It helps to have overall goals for your program, or just for the year. It also helps to see the big picture. Resources on this page will help you map out your plan. Go to the "Beyond Traditional Sunday School" to find a mapping process on the bottom of the page.
Planning for Christian Formation
The Church year is more than a collection of Sundays! A year-long calendar offers the opportunity to see the arch of liturgical worship and scriptural story-telling. This calendar marks each Sunday, but also color-codes liturgical seasons, enabling formation leaders to clarify where they might delve deeper in their planning and where it might be better to let the Church’s story direct the work of teaching. (from Building Faith website)
Steps for Planning
1) Collect Calendars
The general calendar (Holidays, etc.), School calendars, Personal calendars (vacations, etc.), the Diocesan Calendar, the Church calendar, the Liturgical Calendar
Here is the wonderful 2017-2018 Planning Calendar from Church Publishing
2) Create your own calendar
Put in the dates and schedules from the calendars you've collected
3) Highlight special Sundays
Do you have a parish picnic? Do you want to do a special intergenerational class during Lent or Advent? Are there Sundays when attendance is low? Note all of those first
4) Plan your curriculum
From here you can go a number of directions, depending on your resources, engagement, involvement, and many other reasons. Using the tools for Reflecting on your Current Location and Making Plans for your Journey and Articulating your Plan may help you decide your direction.
Here's an article on the website "Building Faith" Choosing a New Curriculum? Read This First!
The definition of curriculum is "the subjects comprising a course of study in a school." It's not necessarily a purchased and packaged lesson plan. Use the pages for Curriculum and Adult Volunteers to help you with this next step.
Other Planning Resources
The Episcopal Lectionary (website)
Sample Survey – Parents of Teenagers (file)
Principles for Family-Friendly Congregations and Youth Ministries (*article)
Strategies for Family Faith Formation