ways you hope to include others in your congregation.
Create small groups of 15-20 and assign each group a leader. Have the groups wait in the sanctuary praying for the church and listening to praise music. Take each group on a room-to-room visit. Have them stop in each room and offer up a prayer for those who will use the room for class, work and other purposes. Spend no more than two to three minutes in each room. Start the next group five minutes after the first group leaves to prevent a bottleneck in the halls. Groups leave in five-minute increments. After each group has walked and prayed through the building, everyone meets in the sanctuary for a final blessing and prayer.
The first Sunday in the building, invite everyone who donated to the new building to come and be honored. No matter how small or large the donation and whether the donation was money, labor or supplies, ask all donors to come to the front of the sanctuary. Have a large sheet of paper prepared with the names of all donors to hang in a prominent location. Thank the group collectively before the donors return to their seats.
Invite church members to attend a dinner on the grounds. Members bring food to the dinner and fellowship together as they share their hopes and dreams for the church. Church leaders should identify and recognize donors in front of the group during dinner. Members can thank the donors individually.
Create a plaque to go on a church wall and hang it at your church dedication service. Include the name of the current pastor and any other pastors who have served during the building or buying campaign. Under the name of the pastor, list the names of church board members, and highlight those who assisted with the finance campaign or building project. List church founders who led the church from its earliest years to the present. Next to the plaque, include a collage of pictures of the church from its earliest days to the present. Include pictures of previous buildings or the temporary quarters where you met before the new church was ready.
Designate a large empty wall in your new church as a temporary vision and dream wall. Ask church members to dream big and create an idea of what they hope lies in the future of the church. Supply sticky notes for members to write their visions and dreams and stick to the wall. Leave these notes up for the first month in your new building so members can share their visions.
At the end of the month, collect all of the notes and compile them in a newsletter document you can send to members. For those items that appear most often, assign a small committee to explore how the church might make these dreams happen over the next several years.