We are all influenced by the calendar. We all eat turkey on Thanksgiving, candy on Halloween and Hershey’s kisses on Valentine’s Day. The calendar affects all of us, so instead of fighting the calendar, why not cooperate with it? I believe the calendar can be our greatest ally as we plan our preaching for each year. Then again, what’s the alternative? If you fight the calendar, I promise you will lose every time.
So what how do I cooperate with the calendar and use it to my advantage? Here are six dates that will help you plan your preaching throughout the year:
January – This is a great month to talk about vision, evangelism, finances, getting a fresh start or making changes.
February – I believe this is the best month to teach on relationships. People are naturally thinking about relationships due to Valentine’s Day. This can take shape as a marriage series, a study on the Song of Solomon or a series for single adults.
Easter – Too many Pastors only teach on the resurrection on Easter. While this may sounds sacrilegious, think about this for a moment: Easter is the one day where you have more guests than any other time of the year. There are people who come to church once a year and hear the same message every time they show up. It’s no wonder why they wait another year to return. They think it’s the only message we have. I believe we should not only teach on the resurrection, but also teach on the resurrection power that’s available to all believers (Romans 8:11). That is why I encourage you to teach a series of messages geared towards living the Christian life, with an emphasis on evangelism on Easter Sunday.
Mother’s Day – This may be the most contrarian thing I say in this chapter, but I rarely talk to mom’s on Mother’s Day. Think about it, the moms in your church say one thing to their family on Mother’s Day; “All I want for Mother’s Day is to go to church with my whole family.” If this day is the one time we reach guys who never go to church, I want to teach a message that will connect with them. So I almost always kick off a series on Mother’s Day and I focus on a book of the Bible or topic that will be of particular interest to them. We’ve launched series on God’s will, hearing God’s voice, the book of Daniel and the names of God on Mother’s Day. My goal is to pique the curiosity of guests in the audience and see them return the next week.
Father’s Day – While I rarely teach a traditional Father’s Day message, I normally kick off a series on Father’s Day. This series or book study is usually more discipleship oriented. An example of this might be a character study on John the Baptist, a series through the Gospel of Mark or messages on spiritual disciplines.
Fall – People are focused on one thing in the Fall – back to school. I graduated a long time ago and my wife still has to stop me from buying pencils and a backpack every September. The reason is because all of our minds are focused on hitting the books, growing and learning. So we cooperate with this by teaching a longer series in the Fall with an emphasis on personal and spiritual growth. We have taught through the book of Colossians, Ecclesiastes and done topical series’ focusing on different areas of spiritual growth in recent history.
You have the freedom to teach on the Levitical dietary laws on Valentine’s weekend, or you can use the calendar to your advantage and create a memorable experience that resonates with what people are already thinking about and see the people in your church go farther in their discipleship and outreach than ever before.