I tore the page off the calendar. Just a few days ago it was May and now here it is June. The days seem to fly by faster and faster. Do we ever have enough time to do everything we need to do, or even some of what we want to do? Life must be intentional. That means we must plan. Robert H. Schuller once said, “Fail to plan; plan to fail.” Those words have stuck with me over the years.
For some personalities, it is easy to plan. The cholerics and melancholies excel at planning and strategizing. They are experts at preparing. For the sanguines and phlegmatics, it’s not as easy, but it’s a key step in being a successful and effective speaker.
I was raised in a church where a great deal of emphasis was placed on foreign missions. Every summer we would hold an event called, Christmas in July. During this event we would raise money, make items and collect goods to be sent overseas for Christmas. It was necessary to plan ahead.
Today, most people wait until just a short time before the holidays to start planning and preparing. Even Operation Christmas Child, does not collect their shoeboxes until mid-November.
Speakers, take note! Don’t wait. Start now to develop a plan for your holiday speaking. Here are a few suggestions.
Start your marketing now. Do you have a marketing plan? If not, maybe it’s time to sit down and develop one. Kathi Lipp and Karen Porter, two of our CLASS staff members, took a survey that revealed the most effective way to promote your ministry was with a postcard. Now is the time to update your postcards, or design new ones. Have a new batch printed and get them off in the mail. Then schedule a time to follow up.
Create new material. Are you still using the same old holiday presentations you’ve used for years? It’s time to create something fresh. The world changes at a rapid pace. Your material needs to be relevant. With new material, you have a better chance to return to churches where you have spoken before with a new message.
Refresh old material. Everyone needs a make-over now and then, even our messages. Maybe you have a message that is spot on and needed in our world today. Look at it. Can you change some of the examples? Add some new props? Does it need a different opening or closing? Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same old words. Spruce those great messages up and give them new life and fresh energy.
Revitalize your time with the Lord. It may seem like summer just started, but fall is just around the corner and then the holidays will be fast approaching. You need to be ready spiritually. Prepare now by spending extra time with the Lord. Seek His wisdom and guidance in your planning and preparation. Do something different to add spark to your quiet time. Change the format. Change the time and/or place. Do something wild and crazy with Jesus.
Whatever your personality is, it’s time to start planning. God has given you a message to share and He expects you to take the necessary steps to get it heard. Don’t wait. Plan now.