Service Planning: Calm Excellence is Achievable

There is no doubt that many elements of service planning need to be thought through and planned weeks in advance, for them to be given time to grow and develop.

Service Planning: Calm Excellence is Achievable
Everything Sunday falls into a series. These are usually four weeks, but it could be eight, and it could be 12. Our pastoral team at Asbury looks at scripture and plans a series around the Christian calendar, the life of our church and what they feel inspired to share with the congregation. They then work to shape a sermon journal that will lead our church through scripture.
Service Planning: Calm Excellence is Achievable
Everything Sunday falls into a series. These are usually four weeks, but it could be eight, and it could be 12. Our pastoral team at Asbury looks at scripture and plans a series around the Christian calendar, the life of our church and what they feel inspired to share with the congregation. They then work to shape a sermon journal that will lead our church through scripture.

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Know your why!

Know your how!

Reducing each item to a Planning Center timeline that fits on a neat printout can have its own set of negative consequences.

Before I worked for the church, I worked as a tour manager for a rock band. Every day, I walked into a new environment, a club, an arena, a stadium, a festival, indoors, outdoors, headlining, opening up, for one song or a full show.

Every day we adapted. Every day we knew why we were doing what we were doing, and every day we knew how to do it.

When you know where you are going, it isn’t hard to get there.

When I started working for the church, planning became central to my job.

These days, I spend more time on any given week planning for those services, than bringing that planning to life. A church service is certainly more complex than a rock concert, and requires more planning, but I’ve also seen the life programmed out of services.

Reducing each item to a Planning Center timeline that fits on a neat printout can have its own set of negative consequences.

I have been told that if we are not planning more than four weeks ahead, we might as well give it all up.

There is no doubt that many elements of service planning need to be thought through and planned weeks in advance, for them to be given time to grow and develop. We also need to know how we do our jobs so well, so that when a last-minute change arrives, it doesn’t ruin our week.

Why we make a service happen is important, and you should be able to talk about why you are having a service many weeks before that service. The why should inform all decisions made about that service.

There are many good whys to have a service, and I won’t give you any here (I’m betting you have lots of people who will tell you why you should do a service).

I do hope that you know what your why is.

The how is about executing each stage of service planning with calm excellence.

“The Series”

Everything Sunday falls into a series. These are usually four weeks, but it could be eight, and it could be 12. Our pastoral team looks at scripture and plans a series around the Christian calendar, the life of our church and what they feel inspired to share with the congregation. They then work to shape a sermon journal that will lead our church through scripture, built around that theme. This can be downloaded from our website or purchased as a booklet. It has a daily scripture reading connected to the series, and some brief thoughts to stir your thinking.


More About Tim Ottley
Tim Ottley was born in Melbourne, Australia, and after growing up watching friends play rock music and share Jesus in the bars and clubs of Sydney, he moved to Nashville, Tenn., in 1995 to be a rock star. That dream did not come to fruition, but he then started working for record labels and local touring bands, beginning with P.O.D. in 1999 as their first touring manager. Tim would eventually find himself in Tulsa, Okla., and by 2010, he moved into a position at Asbury United Methodist Church, working with audio, video and lightning. Over the last two years, Asbury has made significant changes to services and sanctuary space, including the installation of the largest Environmental Projection system in a church in the United States.
Get in Touch: tottley@asburytulsa.org    More by Tim Ottley

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Article Topics

Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Achievable · Asbury United Methodist Church · Calendar · Church · Congregation · Elements · All Topics

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