When I was a kid, I loved watching people on surf boards. It was breathtaking and inspiring to watch a guy maneuver a board on the front of a giant wave and make it work for him. I often went to the beach with a body board and tried to catch the waves like I saw those water-taming heroes.
The key is to catch the wave at just the right time to take advantage of the flow. The force and momentum of the wave make it easier to get to the shore. And it is much better to work with the wave instead of against it.
There are waves in the annual calendar that focus people’s attention and effort. These times include national holidays, school schedules, and vacation times. The beginning and end of the public-school year are big drivers of these waves. We can use these seasons in the calendar to help us reach people.
Below I list questions and comments for the months of the year and the waves that correspond:
Renew goals and priorities for the new year. Mission and vision drive priorities. Where are you going? People like rails to run on, and a destination.
Are you communicating your vision for momentum?
How will you help your people grow as a Christian? What is your plan for the year?
What about evangelism? What about discipleship? What about groups/ss? Do people have new opportunities to serve? Is there an opportunity to do a mission trip or mission project outside of your church? Are you giving and showing people a reason to give to the ongoing mission of your church? How can you help another church in your area?
Have you walked through the 7 Dominos? https://gabaptist.org/evangelism/#domino
Host a marriage or relationship event used for evangelism and discipleship. Relationships are important to everyone. We all need to get better. The marriage relationship is vital to a community, the church, and is a testimony of the power of the Gospel.
Spiritual Renewal Retreat.
Prepare for Wave 1.
March-April Wave 1
Build up to Easter.
5-Week Build up before Easter. Church to connect with the community.
o Are your people ready to invite people to church?
o Are they ready to share their faith?
o Are there events to invite “outsiders” to?
o What is your communication strategy? Signs, cards, banners, Facebook?
o What is your plan to share the gospel? At an event? Easter egg hunt? Good Friday or Easter Sunday service?
o How does the building look? Inviting? Clear signs? “Ready for guests?”
3-Week Follow up after Easter. Connect people with Christ and the church.
o Are there new classes or groups to join?
o How will you take people’s interest and attendance and change it to involvement and engagement?
o Have you clearly shared the gospel with newcomers?
o Is there someone other than the pastor or staff who is connecting with new people?
Preparation for Summer events and schedule
Final preparation for Wave 2.
June-July Wave 2
Other Events, including weddings
Take the opportunities to connect with people, those inside and outside. Neighborhood cookouts. Church at the park. Baptism at the river. Encouraging people to hang out with their neighbors.
Preparation for Wave 3.
For many, school starts
End of Summer Vacations
Begin planning for calendar for following year. Priorities drive calendar and budget!
September-October Wave 3
People are into their new school year routines and sports schedules.
Church leadership retreat
Prep for Wave 4
November-December Wave 4
People are nostalgic for traditions and regular celebrations. The times around the end of the year people like to celebrate with family. We can use these times that people come together to point to the Savior.
New Year’s Day
People gain confidence when they have a plan, a direction, and a track record of leaders being consistent to do what they say. Riding the waves of the calendar, and having a plan for the year, can help you and your church develop believers and reach people with the Gospel. Contact me if you would like assistance in this process for your church.