Do You Need a Preaching Calendar?
By New Churches Team
As a pastor, you may be planning your sermons just a week or two at a time. But are you interested in planning a year ahead? Here is a step-by-step guide to do that.
How to Start
There are a lot of different ways to create a yearly preaching calendar. It’s important to look at how different people recommend doing this to figure out what works best for you. But to start, consider having a 2-year broad vision. This should likely include 2/3 exposition and 1/3 thematic or topical sermons. Now think in terms of four blocks. Use two blocks in the first year and in the second year to plan out your expository sermons. Consider alternating between a New Testament series and an Old Testament series. Choose the books you cover based on the needs of your church.
Choose your books of the Bible two years out, but look at the thematic series one year out to see what your church needs at that time. The period from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day is a great time to plan a family series. You can break up long expository series with mini-thematic series or with holiday sermons.
Length of Series
It’s no surprise that people’s attention spans are shorter now than they used to be. So, what is an appropriate length for a sermon series? Eight to 10 sermons is an ideal length. You don’t want people to get exhausted by being in one book of the Bible forever. You want it to be faithful to the text, Biblically-delivered, and easy for people to get their mind around. It can be easier to deliver in chunks that people can digest, that are broken up with thematic sermons.
Doctrinal teaching fits into thematic preaching. If you are doing expository sermons half of the time, plan to preach thematically on holidays and include an on-ramp series in the fall and spring to provide easy access to new people. That doesn’t leave you with a lot of other Sundays, so doctrinal teaching might be best covered in another setting like a small group or discipleship class. That allows you to go deeper in a smaller setting.