This past weekend I had the privilege of helping a pastor friend complete his 52 week teaching calendar for 2014. Yes, that is correct. He has all 52 weeks laid out for next year. Below are listed the benefits of a teaching calendar for a pastor and the congregation:
It is easy when we go from week to week in our teaching to teach our favorite topics. When we create a teaching calendar we can be intentional on teaching a wide range of doctrinal topics that our people need to hear.
It becomes an outreach tool. You are able to publish in advance what you will be teaching and people in the church are able to pass out postcards or bookmarks of what is coming in the future to their friends and family. I have entered many homes and been pleasantly surprised to see postcards displayed on their refrigerators.
A teaching calendar is a great tool for the other teachers and leaders in your church. They are able to incorporate your topics in their teaching in their Sunday school class and their ministries and it becomes a sense of unity throughout the church.
When you are searching from week to week on what you’re going to speak about it can become a very fearful thing. However, when you’ve already laid out a plan it is much easier to prepare by following that plan.
I have placed a locked box outside my office when preparing my calendar for the new year and given people the opportunity to fill out cards of what they would like to hear taught in the new year. This allows people to have a voice and it also allows you to hear the heartbeat of the people. Then, as I am planning my series, I try to weave these topics into my lessons when applicable.
Every pastor usually has a handful of men and women in the church who desire to preach and teach. A pre-published teaching calendar provides a great outlet to invite them to help you research topics each week. This will do two things: 1) Helps you come up with fresh material 2) Helps your aspiring ministers learn how to research topics. It also gives them a great feeling of buy-in when you acknowledge them and their illustrations or points from the pulpit.
I usually hear concern for the freedom of the anointing to flow when we commit to a teaching series. I have several thoughts on this matter: 1) We ALWAYS allow God to speak through us regardless of what we have written out in our notes. 2) I have been amazed that when I seek God’s direction for a series how accurately each weeks topic matches the current situation of the local church. 3) Theologians are calling the Book of Isaiah the “Fifth Gospel” because of his numerous references to for-coming of Christ. If God can speak centuries into the future, I believe He can speak weeks or even a year into the future of our ministry.
R.EINFORCES THE PASTOR’S VISION
Finally, the pastors teaching calendar helps the pastor reinforce his or her yearly vision. Most pastors have a big idea of what they’re wanting to accomplish throughout the year. By having a teaching calendar you can be very intentional on what you’re pouring in your people.
These are the reasons why I have adopted a teaching calendar. I personally believe there is no right or wrong way to do this. The important thing is to take an intentional approach to teaching the Word of God. Below is a sample teaching calendar that I helped a pastor friend create for his church.