Thinking Strategically…about the New Year

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red indy carWhen do you start thinking about January?  Are you already there?  One of the most under-appreciated habits is looking ahead.  Do you have that one?  If not, you need to develop it.  I believe it is at the heart of what separates success from failure many times.  Why?  Like an Indy car driver who never learns to look ahead to the turn beyond the turn he’s in, you’ll always be a little out of control.

So how does it happen?  First, you need to develop the practice of looking at the year.  Schedule a time to talk with your pastor about the year.  I know, I know.  You’re not necessarily in those circles.  This is big though.  If your pastor wants to become a church of small groups (blah, blah, blah) this is not optional.  And you can tell them I said so!

Second, develop an understanding of the connection between the seasons, events and series of your church.  If you’re having to work too hard at it, there may be less of a connection than there needs to be.  A quick example?  Here you go:

November is a great opportunity to develop a mailer type invitation to your Christmas Eve services that will be stuffed in your bulletin all month in December.  “This is not for you.  It’s for you to give to your friends to invite them to our Christmas Eve service.  On Christmas Eve you include an invitation to your January blockbuster message series on a subject that the kind of person who comes to your Christmas Eve service would care about.  In January you promote a Small Group Connection and choose a study that is about “building a foundation for a great year.”

Does that give you enough?  The key to developing a connection between the seasons, events and series is thinking ahead and looking for opportunities to thread things together.

Third, to really work well this will be a “rolling” exercise.  That means you meet periodically and continue to look ahead beyond the next turn.  Meeting once a year isn’t sufficient because it will always be a week away from the 53 weekend.  Make sense?

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