Of the pastors we surveyed, we found that most of them did not plan their preaching more than two weeks out. In fact, only 9% of them planned more than two months out.
We think having an entire year’s sermon calendar planned out is a game-changer for most pastors and we wanted to share a few reasons why.
When you plan a preaching calendar over a year, you have the opportunity to know where you’re taking your church over the next 12 months. What’s the end goal? In what areas does the church need to grow in the next year?
Planning an annual calendar also allows you to leverage different seasons, events, and holidays to get the most spiritual return from your preaching.
For example, if you’re thinking of doing a marriage series, you can leverage a time of year where you believe most couples will be attending your church consistently (probably not the summer time) to hear and enjoy the entire series.
We all have a favorite topics and hobby horses we love to preach on. But if we evaluated our past sermons, we may find that we spoke on the same or similar topics often, which can lead to an unbalanced exegesis of Scripture for our churches.
Using an annual preaching calendar allows us to get a birds eye view of our series and topics to see if we’re beating any dead horses and spending too much time revisiting a topic over and over again.
You want to help the folks on your preaching team be successful. One way to do that is to give them more than five days to prepare a message.
Having a preaching calendar allows you to add people to your team and give them plenty of time to prepare to offer their very best sermon each time they preach.
An annual preaching calendar allows you and your staff to see what’s coming up well in advance so you can leverage the sermon to reach far beyond the Sunday service.
Imagine giving your children’s team, student ministry team, small group team, etc. a calendar to know where you’re going to they can plan content to compliment your sermons.
50% of the pastors we surveyed said that writing a sermon adds stress to their life.
Having a sermon calendar will help lower the stress and anxiety of your life because you’ll always know what you’re preaching on next. This also saves you tremendous amounts of time trying to decide where you’re going next.
The best steaks are the ones that are carefully marinated and prepared over time… not cooked in the microwave.
When we know where our sermons are going ahead of time, it gives us a chance to marinate on the topic, spend more time praying and preparing, and then write a better sermon each week.
Preachers are often preaching sermons cooked in the microwave when we could be preaching sermons carefully and intentionally prepared over time.
Half the battle of writing a sermon is discerning and deciding what to preach on. Planning a calendar in advance allows you to make those decisions ahead of time, plan content, and spend more time praying and researching.
This doesn’t remove the Holy Spirit from the equation, it allows you to go to him and hear from him much sooner than we often do to plan and prepare.
Since you know well ahead of time what you’ll be preaching on, you can gather ideas, thoughts, and content over time and store them in a file. Of course, we recommend using our sister company, Sermonary, to plan, prepare, and write your sermons, which also has a great “ideas folder” to store those random thoughts.
When you plan in advance, it gives you and your team more space to think, create, and execute better content, illustrations, and more.
Creating an annual preaching calendar takes time and work… but we believe it’s worth. In fact, we feel so strongly about it that we create new preaching calendars every year for our Ministry Pass members.
We’re releasing our 2021 preaching calendars on October 7 which includes two brand new calendars along with the other 4 we create each year.
Stay tuned for that announcement and then join us for our Calendar Launch Party!