All About the Lectionary Calendar

In today’s episode, we’re going to be discussing one of our brand-new types of sermon calendars, the Lectionary Calendar!  Namely, we’ll be answering the questions: 

  • What is the lectionary calendar?
  • Who might want to use the Lectionary Calendar?
  • How can the Lectionary Calendar help you walk your congregation through the story of the gospel all year long?

What is the Lectionary Calendar?

We’ve just released our first-ever Lectionary Calendar on MinistryPass.  This is a new style of sermon calendar for us, but we’re really excited about how it turned out.  First of all the graphics are amazing- our designer, Morgan, created a year’s worth of graphics for each of your church’s series.  The artwork packages have a flow and continuity to them, as they follow the lectionary calendar through the seasons.  

Our Lectionary Calendar is based on the lections in the Revised Common Lectionary.  This is a lectionary used by many denominations around the world, and it follows the church calendar, starting at advent.  Unlike a lot of other sermon calendars, the seasons aren’t separated sharply but are tied together.  For example, after Easter, you’ll continue to celebrate instead of launching into a brand-new series.  Then, you’ll slowly transition into the Pentecost propers.  

Is the Lectionary Calendar for Me?

To help you decide if the Lectionary Calendar might be a good fit for you, here’s a little background on our approach: We’ve taken the passages from the Revised Common Lectionary and built a framework around each one as we’ve worked through it.  Then, one of our writers went through the passages and brainstormed big-picture message ideas, as well as researching the passages so that you can draw from a wealth of information. There’s a lot of emphasis on habit formation, spiritual disciplines, and preparing our hearts for each season.    

This calendar is now available!  If you’re used to using the Revised Common Lectionary, this is an AMAZING resource for you- we’ve already done all the design work and a good church of your planning and research for you.  You can’t afford to miss it.  But even if you’ve never used the Revised Common Lectionary, we still think you will love it.  It’s based on Scripture, and it’s a great way to help your congregation view familiar passages in a thoughtful light.

If you’re used to using the lectionary, you’ll know that the Revised Common Lectionary goes according to a three-year cycle.  Our 2020-2021 calendar uses year B.  Next year we’ll do C, then after that, we’ll do A, and we’ll have all those resources available on Ministry Pass as we add them.   

Inside the calendar, each section has a topical name, or what themes and ideas we’re emphasizing throughout different seasons.  You can also pull out individual series, in case you just want to do an advent or Easter series.  

How Can I Find the Lectionary Calendar?

This lectionary calendar is part of a collection of sermon calendars that we release every year.  This year, we’ve released six sermon calendars.  To get access to them, all you have to do is go to ministrypass.com and sign up for a free trial.  You can browse, explore, and look through the calendars to see which one fits your voice, style, and community the best.  We’re not giving you actual sermon manuscripts, but we’re giving you a wealth of research and ideas to save you a lot of that front-end work on your sermon preparation.  

How Will this Calendar Help Me Preach the Gospel More Effectively?

In closing, whatever calendar or plan you choose to use, please understand that the seasons of the year are powerful.  We’ve talked about this before on the podcast, but as humans, we naturally do things at certain times because they’re built into our lives and culture.  What the lectionary calendar does, and any good sermon calendar should do, is it help you take the spirit of each season and use it to reinforce ideas from Scripture.  For example, advent is a time of celebrating that Jesus came to earth, yes, but it’s also a time of preparing our hearts for His second coming.  So whatever calendar you use, understand that those seasons are important and make sure you’re leveraging them for the sake of the gospel.  

We’d love to hear how a lectionary calendar has been working for you, if you’ve used one before!  If you have tips for other pastors, ideas, or questions, leave a comment on our video on Youtube