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Organizational Leadership

What’s Your Plan? A Look at Ministry Calendar Planning

Recently I ran across this hilarious example of a “plan.” It was about Google’s plan for world domination.

googleplan

It’s that time of year when ministries plan and kick off the fall. Those who are longer-range planners already know exactly what they are going to do. Other seat-of-the-pants leaders are thinking, “Ack! I better get moving!”

In the past, our Ministry Director team (pastors and directors) worked pretty independently of each other. We’d all throw stuff on the calendar as it came up and hope there was an empty room available to do our event. End result was conflicting events drawing from the same crowd. (i.e. women couldn’t go to the women’s retreat because they were working on the children’s musical which was happening at the same time.)

This year we were much more intentional about our process.

  • In May everyone submitted their plans for the 2009-10 year. They gave major ministry events and dates that would happen.
  • I compiled them all in a spreadsheet.
  • Then we spent a very long meeting hashing through stuff, moving dates around, but trying to balance out the calendar a bit and taking care not to have events targeted towards the same audience at the same time.

Here’s how the spreadsheet looked.

calendar

A closeup:

calendardetail

The top section was broken down by ministry. On the last line above we put holidays down because some holidays impact our attendance and people’s availability.

We also put the year’s schedule for sermon series (general ideas, as the details weren’t ironed out yet) on the bottom, to see if we had events that would line up well with the sermon themes.

I have created another section (not pictured in the detail) reorganized the events into “Connect · Grow · Serve,” which are the three things we want every attendee in our church to do, which we will be looking at to see if we have any major gaps missing.

This process has helped all of us better coordinate what we are doing. It also shows the busy seasons of the year. Not only do we consider the events themselves, but we remember that every event requires promotion, and if we’re promoting 10 events up front on Sundays, no one’s going to listen to any of them. This big picture plan helps us not only be more organized but be more effective in what we’re trying to accomplish.

This week the Ministry Directors head off to a retreat where we will be reviewing this calendar to see if anything has changed. This is not the favorite thing to do for the whole team, but I think it helps us work better as a team in the end!

What type of process does your team use to align your ministry calendars?

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