I enjoy walking into a store and making various types of purchases all at once. I hate going from store to store just to get everything I need. It’s more convenient to get everything under one roof. I’d much rather look at shoes, toys, groceries and furniture all in one trip.
One-stop shopping was made for people like me. When I produce my youth calendar, I keep that in mind. I figure if I’d rather have one combined calendar, parents would too.
For my final post on calendaring, I want to explore exactly what to put on your youth calendar. This will vary depending on how forward-planning your church is, but here is what I include on our youth calendar.
Obviously, I put every event for our youth ministry on the calendar. I include everything from camps and winter trips to weekly Wednesday night meetings. If I can, I put church-wide events on there too – like our Fall Festival and our Community Thanksgiving services.
As a side note, I also list every lesson we’re going to teach that year. That might be a bit much for you, but I find having a planned out curriculum keeps me focused and keeps parents informed. They can’t come back and say they didn’t know we were teaching about sex, because it’s clearly marked on the calendar. (I will have to do lesson planning in another post.)
Because I like one-stop shopping, I also list every school off-day for all the schools in my area. My goal is for parents to have one calendar for all their needs – that includes knowing when school is in or out. Plus, the school schedule greatly impacts our youth calendar. It just makes sense.
For a personal touch, I include every student’s birthday. I want them to feel part of our youth group and one small way I can do that is to list their birthday in the calendar. Small touches like this can go a long way.
This one is completely optional, but if I can, I list conferences I attend. It conveys to parents that I seek to better myself as a youth minister. It also signals to families that I will be out of town and possibly unavailable on those days.
I usually use Microsoft Publisher to produce a very basic design. You can use whatever program you like, but I recommend a clean, block calendar. I’m not much for pictures or cute clip art. I don’t want to distract from the information. I also don’t want to use up printer ink unnecessarily. You can bind it, if you choose, but I usually just sort and staple it myself.
I hope these posts on calendaring have helped. It’s not the most glamorous thing you’ll do, but it will help set the tone for your ministry for the coming youth year.