The Seasonal Model at VOUS

Luke Barry

September 8, 2022
5 min read

The seasonal schedule enables our staff and teams to anticipate upcoming changes and motivates us to always look beyond where we currently are.

Luke Barry

We just officially kicked off SZN 3 at VOUS! Since we launched in 2015, our church has operated on a seasonal model. (We posted an article about this three years ago. Most of that info still applies directly to what we do today. You can read Why We Operate in Seasons As An Organization.) We’ve gotten some questions about this recently, so I wanted to circle back to this conversation and share an updated perspective with our F+F community.

At VOUS, we divide our calendar into three seasons—stylized SZN 1, SZN 2, SZN 3. Between each season, we have what we call an off month. So our calendar looks like this…

SZN 1

January

February

March

SZN 2

May

June

July

SZN 3

September

October

November

OFF MONTHS

April

August

December

The key function of this approach is to create a rhythm for our church—people (congregation, servant leaders, team leaders, staff, etc.) and events. Our seasonal model helps us to organize our year and bring clarity around what happens when. It also creates deadlines for us to update and upgrade our digital and physical spaces. Each season, we refresh our digital assets—screen and promo graphics, social platform identities, print material, document and presentation templates—and our physical environments—installations, photo walls, vinyls, etc.

The seasonal schedule enables our staff and teams to anticipate upcoming changes and motivates us to always look beyond where we currently are. This season is a time to prepare for the next. That preparation creates a framework for the following few months that frees us up to think and work ahead. The regular shift keeps us on our toes and forces us to start from scratch again. Each revolution of that cycle provides opportunities to refine our workflow and make things better next time around. We never want to get comfortable where we are.

For SZN 3 2022, our Creative Department did an incredible job of creating cohesion between the various projects we had going for the upcoming season. In fact, they drew the whole year into the frame of a story that progressed from SZN 1 to 2 to 3. More than ever before, they executed the vision of our seasonal approach with a clear view of the overarching narrative of the year. That type of work elevates a simple system designed to create a rhythm to a creative act that supersedes mere practicality. (To see how they did it, check out our SZN 3 Art Direction deck, linked to the bottom of this post.)

Our seasonal model serves us by…

Creating rhythm

Systematizing change

Clarifying expectations

Driving innovation

Challenging creativity

It’s not so much the schedule, it’s the regularity that is empowering. Knowing what to expect, and what’s expected of you, streamlines work in a significant way. Whether you like our rhythm or not, my suggestion would be that you build a schedule that serves your church. Over the years we have continued to tweak and improve our approach, but much of what we established early on has made its way into our current flow. Adopting a seasonal model has been a powerful driver of creativity and change for us. I hope you find the same to be true for you!

If there’s anything I didn’t cover here, be sure to check out Why We Operate in Seasons As An Organization. You might just find what you’re looking for there!

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