Key Tips For Calendar Planning

Friday, June 19, 2020

Social Calendar

If your weekly program is primarily social, then this some keys to managing that style of ministry.

1. Set the annual events in place
Do you have a camp or conference you attend every year?
Do you have an annual kick-off event?
Put in details like Easter, Christmas, long weekends, school holidays, and school exams etc
Does your church have any annual events that impact your planning?
Put all these items into the calendar first.

2. Repeated events noted
There are some events that are keepers and can be done whenever you want to, list these out as options. If there is a particular time of year that they are more suitable then note that too.

3. Decide on your cycle
There are some events that are more costly, some events that are more set-up intensive. So gauging your youth and your team, decide a rhythm. Maybe it is a 3 week cycle where one week is off-site and costs a bit more like laser tag, one week is on-site and low-key like a board games night, one week is high energy like a car rally. Maybe it is a 4 week cycle and one week is a serving or out-reach night.

4. Look for opportunities to combine
Maybe another youth group is hosting an event and you can join in with that. These are great chances to connect with your youth and another youth group.

5. Set your calendar
Whether you make your calendar for a month, a term, a quarter, 6 months or a year, begin to fill the dates you have with events. Do your best to balance the various aspects of cost, set up effort etc. Remember that external influences will impact on attendance. Exam schedules, cultural events, school sports etc.

6. Review
At then end of each event and each period, review how things went. What events will be done again next year, what will not be done again? How is your team coping? Have you had any comments from parents, youth or leadership etc. Factor those into the coming period.


Service Calendar

1. Set the annual events in place
As with the social calendar, set the big annual events on the calendar.

2. Determine how many often the primary youth leader/s will speak
It is important that the primary youth leader has a regular voice into the youth and youth ministry. Some of that will depend on the phase of your youth ministry. If you are just starting in the role, then you might speak more often, just to help the youth get to know you. If you are going through a phase of change, then you might also speak more often, to help communicate in that phase.
It is also important to allow other voices to speak into the youth, so the primary leader isn't always speaking.

3. Internal leaders and external voices
You should give other leaders in your ministry an opportunity to speak. And you should give voices from outside, that you trust, an opportunity as well. This is important for you, for them and for the youth.

4. Format and variety
Not every service needs to look the same. There are many varieties for services. Panels, electives, small group discussion, interactive and others. Decide how often these types of services will be held.


Mixed Calendar

With this style, it is about finding the right balance between services and social. Find your rhythm and what works for your youth and your team. And that may change over time. If your youth ministry grows, then you will have to adapt. It is harder for groups of 30-50 to do "together" social events, than a group of 20 or less. But there are things that are better with a larger group.


How do you plan your calendar?

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