6-7 hours


Nothing is more important to the success of a dinner than recruiting table hosts.  Ask God to bring qualified people to mind and lead them to fill a table.


5-6 months out,

20-24 weeks out


Luke 10:1-8


The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few…”  Finding laborers willing to agree to be table hosts and fill those tables are critical.  Present the opportunity to host in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the result up to God.




  1. Create your event on Ministry Sync.

  2. On your event's home page, click 'Event Setup' and update all pages. This includes Event Details, Event Preferences, Event Design, Registration Form, and Web & Email Templates. Please also look at your design package to be sure your header/banner is consistent with the design of your printed materials. Ministry Sync Specialists can assist you.

  3. Make sure that there is nothing about giving on the event site or Invitation Template. The one place it's advised to put your give site is on the page people see when they have pressed the 'Decline' button (see “Declined Complete” on the Template Setup page of MinistrySync). The person will get an email with a link that says “I cannot attend but wish to give.” This link can take the person to your Cru giving site.

  4. So that means you need to update your give.cru.org site!  It should accurately and concisely capture your team’s scope, vision, and heart. To make these adjustments email FDS@cru.org.

  5. Take your event live to the public on MinistrySync when you are sure all the details are current and accurate: event date, time and location, registration capacity (room capacity + 10%), speaker name, speaker title, and bio. Don't set registration as 'Live' until all information a guest might need has been added to your site.



“So what are Table Hosts?” you ask. Let’s talk about it!  

  • The success or failure of your dinner depends on Table Hosts. While you will invite your friends and current personal ministry partners (see FAQ if that makes your hands sweat), you and your team probably don't not know enough people to fill a hotel ballroom. That’s why you have Table Hosts! Table Hosts are people that have a heart for the lost, care about the gospel, are influential, and have connections in the community. At most fundraising events, Table Hosts have to purchase a table and then try to coerce their friends to come eat nasty food and listen to a boring speaker - oftentimes not even asking the guest to give a gift. Or, more often than not, those hosts don’t even invite friends because they already “bought” a table. We have found a better approach.

  • At Vision Dinners, Table Hosts are excited about the gospel so they are already on board with what you are doing. They do not have to pay for the table (Lap 2 FAQ) so they are motivated to find the best (most financially qualified) guests to be at their table. This is a simple way they can partner with us to get the gospel out to more students.

  • For some first-year dinners, but definitely in subsequent years, you can invite your best former table hosts as well as partners and volunteers of the ministry to come to the namestorming party. This will help widen your circle and grow your dinner. 


Contact your local Development staff to be trained on how to facilitate a namestorming session.


Then, get out your big post-its and markers!

  • Think of people who have a heart for the lost/care about the gospel and are influential/connected in your community.

  • Definitely ask your current ministry partners, people from your church small groups, and your local pastor.

  • Sample professions to help you think of more people: lawyers, Dr./OB-GYN, insurance agent, real estate agent, tv/radio, etc. Look for Jesus fish or Bible verse on a company’s advertisement, van or sign; Chick-Fil-A owners 

  • As a general rule of thumb, for every 50 people you hope to attend your dinner, you should namestorm at least 30 potential Table Hosts.

    • The math behind this is that only about 1 of 3 people you ask to host a table will choose to, and your Table Hosts will probably average to fill about half of their table (or 5 people, including themselves). Thus, if you want 150 people to attend your dinner, you will need 30 Table Hosts (averaging 5 guests for each). To get those 30 Table Hosts, you will need to namestorm and challenge 90 people to be a Table Host.



These people give you the endorsement of their name and position. They give your dinner legitimacy in the eyes of community members. Look for these people from your namestormed list of Table Hosts because that ensures their attendance. They need to be people that others would recognize and respect or that their position carries weight in the community. You are looking to get between 5 to 10 people whose names will be listed on your invitation. There is no financial obligation. The only obligation is that they understand and support your ministry. Again, it’s preferable for them to be table hosts as well.


When listing your host committee on the invitation, you will need their name, spouse name (if applicable), and job title.



  • For people who you have a less personal relationship to, use a Pre-Call Letter to Table Hosts. This will allow your team to be more efficient in phone calls (most of the letter recipients will have at least skimmed your letter, will be expecting your call, and ready to talk about the dinner). Sending a letter is also good accountability - you can’t change your mind at the last minute and decide not to ask them.

  • Use the Vision Dinner Table Host Invite Script when you call your potential Table Hosts.

  • As your Table Hosts commit to hosting, email your Table Host Coordinator their names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers so the THC can register them in MinistrySync as Table Hosts. If they would rather, your hosts can also register themselves by checking the 'I would like to host a table' box on the registration site.

  • Once you have received all of your printed materials (see Lap 3), you will assemble your Table Host Packets (more on that later). Your Table Hosts will hand out the Save the Dates before the Invitations. Save the Dates serve as a targeted advertisement; they are for anyone who might be remotely interested in the event. Invitations will only be given to people who are likely to consider attending.

  • Your team’s goal is to have 50% of Table Hosts by 20-16 weeks out from your dinner date.

  • One idea to keep from overlapping on Table Hosts and Guests- keep a running list on Google Drive that everyone has access to and can modify. Add names to your list as you brainstorm and put the staff person’s name next to it. You can find an example at Template | Table Host Recruiting Sheet. As you think of more people over the next few months, add them to the list to make sure you’re not doubling up.



Review the instruction is Lap 3 for submitting your media printing request to the CreativeOne. Remember that you must have all information submitted at least 4 months prior to your event.


  • How do I know how many of each item to print?

    • Calculate how many as a staff team you want to send to your personal mailing list (i.e. current campus supporters, students’ parents, alumni, staff’s ministry partners, former staff or volunteers, friends in the community, faculty advisers/ staff etc.). In addition, each Table Host packet will contain 10 of every piece you print, so take 10 times the number of table hosts you have and add that number to the number from your personal mailing plus 20 more for people you forget, and you have your number to order!!! 

  • Contact your local Development staff if you do not have a list of addresses of your current or former Ministry Partners. Also, ask them about running a computer select which gets you the contact information about current partners of Cru who are local to your ministry.

  • Be sure to use each of these mailing items as originally formatted and included for your convenience.  

    • For example, using an RSVP card and envelope may seem dated, but there will be people on your mailing list who are not confident enough to register online but still have partnership potential. Many will also include checks in their RSVP especially if they cannot attend.



  • Why is recruiting Table Hosts so important -- can’t we just mail to people and have them come?

  • Why should I invite my personal supporters? Won’t that take away from money that they are personally giving me?

©2019 Cru. These materials cannot be duplicated in any form without the permission of James W. Dempsey, with the exception of worksheets and forms. None of these materials should be used for profit.