Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Developing A Preaching Calendar Part 5

After all the foundational topics which are practical to developing your one year preaching calendar, now is the time to actually get down to making your schedule. First up on your agenda before you start anything is to Schedule Before You Schedule.

To help you get started you should utilize two tools.

First, print out each month of the year on separate pages. For me that is the frugal way. You could also purchase a calendar or even a planner if you want.

Second, create an excel spreadsheet file that you can begin to log all of your information on. Click [here] to see a sample of mine from 06. Currently, I put the following headings on mine: Date, Series Title, Message Title, Topic, Big Idea, Speaker, Scripture Reference, Creative Elements, and Major Announcements.

Remember, this is your calendar to own. You could also add a giving idea, music set, stage design, etc... You can best create this in any way that will help you throughout the year. I would suggest at this stage though to keep it fairly simple. You can always come back and do some more planning in the weeks and months prior to each weekend.

As you begin to do your actual scheduling the first things that should be included are all the major events and major holidays for the year. These should be ministry specific as well.

Some of the major holidays to include are ones that fall on Sundays or are major events in the year; Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, holidays that create three day weekends. There are even other events that have become almost national unwritten holidays like the Superbowl. For a youth ministry you should look at your local school schedule. Look at the beginning and end of school, Christmas and spring break, and any other dates that would be of major importance.

The second thing you should schedule is your personal time off. This may be hard for some of you but you should really target only speaking a max of 40 Sunday's out of the year. As a youth/children pastor you should target the same amount as well. This will keep you fresh as well as your audience fresh. I know we want to believe that our people love to hear us all the time but they should get a break from hearing us.

A good breakdown would be taking four consecutive weeks off in the summer and then space out the rest through the year. These are great times you can get your team to speak.

In a nutshell your schedule before you schedule should include: Major Holidays On The Calendar, Monday Holidays, Natural Vacation Days, Secular Holidays, Christian Holidays, Your Personal Time Off, Weekly Sabbath, Study Time, Creative Thinking Time, Conferences, Vacation.

Tomorrow, I'm going to give some pratical advice on branding your messages to begin finishing up your calendar.

Catch up with all of the parts of this series:
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