I take Sunday morning seriously. It is the time when you have the greatest opportunity to share the soul transforming message of Christ with several people at once. Because I take Sunday seriously, I believe in planning. A long time ago in a conference the speaker reminded us that if you "fail to plan, you plan to fail." A plan isn't a concrete task, it is a roadmap. It can be adjusted and the course can be changed if situations arise, but the plan does provide a skeleton to build upon.
Each year I take a holistic look at the calendar and decide what themes, core values, seasonal concurrences, and other factors will influence worship development and message preparation and lay out a preaching calendar based upon this information. It then becomes clear what themes are getting overemphasized and what theological or spiritual concepts need more attention. It also allows me to plan when I will be away. Here is the form that I use to lay out my preaching year. I present it to our Covenant Council so they can see where we will be journeying in the coming year and can add their input and support.
Like I said, it is a plan, and plans can be changed. I hope you find it a useful addition to your tool box.
Consumed by the Call,
Marty's Yearly Sermon Planning form