Last week we looked at why you need a teaching calendar.
Basically, it all boils down to lowering stress. It also means you're not spending Saturday night on Pinterest figuring out what you want to teach.
We know the why's, heck if you are like me, you have lived them!
If you have never planned a teaching calendar it may seem overwhelming. I don't want that to stop you this time so I'm breaking it down into 5 steps.
Anytime we seek to prepare to teach we should ask the Holy Spirit to guide us. We should also ask the Holy Spirit to start preparing the hearts of our students for the lessons.
While Prayer is #1 on this list, it shouldn't be treated like a piece of the checklist. See, I highly suggest you sprinkle prayer for guidance over each step.
2. Look at your ministry's goals and objectives.
If you are in a small church, like I have been in, sometimes communication gets lost. If they have had the same teachers for years, then the goals and objectives, may not be discussed much. I recommend asking the person you report to about the ministry's goals and objectives.
If you are the leader, and you don't have any I encourage you to discover your why! In my humble opinion goals and objectives should reach beyond numbers. They should look at what you want your students to experience. How you can make disciples out of the students, and how you can help the students learn.
3. Look at what you taught in 2017.
After you determine the goals and objectives, look at what you taught this past year. If possible look back multiple years.
- What was successful & why it succeeded
- What was a failure & why if failed
- What needs to be revisited
- What skills do your students have
4. Plan Themes and Topics you want to cover
Write down all the topics and lesson ideas you would like to cover. I recommend keeping this running even after this scheduling session. As it can help you in the future as well.
Start with holidays and church events you want to teach on. Write those down first.
- New Years Day (New Beginnings, starting over, Grace)
- Valentines Day
- Easter & Lent
- Independence Day (Freedom)
Next, look at old lessons that you can reuse. It is okay to teach the same or similar lessons from the past. If a lesson wasn't successful, is there another way to teach it?
You can also think about your favorite Bible Stories and some of the lesser-known stories.
Now think about how those themes and lessons work within the scope of your goals and objectives? The ones that work, mark them so you know it is a good idea. If they don't work, you can cross them out, or leave them without any marking. Leaving them means you can revisit them in the future.
5. Put it on the calendar.
Now you are ready to start the actual scheduling. Pull out your 2018 Calendar, or create a teaching calendar in Google Calendar. I like the idea of a digital calendar because then if you need to move something you can without erasing. You can also use post-it notes in your paper calendar until you have everything planned.
Start by marking all the holidays into the calendar. Add those themes and lesson ideas in your calendar. Don't forget special services and the lessons that go with them. (Homecoming?)
Once you have put in your Holiday and special service lesson ideas. Continue filling in your calendar with the lesson ideas, topics, and themes you marked.
Side Note: I know that planning a whole year can be overwhelming so don't feel you need to do the whole year at once. Start with the first quarter, and then move on from there.
I believe that these 5 steps can help you schedule out your teaching calendar. These steps don't have to be used for Sunday School or even teaching children. You can use this for any ministry that you are leading.
If you found these tips helpful please share on Pinterest!