These are the notes to How to Plan a Ministry Calendar with Kenny Conley from the 2011 Orange Conference.

Before you put something on the calendar

  1. Clarify your vision, mission, and values
    1. Did this propel us to our vision
  2. Clarify your goals
    1. Ask yourself, how many volunteers, kids, kids to camp, etc.
    2. There is a significant link between your goals and your calendar
    3. Work backwards. “At the end of next year, we want…”
  3. Assess your resources
    1. Don’t just let your budget determine what you do this year
    2. Fund your values and goals
    3. The system of the financial person handing you a number and telling you, “this is your budget” is a broken system
    4. Have conversations with the people in charge and cast vision for your budget

Mechanics of planning a calendar

  1. Start with holidays, church events, and community events
  2. Schedule recurring weekly or monthly events
    1. Don’t disrupt the rhythm of your church
  3. Schedule one time events and large events
    1. This is where you schedule VBS, lock-ins, etc.
  4. Keep your audience in mind.
    1. The kids/students are not your only audience.  Also think how these events affect their family

Tips and tricks to planning a calendar

  1. Print out your calendar.
  2. Color code events.  Don’t use pencil because everything looks the same.
  3. Use sticky notes.  These are easier to move around

After you have planned your calendar

  1. Cut, slash, and refine
    1. In the excitement of planning, you probably overcommitted
    2. Do less
    3. Do what you are going to do and do it well
  2. Create deadlines
    1. Set deadlines for marketing, communication, registration, etc. for your event
  3. Assign a calendar nazi
    1. This is the person that will bother you until you get it done.
    2. Gives this person permission to bug you