Why a Preaching Calendar? Part 2

To build a preaching calendar, the pastor must lift his eyes beyond the 7-day cycle that has dominated his world. A preaching calendar is more than just a decision of what to preach in the weeks ahead. It is a decision to plot a course for an intended destination. Like the man who studies the map before he starts the engine, the preaching calendar demonstrates interest in where we are going, long before we start the journey to get there.

So step one is to look up.

In my experience, this requires time to focus my energy on God and how He is leading me to lead my local church. I need to see what he sees if I am going to do what He would have me do. So, times of reflective prayer are the starting point for crafting such a plan. To build an effective preaching calendar, I must search for the road God would lead me down.

If you simply line up a few creative sermon series back-to-back, you may not be providing the greater nourishment your congregation needs. Instead, be determined to let God lead your strategic thoughts. Where are we going and where are we today? What are the critical next steps in our congregations journey with God.

That’s why, I strongly recommend taking a few days away from the busyness of your regular week to start pursuing God’s direction. For me, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day offered such an opportunity. (I would use that holiday week to assemble a year’s plan that extended from Easter to Easter.) Maybe your life opens up such days on a different cycle or perhaps you might start with a shorter plan. But the key is to give quality time to such an effort.

Find a place away from your routine–a place with no other purpose in your life but the one you are currently pursuing. If you sit in your office, you’ll drift into office stuff. If you go to a familiar place, you’ll give in to familiar distractions.

Once you’ve settled into such a setting, start by reflecting on your own journey thus far. What has God shown you? How have you grown? Where do you see God leading you in your own life?

Then, spend some time reflecting on the journey of your congregation. Where are we and what are we seeking ahead. Let God open your eyes to the needs of your people. Let Him begin to show you how to prepare them for the days ahead.

For most of us, it’s best to give the entire first day of your preparation to such reflection. Write your thoughts, outline the path you’ve traveled and make note of the places that might be ahead. Trust God to guide you as you give this extended time to reflection.

Then you’ll be ready to begin charting the path ahead. (Next week we’ll look at some possible steps.)

An effective preaching calendar can’t be done in a haphazard way. It’s your chance to lead your congregation forward, toward an intentional destination. But it’s not a destination of your choosing. Instead, we must give the driver’s seat to the Lord of the Church. And we must position ourselves to hear His voice and see through the windshield with Him.

When you do, you’ll not only be on your way to a plan for your preaching. You’ll discover fresh purpose for your ministry efforts. You’ll see exciting destinations ahead and begin to see how to arrive there. You’ll know where you’re going, and that gives everyone in the car more confidence in the journey.



One comment on “Why a Preaching Calendar? Part 2

  1. timryals
    March 17, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Thank you so much for your insights into the life of ministry. I cant tell you how much I look forward to reading your blog each week. I’m a relatively young pastor (I still think 44 is young) in my first church and I discover everyday how much I have to learn. God is using men like you to teach me many great principles about life and ministry. Thank you for sharing your life experience with us.

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