The end of the year brings a new beginning and a great time to take a look at your annual calendar. As you look towards ministry in 2017, here are nine things that should be on your church calendar.

#1 – Major holidays. Start your annual planning by putting major holidays on your church calendar.

  • Easter is April 16.
  • Mother’s Day is May 14.
  • Father’s Day is June 18.
  • And Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year.
  • You also want to be sure time changes, school holidays and other holidays you celebrate are on your calendar.

#2 – Start planning for (blank).  One of the most powerful things you can put on your calendar is a note to start planning for big events or special services.  Most churches put the events down on their calendar, but take a step back and decide when to start planning.  This will keep something from “sneaking up on you.”

#3 – Send quarterly update to givers.  The IRS says you should send a statement to donors at the end of the year. But why not make it awesome, vision-filled and story-based and send something each quarter?

#4 – Send Email to (blank). Each month, you should take time to send a heartfelt email to groups of people in your church. And you should put all of this communication right on your master church calendar.  Here are some groups that should receive regularly planned communication.

  • Volunteers
  • Donors
  • Small Group Leaders

It’s also a great idea to send a helpful email to your congregation once a month.  Not a newsletter or an announcement…something helpful.  Here are some free samples.

#5 – Office closed.  Go ahead and decide now when the church office is going to be closed. You might want to give everyone the Monday after Easter off or designate a few “fun” days. Some churches intentionally dial things down the last week of the year.

#6 – Big ministry events.  Make sure summer camp, VBS, and all your special events are on the calendar.  Then go back to #2 and choose the date when you need to start planning.

#7 – Leadership appreciation event.  Pull all of your leaders and donors together for a fun, appreciation event. It could be a cookout, a bonfire, a comedy night, or a banquet.  Give out some awards and keep it fun.  The summer is a good time for this.

If you want a complete strategy for recruiting, developing, and leading volunteers, you’ll find it here.

#8 – Series planning retreat. Spend a couple of days planning a year’s worth sermon series and the Sunday morning teaching calendar.  Go away for a night and involve new people.  Here are some tips on planning a preaching calendar.

#9 – Staff Evaluation.  I know it can be weird to talk about job performance, but go ahead and put a day on the calendar.  When it’s planned in advance, people won’t think it was quickly scheduled to address a particular issue.  We’ve got a great staff evaluation form in the members only resource library.

So What’s Next?

Feel like your church should be growing, but it’s not?

Ultimately, church growth is up to God. Are we being good stewards of what He’s given us? Are we doing everything we can to ensure our church is healthy? How do we overcome the barriers we feel are in front of us?

We know you care deeply about leading a healthy growing church because it means leading more people to Jesus. So we created a free guide to breaking barriers that will bring clarity and help begin to alleviate your frustrations.

Get your FREE copy of the Senior Pastor’s Guide to Breaking Barriers today by entering your name and email below.