September's Small Sips | A monthly roundup of news and resources for church communicators

Good morning. ☕️ The start of September rushes in all-things-fall, and all-things pumpkin spice. (We're also 115 days away from Christmas.) For some of you, today is also the last workday before a long Labo(u)r Day weekend. Enjoy!


How to Plan a Yearly Calendar

How far in advance do you plan your preaching calendar? If you're like most pastors, you might work two or three weeks in advance—maybe a month if you're lucky. You know how that usually ends—your messages are rushed, redundant, and underprepared. They are microwave meals instead of a well-seasoned dinner. Worse, you don't have a discipleship plan for your congregation. You are dictated by the moment. And when the moment dictates your actions, you often fail to look to the future.

While sometimes the Holy Spirit changes our course at the last minute, planning a preaching plan that leverages the seasons of the year will free you to be more studied, confident, and intentional. In this webinar, Ministry Pass and Sermonary co-founders Justin Trapp and Wade Bearden will teach you how to plan your sermon calendar twelve months in advance, empowering you to preach the gospel more clearly and intentionally.


How Jackson, Mississippi Ran Out of Water

Photo: Vox / AP

The water system in Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capital and largest city, failed earlier this week. Beginning Tuesday, most of the city’s 150,000 residents were without safe drinking water, prompting a state of emergency. It’s not clear when the city will have safe drinking water again.

Here’s how you can help.


Life.Church Launches YouVersion For Churches

Photo: YouVersion

Last week, Life.Church’s YouVersion hosted a Special Event, where they announced two new features in YouVersion built to help your church build connection outside of your weekly services and understand how people engage with Scripture: Church Profile and Insights.


Prayers for the Start of a New School Year

Photo: ReFrame Ministries / Shutterstock

Using Scripture as a guide, use these prayers for your church’s education programs, the school in your neighborhood, or family members who may be students or teachers.


Six Big Ministry Time Wasters and How to Avoid Them

Photo: Church Answers

A church is not meant to be the model of operational efficiency. Ministry is inefficient because serving people is not the same as streamlining a manufacturing process. While ministry can be inefficient, pastors should be good stewards of time. You cannot control when someone needs help, but there are plenty of time wasters you can handle.

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