How to Design a Pastoral Banquet

by Monica Patrick
Using a checklist can help you feel more relaxed on the day of the event.

Using a checklist can help you feel more relaxed on the day of the event.

Hosting a pastor's dinner or banquet in honor of your spiritual leadership is a kind way to care for the people who care for you. Show your appreciation for their sacrifice and commitment to you and your church by hosting a dinner event. A well planned and designed banquet will be a beautiful, moving event. A special design based on pastor's favorite scripture or Bible character will tie everything together with some real personalization. Get the word out and get started planning today.

Settle on the number of guests to invite to your event. Besides the pastor, his staff and his family, you may choose to invite the entire church, or key leadership. You will need these numbers first in order to adequately plan and design the pastoral banquet. Create your guest list and have it handy always.

Send out invitations using a guest list. Ask for RSVP's so you can have solid numbers to give to the caterer.

Choose the location of the banquet. Your church may have a fellowship hall, if so you should use that one. If the group is larger than can be adequately seated in your hall, or you do not have a fellowship hall, you should look for one to rent. Ask others who you know have held banquets for some good recommendations. When you find the right one, make the deposit and set the date.

Acquire dining chairs and tables. Determine how many of these you will need by having one chair per guest. Then ask the rental company how many chairs can one table comfortably seat. Ask your rental company how muchthey will be providing according to the initial contract and how much it would cost to add more, if you should need them.

Create a seating chart using the guests from your guest list. With a pencil write the names in of all your guests, placing them where you want them to sit. A traditional way to seat people is to place them is alternating the sex of the guest This will keep the conversation flowing easily during the banquet.

Using your theme selection to help you decide the colors you will be using for the event. Color choices will effect table dressings, streamers, balloons and centerpieces. Stick with one or two colors to keep it simple.

Rent or buy tablecloths to cover the dining hall tables. They should be long enough to reach the floor but not to be a tripping hazard for the elderly. Besides covering tables for diners you will also need to cover the food and serving tables.

Decide on what style of dinnerware, silverware and stemware you will be using. Buy or rent the utensils you need. Practice your dinner arrangements by setting place settings and adjusting them until you are satisfied with the look. Write down your choices and decisions so on the day of the banquet you'll have a guide to use.

Design the centerpieces for the banquet by implementing the theme choice into them. Make the pastor's table centerpiece much larger than the regular table centerpieces.

Meet with the caterers you have selected and choose a menu to serve the night of the banquet. Ask for volunteers to help serve for the banquet. Book the special speaker to come for the event. Take the menu, the agenda and any program you design to the printers to have them made. Purchase awards or gifts you will be presenting to pastor. Arrange for a church group or committee to decorate the banquet hall before the event.

Items you will need

  • Location for the banquet
  • Dining and serving tables
  • Table arrangement on paper
  • Guest list
  • Invitations
  • Seating arrangement for guests on paper
  • Place cards
  • Dinner ware
  • Silver ware
  • Centerpieces for the dining tables
  • Special centerpiece for the pastor's table
  • Podium for speaking
  • Printed agenda
  • Caterers
  • Printed Menus
  • Volunteers to serve
  • Presents or awards to present
  • Special speaker

About the Author

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.

Photo Credits

  • Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images