Christmas. Easter. Baptism. There are big days in the life of every church. My solution for mapping out these days has been to create a basic planning sheet. This allows me to see the overall picture of dates and communication channels in one place. This doesn’t capture every action item in a project (I use Asana for that), but it helps visualize what needs to happen and when.
Here’s an example from Christmas.
Here’s a blank PDF template to download.
I’m an Asana fan. I use it for my weekly to do’s and to manage projects for our church . Sermon series are a major project that happen several times a year. To help me stay on track and make sure all the pieces for our series come together, I use a project template.
Here’s how it works.
Typically after a series planning meeting or talking with a our Lead Pastor, I’ll go into Asana and copy the project template from a previous series. The project is divided into sections based on the major things that go into a pulling off a series like design and graphics, promotions and then post-series tasks. I like to add a section that covers the marketing materials, just to make sure I have everything covered.
First, I’ll map out the timeline for design and graphics. Typically, we run a 4-6 week timeline, depending on the series and how much marketing will go into it. I’ll add dates for when the initial design concept is due and how long we have for feedback and edits. After the design work is done, I’ll upload it into Google Drive and begin ordering any of the print or marketing materials.
Tip: Begin with the end date and work backward to establish your due dates for tasks.
Promotions and marketing varies for each series. Usually our staple promotions will be social media graphics, eNews/bulletin and invite cards. For a longer series or one that is geared toward reaching our community, we may add a mailer or a video, too.
In this section, I outline the promotions timeline. We’ll promote a series 2 to 4 weeks out from the start date.
Finally, I create a post-series section. This is where I mark tasks that I’ll need to do after the series launches, like update web links and banners with the series page.
There you go! That’s how you can use Asana to map out your next sermon series.
What about you? What tool do you use for sermon series planning?
The next time you are involved in communication or strategic planning, these are a few key definitions to keep in mind.
Strategy – What
What are you going to do? Your strategy is the words you put down on paper to overview the plan you have created.
Tactics – How
How are you going to accomplish _____ ? This is the set of activities that you and your team will do in order to accomplish the strategy.
Audience – Who
Who are you trying to reach? This is the people group that will be the focus of your tactics.
Goals – The win
What does a “win” look like? These are generally expressed in numbers; although, that can vary in a church setting. For example, we want to see __ % growth in our groups ministry by next year.