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Planning Ahead for The Worship Year

Yesterday, we talked about goal setting for 2018 and why it is often hard for worship leaders.  We also discussed 4 key things we could do to begin the year on a great start.  If you haven’t already, go back and read that article, and then come back here when you are ready.

One of the things we discussed yesterday was the notion that many of us do not create resolutions.  This tends to feed in to the lack of preparation at the beginning of the year for many.  I’ve had a conversation once with a leader that went something like this.  “So what do you hope to accomplish this year with your team and at your church?”  “Oh, I really dont know.  I’m not into resolutions.  I just kid of go month by month.”  While I agree in not making resolutions, there is a great difference in not making a resolution – and planning ahead.

Most of us would agree with that statement…but somehow the words get minced when placed at the beginning of the year.  It just feels like a resolution.  Planning, however, should feel like success.  Today, I want to give you some tools that will, hopefully, help make you successful this year in your leadership and with your team.

Big Rocks vs Little Rocks

When I am planning at the beginning of my year – I look at three areas: “Big Rocks/Little Rocks”, “The Big 12”, and “6X6”.  I will break these down for you beginning with the first.  In order for me to know what I want and need to plan, I need to see it on paper.  I write down a list of things I want to accomplish.  This can be anything big or small.  This can also be a dream or a reality.  Do I want to redo the entire sound system and lights…but I dont have it budgeted?  I’m putting it on my list.  Take a day and some paper.  NO OTHER DISTRACTIONS…and write these things down.  After you are done…transfer these ideas to a Google Doc or a Word doc.  Whatever word processing you use.

Next, ask your lead pastor and worship team members for their input.  “What would YOU like to see in worship for 2018?”  With a few years of grooming, your team will understand that this isn’t a “what I ask is what I will get” concept, but it IS a logical platform to hear things that you might not otherwise know.  Perhaps some of those ideas SHOULD be added and implemented.  Perhaps it is a song choice.  Perhaps it is better in-ears.  Write them down.

Once you have all the items listed out.  PRAY.  Pray for God to show you some discernment over the items over the list.  “God, what do I really need to be focusing on RIGHT now….and what should be waiting?  What are the BIG things that need attention?  What doesn’t EVEN need my attention at all?”  The things that need attention now…or that are BIG issues should be considered “BIG ROCKS”.  The other things are “little rocks”.

If you move a BIG ROCK out of your way…you can gain momentum pretty quick.  Things feel GOOD.  Imagine a kiddie pool filled with three HUGE rocks.  They take up the entire pool.  If you move one out…you’ve take out a huge space, right?  Now imagine that same space filled with thousands of small rocks.  Remove just one.  You barely even know anything happened, right?  Most of us attack small rocks and feel like we’ve accomplished nothing.  At the end of the year…we feel like we’ve barely put a dent in the pool.   If our pool was filled with a few big rocks…and then the empty space with small rocks…we’d be much more accomplished and have more goals take care of.   Try it…and see how accomplished you are this year!

The Big 12

Each month, find a project to put down on the calendar.  This may be a Big Rock, a small rock, or something else all together.  The point of this bit of planning is to take each month and place a goal to accomplish during each month.  Here is a sample:

  • January –   Plan the year ahead
  • February – Have a team-wide meeting to cast vision / Plan Easter.
  • March –  have a church-wide luncheon to learn more about worship, tech teams.
  • April –  hold open auditions
  • May –  Hold quarterly team-wide meeting to cast vision
  • June –  Have an offsite FUN gathering for your whole team.
  • July –  Begin planning for Christmas gathering
  • August –  Hold quarterly team-wide meeting to cast vision
  • September – have a church-wide luncheon to learn more about worship, tech teams.
  • October – hold open auditions
  • November – Hold quarterly team-wide meeting to cast vision
  • December –  Have a team-wide Christmas party

The 6X6

The 6X6 (6 by 6) is a great tool for getting focused on some key details in your ministry.  I have used this, personally, for years with great success.  The concept is simple:  Write down the biggest 6 goals you want to accomplish over the next 6 weeks.   The key to this is to not keep these sacred to yourself.  I always share these with my lead pastor for a number of reasons.  It helps to have someone to keep me accountable to the goals I have set but it also helps to have someone to ensure that the goals I have set are worthwhile.  It is entirely possible that I could select some goals that I feel are great…but my lead pastor could help me see some more ambitious goals or more worthwhile goals.

You might say “isn’t this parallel to the Big 12 or Big Rocks?”  In short…it could be…but these could also be personal goals whereas The Big 12 and Big Rocks are most always more public ministry oriented.  At the end of the six weeks, evaluate with your accountability parterre each of the 6 goals.  Self-evaluate with them how you feel you did and receive from them how they feel you did.  During the next six weeks, a new plan could include six new goals – or may include a few carryovers from the previous six weeks.

Tomorrow, we will give you some additional points on how to get some creative juices flowing by building a team.  In the meantime…leave us a comment below with what your best practices are for planning our your year.  We’d love to grow together!

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