It’s Not too Late to Get Started

Church Goals & Planning

Just as individuals set goals in the new year, churches must do the same. And just because it’s already the middle of January does NOT mean it’s too late to get started. In fact – it’s a great time before diving head-on into Easter!  

While setting goals is the first step, those goals need actionable steps and processes. We found this article from the United Methodist Church on setting and following through with goals a great place to start.  

So, you’ve got your goal, ready to plan? Time to break down your goals into smaller, easy-to-manage objectives and assign tasks. Following are a few tips we’ve gathered over the years from various and ministries.    

Put all annual church and community events on a calendar.  

Start your yearly planning by scheduling annual events on the calendar or a shared digital planner. Then backdate three months from each big event and mark “start planning for X event” in red. It’s as simple as starting with what you know for sure.   

Schedule a planning day for staff and volunteers. 

January is a great month to gather your team for a day set apart from regular tasks and duties. Here are a few ideas for creating the environment and objectives for successful planning.  

  • Set the stage by sharing your expectations and giving value to having everyone contribute.   
  • Provide a clear agenda for the goals and objectives. Be sure to include annual events that will require more detailed planning.   
  • Highlight what you view as the essential items with the highest priority.  
  • Make sure there’s time for fun and strengthening of team member relationships.  
  • Allow time for snacks, brainstorming, and collaboration.  
  • Designate one person to record all the ideas, goals, and action items.  

Utilize software, websites, and apps that make life easier.  

Even smaller churches can significantly improve their planning and internal communications with some cost-effective or free software. Planning CenterWorship Extreme, and Song Select are three of our favorite tools.  

Don’t forget. 

In addition to events and celebrations, what else does your church need to focus on this year? Does your church have an emergency preparedness plan? A crisis communications plan? Now is an excellent time to review and update to ensure your church is ready for the unexpected.   

Another often forgotten task is reviewing music licensing. Before special events and holidays get into full swing, take a step back and get the full picture of what copyrights you may be using for the year and make sure that you are using them legally. A great place to start is by downloading the Church Copyright Toolkit that includes six key steps to making sure all your copyright activities are legal.  

If you get stuck. 

And you will. Try Karl Vater’s 3-2-1 System for focus. Vater explains in a Christianity Today article, “Every week, I take three uninterrupted hours to do nothing but think, plan, pray and write, in the following order:”  

3. On one day, I take an hour to think and pray about events and ideas that are THREE months away…these are often starter ideas, “what ifs,” and crazy dreams.  

2. On another day I take an hour to think, pray and plan events that are TWO months out. These are ideas that have gone beyond the “what if” stage and have been green-lighted. By now, we’ve started setting dates and times, promotional ideas, recruiting volunteers, decorations, artwork, and so on.  

1. On the final day, I take one hour to think, pray, plan, and work on events ONE month out. This is when we work on details. We start promoting the event. I begin thinking about what skits, video clips, special songs or sermon illustrations I might use, and so on.  

We pray that 2020 is a year of blessings, plans, and dreams come to fruition for your church and your communities. 

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About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, FacebookInstagramand Youtube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.