Like many organizations, Lifeway Christian Resources, Nashville, Tenn., recently experienced layoffs. We asked Tommy Keown, lead event coordinator at Lifeway, how the organization handled the downsizing.

First, we reissued assignments to distribute the work that was being done by those who were laid off. The reassignments were based on how heavy the workload of staff was at a particular time of the year, to see where things could fit into a particular person’s schedule. In my department, where we do events for the Women’s Ministry, we lost two people and now we have 15.

My primary responsibility is to do all the calendaring and contracts and negotiations for those ladies who coordinate specific events. When I moved over to the Women’s Ministry, I was not coordinating any events. Now, with the cutbacks, I have been assigned some events in addition to doing all the contracting and negotiations.

The second thing we did was to re-evaluate the events to see what could be cut without affecting the program in a major way. We dropped a couple of events that were low profile and did not have large attendance. In our department, we do about 35 events per year, so we cut back on two, and there could be other cuts.

Also, we utilize the help of interns. They take care of the minutiae, and that is very helpful to us. It’s a great way to get additional hands on deck without it costing us anything.

A fourth thing we did was to utilize teams of volunteers in the various cities where the events take place. They help us with marketing, promotion, and with a lot of details on site. They serve as ushers in the large arenas, take tickets, staff our merchandise tables, work in the bookstore. For that we give them a free ticket—that’s a small way of saying thank you, and it’s a huge help to us.

The last thing we did was to hire contract workers for specific events and time periods. Some of the people who were asked to take early retirement we have hired back on a contract basis. They have the knowledge and the expertise, and this kind of opportunity helps them supplement their retirement income.