By Deborah Ike
Summer months provide an excellent opportunity to refresh and clean up the church. Decent weather makes it easier to handle outdoor projects. No school may mean some students are willing and able to volunteer a few hours to help. As you take inventory of what projects to tackle, here are several ideas to consider.
Harsh weather can wreak havoc on the church parking lot, sidewalks, roofing, and gutters. Take a walk around your church campus and note any potholes, cracks, clogged or damaged gutters, and potential roof damage. Next, go inside and take a deliberate look at each room. Note any cracked tiles, stained or torn carpet, scuffs on the walls, burned-out light bulbs, and more. From here, organize a church beautification day with volunteers. Create a list of repairs, purchase the supplies needed, and recruit volunteers to knock out the list. Make sure you provide food and water for your hard workers.
Speaking of volunteers, you might have experienced many people dropping out during the pandemic. As life starts to return to normal, try to reengage with volunteers who haven’t returned to serving yet. Make a list of people who used to serve regularly but dropped off over the last year. Reach out with a phone call and ask how they’re doing. If they’re back to attending church in person, invite them to rejoin a volunteer team. Mention what areas need help and discuss where they might want to serve. (This assumes you’ve stayed in touch over the last several months. If you haven’t, don’t ask for them to volunteer with your first call. Find out how they’re doing first, then after a week or so try asking them to serve.)
3. Church website
While the church campus should make a good first impression with in-person guests, your church’s website is key to getting them to come at all. Take a detailed look at each page of the church website. Is the information on each page accurate?
- Do you have information regarding your current COVID-19 mitigations (cleaning, etc.)?
- Is it easy to find where to give to the church?
- Do you have a statement of beliefs and FAQs on the site? Go through each page and make changes as needed. Perhaps consult other church websites, too, to get ideas for what yours could include.
4. Church visitor follow-up
As you update the church website, you might also want to think through your guest follow-up process. Many people may have found your church and watched several services online without ever attending in person. As people start to feel more comfortable attending, you may see more guests.
With your team, talk through the current process for guest follow-up. Make sure you have a process for contacting in-person and online guests.
- How do you ask people to provide their contact information (both in-person and online)?
- What information or messages do you send to guests?
- Do you give first–time visitors a welcome gift?
5. Ministry calendar
Hopefully, you have a central calendar that includes all church events for the year. If not, now is a great time to build one. Even if you already have this calendar, midyear is a good time to review what’s coming up for the remainder of the year. Make sure all planned events are listed, and remove any canceled items.
From there, evaluate the schedule and workload for the rest of this year. Do you have too many events in a short period (drastically increasing the workload for those weeks)? Is there an outreach you’ve always wanted to do that might fit in nicely?
The last twelve to eighteen months have been quite unpredictable due to COVID-19. As in-person gatherings continue to be a more viable option, you might want to revisit plans for the rest of this year and make a few adjustments.
As you organize these summer spring-cleaning activities, leverage any group workdays to reconnect with people you haven’t seen much this last year. Have fun while repainting the nursery. Dream a bit with your team as you evaluate the calendar for the next few months. It’s been a rough season, so use these moments to reconnect and recharge as a church family.
Deborah Ike is the founder of The Church Operations Toolkit, a resource for those who serve behind-the-scenes in their churches. In addition to serving in ministry, Deborah worked for an international consulting firm and a Fortune 500 company as a consultant, project manager, and risk management analyst. Deborah is certified as a Project Management Professional.
This article is adapted from its original appearance in the June 2021 issue of Ministry Team magazine.