I see so many failures at wild game dinners that would be so easy to fix. The failure often comes in the form of technology and presentation. Churches spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to host their wild game dinners because wild game dinners are a super way to grow their outdoor ministry in an effort to reach hunters.
Think it through however: what’s the point of putting in all the money, sweat, and muscle if you fail with how you present the message?
The failures I see most at wild game dinners tend to land in the category of technology - especially in terms of audio and video blunders that could easily be avoided.
Remember this and never let it escape you when planning an outdoor ministry event or a series of wild game dinners: the gospel message has little effect if people literally cannot hear it, or if they are so distracted by technology glitches that they lose focus during the presentation.
I'll take that one step further and say the message has little effect if people fight to see it. Men are visual. 10,000 words have a tough time competing with a well produced 3 minute video aimed at a man's soul. Yet if that man cannot see the video because it’s so distorted, then the church let him down.
Here are 3 key ways you can win with technology:
Never Cut Corners With Equipment
I realize your church has a budget. However, the smallest church around can rent a sound system for a single day, and even negotiate a sound engineer fee to have someone on site, with little extra effort; or, you can use someone from your church, who truly, and I say again, truly knows how to run sound. Either way, have a professional on site. Every time.
Let me ask you this: in that moment when the sound is cracking or the projector isn’t wanting to communicate with the operating system and eventually locks up completely, would it worth the few hundred dollars to get good equipment and have a pro there to run it?
I’ll never forget an event from several years ago. In fact, it was so bad that it has become a nightmare, therefore, I don’t think I’ll ever forget it as it’s burned into my cerebellum.
Several churches had joined together to host a county-wide outdoor ministry event for hunters. They chose to hold the event at the County Ag Center because word of the event went viral throughout the region and they had to move to the largest venue they could find, therefore, the Ag Center was the best they could do.
There were 1,600 people filling up a rodeo arena.
My heart was pumping with excitement.
I walk on stage and began to greet the crowd. All I could hear coming out of my mouth was ...
Hello hello hello
My my my
Name name name
Is is is
Jason Jason Jason
Cruise Cruise Cruise
My heart sank.
I was staring at 1,600 people. These churches worked so hard to reach their community. They had an arena full of hunters, and yet they were so concerned with event costs that they decided to rely on the rodeo PA system for their audio capabilities.
In fact it was so bad that 17 minutes into my message the sound system blew up and the power failed on the mixer board. I’m sure the Ag Center, who normally hosts cattle auctions, hadn’t invested in their technology in over a decade.
Later on the one of the pastors who was the event coordinator told me they priced out rental sound systems, and his exact words were “But it would have cost us $1,000 to rent a sound system and we didn’t want to spend the extra money. I guess we messed up.”
No. He didn’t mess up. He failed. He failed because he was cheap. There’s a difference between being thrifty and being cheap.
So, you're telling me 5 churches couldn't come up with $200 each to make up that extra $1,000 to rent sound gear?
I bet they'd have paid $5,000 to avoid the embarrassment in that moment of having a speaker stand on stage with no ability to speak and 1,600 souls with no ability to listen about how God could change their eternal destiny.
Use Huge Screens For Presenting
I bet you 70% of the wild game dinners where I speak fail right here. This is such an easy fix.
When you project an image onto a screen, just walk to the back of the room.
Walk to the place where people will be sitting on the back row and you'll know immediately if you need bigger screens to showcase your media.
Fonts need to be HUGE and there needs to be few words on the screen.
Do you know that most presentation gurus that study how people interpret messaging at live events say that you need no more than 5 words per screen?
5 words per screen!
Guys like me who are speakers rely heavily on media. I use images, video, and graphics every time I’m on stage because men are visual. You must use visual mediums to communicate to men if you want to get into their heart.
Let’s go back to that Ag Center for a second.
My agent told them 6 months prior to the event that I needed a screen and a projector. Imagine my horror when I got to the event before the doors opened and saw that on stage sat a 48” screen . . . in a rodeo arena . . . where the nearest person sitting to the stage was 30 yards away from me and the people on the back rows of the arena were literally 75 yards from where I was standing.
It was pointless to have a screen in that context if you weren’t willing to care enough to do it right.
That’s what a win looks like.
Quality Projection Is A Must For Wild Game Dinners
A weak and washed out projector is awful. As I said, most speakers today rely heavily on media. You can rent a quality projector for a day and cure this problem so easily.
The key here is to run a test a few days out and see if you're projection is getting washed out with overhead lights. Never wait until the day of the event because you'll have no margin to fix the problem.
Reaching men is hard. In fact, it's incredibly hard to reach men with the gospel in today's world. Wild game dinners are super strategies to share the eternal truths of Christ and build your outdoor ministry presence within your community.
Don't add to the problem and take the lazy way out.
Go the extra mile with your wild game dinners and you'll never regret it.
Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker. He is a host and producer of several ongoing series with the Sportsman Channel.
Have you seen Jason's free eBook "Being A Pastor To A Hunter?"
Click the cover to download your free copy.