5/22/2012

Tips On Planning Your Summer Calendar

It's a little tough to believe that we're almost done with May! As we're staring down the barrel of summer, there's something that all of us have to do (or, hopefully, have already done): PLAN!

One of the things that I've learned that parents appreciate from me as a leader is a calendar that they can refer to during the summer months. Now, there's a thousand ways to put together a calendar. So I won't bother with trying to name the "X Best Ways to Plan Your Summer Calendar". Instead I'll just give you some principles that we used to plan ours.

  • Big Things First: Do you take your students to camp? Well, you probably had to pick the week, collect the deposits, and turn in the money well ahead of time. So those dates aren't moving. They go on the calendar first. Along with the dates you've selected for any extra big events. Tip: Place big events on the calendar away from each other to allow time for recovery/preparation. We do 4 big things during the summer. Only July has 2 big events in it.

  • Think Thematically (Part 1): What's one big thing you want to accomplish with your students this summer? Put things on the calendar that help you reach that goal! I've been on the job at my church for a year and some change. My boss, about 8 months. So we want to use our summer to increase our relationships with our students. So, we put a lot of low cost, relationally high events down to accomplish our goal. Want to see your students increase in their desire to serve? Provide service opportunities! Want to see them share their faith? Train them and take them out!

  • Think Thematically (Part 2): Why not use the summer to expand the length of your large group Bible study teaching series? This year, between June, July and August, we're doing a ten week teaching series. In fact we used the series to theme our summer calendar! Since we're going to have a HUGE superhero movie summer, we're calling our summer "Super Summer"! And, in our midweek Bible Study, we'll be teaching about heroes and "villains" of the Bible! It's an easy way to do character studies! Question: How can you use the summer to be creative in your teaching?

  • Include a Few Things For Parents Too: How well do you communicate to parents? Why not use the summer to invest more into that! Whether you're promoting at the beginning of the summer or the end, why not have an introductory parent meeting where you walk parents through your process of discipleship? Or how about some short hour long parent training sessions each month? Parent events keep the information flowing and earn trust for you! Win/win!

  • You Time: Don't forget to schedule time for you and your family! While this didn't make a physical appearance on our calendar, you'd better believe that those dates are on our personal icals.
Oh! And here's our calendar!
What are some things that go into planning your ministry's summer calendar?

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