“No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins” (Luke 5:38 NIV).
For years I have been wrestling with the challenge of creating a new church calendar. I’m not talking about church calendar in the sense of the liturgical calendar (Advent, Christmas, Easter, etc.). I’m talking about church calendar as in the scheduling of assemblies and events for a local church.
It seems to me that the church calendar looks pretty much the same today as it did 35 years ago when my church experience began. Others have told me it looked the same many years before that, too. Could it be possible that a church calendar template created at least 50 years ago could still be the most effective schedule?
It seems to me that the church calendar looks pretty much the same in churches of the United States whether you look north, south, east or west. Could it be possible that a single church calendar template is the most effective schedule for locations that are vastly different from one another?
Or could it be that it is time for some creative, out-of-the-box thinking for reimagining what new church calendar templates might look like?
Some will point out that many churches have changed their Sunday night programming away from a Sunday morning-like rerun to small group gatherings. However, in many cases, this move has been made not as a proactive, forward-thinking change in strategy as much as it has been a last-ditch effort to salvage the situation when Sunday night attendance bottomed out.
Some would suggest the only way to address the issue is to plant a new church. Planting allows for creating new templates from the ground up. While that might be one approach, I think leadership of existing churches should consider taking on the church calendar challenge.
So I am asking for your ideas and input on what new church calendar templates (I am not sure there should ever be just one) might look like. What would an effective church calendar template look like if you cleared out the old one and started from scratch?
Here are two simple guidelines that set the parameters for the discussion.
- There will be a Sunday assembly for Word and Table.
- The church calendar should be intentionally designed to further purposes of worship, fellowship, spiritual formation, and outreach.
Send me a message if you would like to contribute to this conversation.