It’s only February and our Children and Family Ministry calendar for the next 18 months is already drafted. It will be approved by staff and lay leadership over the next month.
By May, the 2020-2021 school year calendar will be published and shared with parents along with the fall registration form. I’ve used the same process for the last 5 years I’ve been in ministry at multiple churches. I don’t want to brag, but it feels awesome to be ahead of the game!
Maybe you are thinking, “I’d love to have my year planned right now but there’s no way. Lent and Easter are on the way. Piles of Christmas stuff are still cluttering my office!” But what if I told you it only takes a few hours? And, that by planning this spring you will be less stressed next year at this time. You might actually get your piles of Christmas stuff put away before Lent! (Though, storage is often the real issue with the piles).
The Plan-It workshop from Peer Ministry is the secret to my planning success.
I first used the Plan-It method at a local workshop for church staff. It was wonderful to sit alongside other faith formation leaders and share stories as we each created our yearly calendar. Since I now serve a church with multiple children’s ministry staff members, we block off a full morning for our team, using the Plan-It workbook as our guide.
Best of all, the Plan-It method is grounded in the “why” of ministry. It is tempting to sit down with a blank calendar and fill it with events you know will get people in the door. But, faith formation is much more than planning fun stuff. The Plan-It guide emphasizes the purposeful, relationship-building, leadership, and self-care practices that lead to fruitful ministry.
Once you have the yearly calendar in place, use this weekly lesson planner to create a content overview of all classes and youth groups. You’ve now completed two huge planning tasks!
I highly recommend Lyle Griner & Peer Ministry’s Plan It materials. I also love their Candle Time kits. Their website is full of relational tools for youth ministry – I encourage you to take a look.
Are you looking for more information on ministry fundamentals like calendaring, organization, and structure? Visit my New to Ministry page.