Church in the Summertime.  Keeping Church Participation Up.

Church Life
activities, summertime

School is out and everyone is either planning or going on a vacation to the beach, mountains or a lake.  Even more, our kids are greatly focused on going to neighborhood pools, sleepovers and visits to relatives.  We adults too seem to get focused on home repairs and the lawn.  And our attendance at church services and activities wanes.  And when we aren’t at church, it’s not on our mind.  And neither is giving and serving.

It’s not all the fault of summer though.  We as church leaders tend to also “let off the gas”.  Most church’s today do plan a summer schedule.  However, we also tend to not message our members and past guests on those events at our churches.  And communications during the summer months is most critical.  Here are some ways to ensure that the summer season at your church is active.

  • Send out a newsletter spelling out your events and providing a link to the church calendar (online). People who are at the beach will be back.  The same for those at a relative’s house.  Make sure they know that their church can’t wait to see them when they’re back.  This also reminds them to keep on giving, even while away.
  • Plan a surprise picnic in early August. By this time, people are home from any summer visits and probably shopping for school suppliers.  Cater a simple favorite on a Saturday afternoon.  This could even coincide with returning youth camp participants.  There are plenty of places like Chick Fil A and local BBQ vendors, even food trucks that make a visit to the church on a Saturday and special event.
  • Find summer festivals that need a few more sponsors. Most towns (small to medium size cities too) have summer events that involve food vendors, craft creators and yes, churches.  Nothing is better than handing out water to people on a hot day.  And nothing rallies your members and guests like being those people who get to bring relief to the community.  Make sure to use the newsletters mentioned above, along with email lists to get volunteers who just may be in need to more than just vacations.
  • Promote summer sermons. All Sunday services are important.  Use your church management and/or marketing software to remind people of your upcoming sermons.  While many members may be away from home, your church services may be as far away as an internet or mobile phone connection.  If you don’t yet live broadcast your church services and want to, you may only need a 1.) mobile phone, 2.) tripod and 3.) a Facebook and/or YouTube account.
  • Promote a special giving mission. Your local charities may be affected by the same vacations and trips affecting attendance at your church activities.  However, the needs by those they serve do not diminish.  Create a new donation category for “Summer Food for the Needy” and engage your congregation to rise to the challenge.  This keeps their eye on the church’s key role in the community and ensures those in need of help can get it.  Plan on a charity visit a couple of times before the end of summer to delivery monies or food in time to carry those in need into the early fall.

Summer is a great time of the year to enjoy warm weather and relatives.  It’s also a time though to keep congregants engaged and their church always there for them.

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