The Tablescape is a great way to promote your ministry, event or discipleship offering. When I first shared my intent to use a tablescape to introduce the book and study selection for our Women’s Book Club and Fall Discipleship Semester during our staff meeting, my pastors asked me to explain to them what a tablescape was. After a few minutes, our youth pastor said, ‘Oh, you are just decorating a table!” (laughter filled the room). Well, yes, technically, but a tablescape is so much more than that – tablescape is interesting, informational and inviting!
Our senses are already dulled to posters and verbal announcements at church, but a tablescape, when done effectively, not only draws women over for a deeper look but also creates a buzz, and that is worth gold when advertising a ministry. You want to have height and depth. Height gives your tablescape a larger presence, which is important when showcasing your event in a large area. Some tablescapers heighten their tablescapes by adding layers with mini-shelves, stacking books and by arranging items in staggering heights. The photos below are examples that demonstrate an effective use of backdrops, ceiling fixtures and blank walls. When your tablescape comes up to eye level, more people will notice it.
A good tablescape will always have takeaways. Because the intent of a tablescape is to draw people in, it cannot fully orientate your audience on your study, ministry or event. As such, you should prepare something informational for your ladies to take home. Some questions you will want to answer on your takeaway is:
• Date, time and place of subsequent meetings
• Names of those leading or hosting the event, study, or ministry
• Cost of the book for the discipleship class, if applicable
• How to get the book for the book club. Will you be providing it or should she order it herself?
• Next steps for her to follow through with if she decides to join
• Contact information in case she has more questions
• Testimonials of others who have participated in this ministry or read the book, and
• Other important and specific information
If you can have some women at the tablescape during high traffic time (before, after and in-between services), that is very helpful. A spokesperson who can answer questions in real time is a plus to your tablescape. I recommend having example literature, video clips, and pamphlets as part of your presentation if it will be more informative. Consider displaying an example of a project your ministry is working on in order to give your prospects a better idea of your ministry.
The main point of tablescapes is to invite women to your event, ministry or study. You want to compel them! Beckon your women just like the passion Luke 14:23 expresses:
“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
The reason for marketing your event, study or ministry is to get as many women as possible to come. You want the room to be filled. You want to reach as many women as you can, so add the “WOW” factor and COMPEL them!
Make sure to involve other women when creating the tablescape – the more women, the more creativity and ideas. Anybody can be a tablescaper! Your tablescape should have different colors and textures. Consider layering your table with different kinds of fabrics. Be creative – use a funky or elegant picture frame to showcase a scripture or vision statement. Also, consider using various structures to hold your tablescape. You can use ottomons, couches, chairs – whatever – just use your imagination!
Where is the best place to get your tablescape items you ask? Everywhere! Pinterest is a good source for tablescape ideas. Google images for even more examples. A trip to Hobby Lobby will give you some great display knickknacks. Ask your ladies what they have at home, too! They may have tall flower arrangements, candle stands, vases, lanterns or who knows what that would look great on your tablescape. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your crafty friends for help. I used silver paint markers to write the book title and subtitle over and over on black construction paper, which created an elegant table runner. Many women have the equipment to make word art these days, and some can do wonders with burlap!
My last word on tablescapes is to use them sparingly. If you do them up all the time, they will lose their effect. Save them for special occasions.
Gina Duke is the Director of Women’s Ministry at her church where she has implemented a Women’s Involvement Ministry, called “Joppa”. This project is one of the ministry’s “Idea Starters”. Gina is an organizational leader imparting biblical and practical solutions for authentic Christian Living. She is the founder and president of Churchtown Ministries, and author of “Organzing Your Prayer Closet” (Abingdon Press). For more posts like these, go to www.ginaduke.com or follow her board, “Joppa” on Pinterest – Gina Duke/Churchtown Ministries. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter @TheGinaDuke