A calendar shapes your culture of community in many ways because it helps to set priorities, puts communications in motion, and lets your people know what to expect. Forecasting how people can connect reveals that biblical community is an actual value of your church, projects your leadership expectations, and helps people to prepare. Start by designing a community calendar that includes no less than three church-wide opportunities per year for people to get plugged in. Feature existing groups and new group start-ups in your weekend announcements, website, social media platforms, slides, etc. Ask yourself: Are there recurring opportunities available to help different kinds of people to connect in different ways?
How to Make Your Own Community Calendar
10-Step Scheduling Process:
- Use www.wincalendar.com (or www.timeanddate.com/calendar) to design and ultimately print out your own custom community calendar.
- Highlight holidays in one color and your area’s public school calendar in another color (Google “public school calendar” and you should be able to easily find yours in the search results).
- Be aware of weekends before and after anything highlighted prior to adding events to the community calendar.
- Determine what you want to have happen monthly or every other month for leadership, members, newcomers.
- Insert rhythm #1: Select at least two consecutive weekends per season when you will begin to place more emphasis on groups, e.g. January, May/June, September.
- Offer groups in shorter-duration “semesters” (6-8 weeks) so people feel free to start and stop as desired.
- Insert rhythm #2: Add another layer of leadership development activities that occur at least 1x/semester, but no more than 1x/mo. Be sure these occur a couple weeks before the weekends when there will be more emphasis placed on groups.
- Insert rhythm #3: Add a third rhythm into your community calendar that reflects the leadership investment rhythms between coaches and small group leaders. Be mindful of what’s already highlighted as well as the other two rhythms and check to see if there are any huddles that meet nearby your church at smallgroupnetwork.com/my-huddles.
- Support each month with various forms of communication using the table below (you can have more than one occurrence per type). Fill-in the “90-day Communication Strategy Template” below.
- Finally, discuss with your leadership team before communicating anything more widely on your community calendar to make sure you’re not missing anything and to ensure everyone is on the same page.
90-day Communication Strategy Template
Invitation (print or digital)
|Plan what you want to say based on what you’ve scheduled.||Who will ‘own’ the responsibility of designing and delivering the communication.||Select specific dates when you plan to go ‘live’ with each type of communication.||This is a combo of the previous three columns, but focuses on implementation.|