Running your organization off an annual calendar will keep you from reacting to short term problems and it will keep your team on the same page. There’s a reason major motion pictures create a production schedule before they start filming and why Apple makes announcements at the WWDC every year. Your church, business or non-profit, needs an annual calendar, based on repeating events and programs.
SIX REASONS TO CREATE AN ANNUAL CALENDAR
- Success is best measured over time.
- Life has a natural rhythm.
- There is power in tradition.
- Repetition leads to improvement.
- Patterns will keep things from sneaking up on you.
- A calendar will keep you from competing with yourself.
Read more about those reasons in this post.
In the church world, you’ve got to find a way to keep the student ministry from competing with the groups ministry in August. You’ve got to plan ahead so the outreach campaign doesn’t go head to head with a push for new volunteers. Decide IN ADVANCE when you’re going to talk about what…lay it out on a calendar and get organized.
WHEN TO TALK ABOUT WHAT
This list might be totally backwards for your setting, but you’ll get the idea. This same principle also applies to businesses and non-profits…you can’t talk about all the things at all the times. You need an annual calendar to guide your planning and communication.
- In May, you should spend 3-4 weeks encouraging people to give online. Since summer is coming, helping people automate the important will make a difference to every ministry.
- In August, you should encourage everyone to get into a small group of some sort. This means that you’re not going to be pushing people to online giving.
- In September, your children’s and student ministry need church-wide communication time because it’s back to school season. This means that you aren’t going to talk so much about adult groups.
- In October, you should do leadership training for new volunteers, so they will be ready to serve across all ministries in January.
- In March, you’re talking about inviting (Easter is around the corner), so you should talk about this across every ministry.
TWO STEP PROCESS FOR CREATING AN ANNUAL CALENDAR
- Schedule a half-day with all of your staff or key leaders. You need one person from each department.
- Work on the calendar TOGETHER. Argue, debate and discuss. And in the end, agree on a calendar.
This isn’t complicated, and if you do it, it could revolutionize your ministry and make planning SO much easier. Here’s a simple Excel spreadsheet to jump start the planning process for your team.