When our kids got busy in sports, school, church, and with friends, events would regularly pop up at the last minute. The confusion of having necessary and optional meetings, coupled with our already busy lives, drove us to developing a family calendar that everyone shared on computers and phones.

This very simple addition calmed our family’s chaos and created a simple go-to area for planning — plus it gave us the ability to say no to something because of conflicts on the calendar.

Your church needs this, too. Except the church’s “family calendar” is called a “communication calendar.” It’s the building block of a communication strategy. Here are five criteria for a successful church communication calendar.


Your calendar is intentionally for inside eyes. Sure, many of the things on this calendar will be promoted on an external calendar eventually, but I’d suggest that because of the inclusivity and tiering, you probably want it to be available for only those who are creating events in your church. This way you never have to be scared at what gets listed in the notes.


All events that are conducted for your members or greater community need to be on this calendar. All! When someone decides to omit something, the system breaks down. It’s good to list other, nonchurch events that affect your members and community, too!


When should the event be added to the calendar? This is up to you, but the earlier the better for events intended for “all church members” or “almost everyone.”

Certainly, based on the tier, your members, and your communication requirements, you need to make sure that the event is added to the calendar early to give your church time to adequately plan and promote the event.


Every event needs to be tiered based on how large the potential audience is. The more people that need to be reached, the more it’s a Tier 1 event.

The smaller the audience, the more it decreases in priority. Events can contain a T1 (T2 or T3) or a color code so people quickly know if the event is “all church,” “all ministry,” or a tertiary event for smaller segments.

The all-church events (T1) get the loudest voice and therefore the most promotion (more channels and materials).


The calendar must be available to everyone who creates church events. It helps them determine timing, so they don’t compete with other ministries. Most importantly, it helps ease the load on busy families in your church.

We must stop adding stress to our families when they’re trying to juggle their nonchurch lives with a busy church calendar! Should the calendar be digital? Google, Outlook or Apple offer possibilities that make a lot of sense — but it could be a physical calendar that is kept by an assistant, or a large whiteboard that people come and look at.

Should anyone have direct calendar access if they want to add an event? Many churches have restricted access so that someone helps them decide what’s acceptable before adding an event.

But it’s entirely up to you! The calendar should enable ministry to happen when its most beneficial to your members and not in a restrictive sense. Plus, it starts the process of promotion (which should be exciting!).