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Surviving the Summer Slump for Ministry Leadership – Part 1

John Gilman May 24, 2013

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Surviving the Summer Slump

 “The rhythm is gonna get you.”

-Gloria Estefan

Every industry has rhythms, and successful leaders identify these rhythms and position their organizations to thrive during the highs and to survive the lows. Bad leaders ignore these rhythms and fail.

The beginnings of spring and fall are exciting times for pastors because they are key times for churches. People settle into routines, and life is good. Churches grow during these months, but shrink in the summer. A bad summer sends an excited pastor into a minor depression.

When life moves fast, church gets slow. The Summer Slump eats away at attendance, giving, and relationships. The Church is a web of relationships, and churches need to pay their bills and move forward in their God-given visions. Lower attendance and decreased giving can take weeks or months to level out. This stress keeps leaders from enjoying their summer. That’s bad.

Step 1. Accept the slump. You can control some things, but most things are out of your control. But, that’s “ok”. God is taking care of it, and He’s good at dealing with these things. However, you can provide growth opportunities in the summer.

Step 2. Get back your spunk. It’s natural. You didn’t cause the Summer Slump anymore than you caused summer. Before you can survive and thrive, you must let the fear and guilt go. It’s not your fault. You can make it through this. Enjoy the season. Enjoy your family.

Step 3. Re-frame your funk. Strong families make strong churches. A good minister understands summer’s hectic pace. People should enjoy their families, play with their kids, and live balanced, fulfilled lives. It’s good for them, and it’s good for families.

Find ways to leverage the season and maintain contact with your people. People shouldn’t miss out on spiritual growth opportunities because they are spending time with their families. Make a plan to bridge the gap. Great churches find ways to integrate Faith and family. It’s important.

 

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