Camp, vacations, Little League, and family reunions all take their toll on summertime church attendance. Since giving trends tend to mirror attendance trends, summer can be a scary time for many churches. Instead of trying to fight the summertime slump, focus on making summer church a noteworthy experience for those who do come. Here are a few ideas perfect for summertime:
Celebrate important spiritual moments—Camps and mission trips often lead to important spiritual decisions, especially for the teenagers in your congregation. Take time in your services both to send off groups headed for these special events and to welcome their return. Commissioning alerts the whole church to pray, and a celebration upon return can cement an important spiritual decision.
Church at the lake—The lake beckons. Instead of competing with it, move your service offsite for a week. Focus on relationships, and simplify your production. You can run a great service with just one microphone and a DI box for one acoustic guitar. The casual atmosphere will encourage people to connect with one another in a more personal way.
Lunch on the grounds—Take advantage of the beautiful weather by hosting lunch on the grounds following the service. Don’t try to shoulder the whole cost yourself, though. Most people are willing to contribute by bringing a side dish, drinks, or a dessert. Shorten your service to keep the time commitment manageable, and make a rain plan just in case.
Connect with key leaders—Many churches arrange a major sermon series or promote small groups in the fall. In preparation, use the summer months to connect with key leaders, do some extra training, and make plans.
Launch a community outreach—With schools closed, summer presents a great opportunity to impact your community. A service event to paint, landscape, and do general renovation in the school system can open a lot of doors for future ministry. Reach out to the school board and ask what needs your church might be able to meet.
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