Summer means a lot of things to people: BBQ’s and family gatherings, Vacation Bible School, vacations, mission trips, camps and activities, etc. This list includes all the above and more for church staff: church services, managing volunteers, tithes and offerings, building projects, outreach opportunities, etc. There’s no “summer break” for a church, yet the summer break impact is real. While a church’s guide to preparing for summer changes from year to year (pre and post pandemic, for example), there are some tried and true and new things you can do to avoid an overall church summer slump.
1. Cast a vision.
Start the summer with a theme and a set of goals that will capture the imagination of your congregation. Make it relevant and practical for all ages so people will stick with you despite everything else that’s competing for their attention.
Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
2. Create compelling summer fellowship and outreach opportunities for youth and adults that dovetail with your vision for the ministry
Examples include: VBS, summer camps, mission trips, men’s and women’s retreats, holiday festivals, etc.). Show your congregation that the summer can be a pivotal time in the life of the church.
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
3. Articulate financial goals without overdoing it.
Stimulating interest through a Quarterly Giving Report (QGR), Sunday announcements, online notifications, email, text messages, adult small group alerts can cultivate accountability and generosity.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11
4. Utilize an online eGiving platform.
It makes giving fast, easy and convenient for people on the go during the summer. Here’s a statistic most of us are all too familiar with: church summer giving is typically down approximately 15%. Hang tight, we’ve got better news: Churches with a congregational communication tool and eGiving under one umbrella witness higher giving levels by almost 32%. This sounds promising and helpful for all.
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
5. Connect your church and personalize people’s involvement.
Having an app that is a fully integrated ministry tool where information can be shared seamlessly across all platforms is imperative to growing your ministry. With a church app people can interact, engage and give in ways that matter most to them with control over settings and content.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Over the next few warmer months, your people will be scattered across the nation and maybe even the world. Remember, the messages you share apart from Sunday Service might be your most impacting- otherwise the congregation may also assume the church is taking a breather and hibernating for the summer. That’s why it’s up to the church leaders to bring a fresh and creative approach to the table that energizes the congregation and continues to advance the mission of the church. A “must do for best results” from a potential 2022 church summer guide would be to make sure you are providing the above tools and context for communication and ministry to yield greater results with more people listening and, thus, more engagement.
As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring International.