When I was on the programming team at a non-denominational church, we’d open our planning meetings with the prayer, “Lord, guide us as we plan our church’s services”. We’d then pull out the congregation’s master activity calendar in order get a birds’-eye view of what activities were on the schedule.
Next, we’d do a little creative brainstorming to think about what music and other creative elements we could use to support the theme of the upcoming sermon series. Where could we use a video? What about a special reading? We’d think through how to best transition from the content of the message into communion, the once-a-month P.S. on our sermon-centric low-church liturgy.We also used our calendar for strategic planning. When would we slate announcements for the upcoming VBS? How far in advance of our big Christmas outreach services would we have auditions for those who’d play a key role in the service? We wanted to make sure we kept local school schedules and community events in mind in order to minimize schedule conflict for our congregation’s families.
Frankly, we treated the calendar as if it was our servant. We never questioned how our view of the calendar affected our worship, formed our identity as followers of Christ, or called us to live on mission. We simply fit our own plans, onto the civil calendar, and went on with our regularly-scheduled programs without a second thought. [Read more]