In our last post, we talked about the value of creating an annual calendar for your church – something that describes what happens EVERY year in your church. Now, let’s talk about how to create it.
Step 1: Do your homework.
Start by creating a simple spreadsheet. You can use Excel, Google or even a legal pad and a pencil. Put the months of the year in rows across the top. Then list categories down the left side. Examples of categories might be Preaching, Children’s Ministry, Students, Discipleship, Staff or Special Events.
Then go ahead and fill in what you know. If your church always does a homecoming service in November, type it in the appropriate cell. If a Junior High retreat happens each Spring, write it down. Vacation Bible School, Small Group Sunday, the Volunteer fair…write down everything that happens on an annual basis. Now there will surely be events that happen just one time in the life of your church and that’s okay. Your mission here is to write down the things that happen every year.
You’re going to move, edit, add and delete in the next step. You’re going to involve other people, too. But for now, your job is to get everything out of your head and on your screen.
Step 2: Spend a half-day with all of your staff or key ministry leaders.
The best way to lock down your annual calendar is to get the majority of the principle leaders in one room and work on it together. You can create this on your own, but I’ve found that systems created alone are typically followed alone. The more you involve people in the process, the more excited they will be about the result.
Creating an annual church calendar is a great way to create conversations and build buy-in among all of your leaders. Frankly, you need to have some discussions about what to do when. If the month of June gets loaded up with too many activities, you need to lead the charge to simplify and rearrange. Your church is not a collection of ministries held together by a common thread. It’s the body of Christ, not parts of a mannequin in a cardboard box. Every ministry affects every other ministry.
This is why your annual calendar discussion needs representatives from each ministry. You can even involve volunteer leaders in this meeting. Putting all the key players in the room gives you the widest possible perspective.
Argue, debate and discuss based on the calendar. You’re not debating the merits of each ministry or program; You’re looking factually at the events and activities central to the life of your church. Like a puzzle, your goal is to make everything fit together for one great purpose.
It may take a while, but imagine the synergy that will come from all of your key leaders having a general framework about what to do. Imagine walking away from this meeting with a big picture understanding of a year in the life of your church.
Start with an annual calendar template by downloading the POWER PACK. It’s five related resources in one instant download.