In one way or another, the summer slump is coming.
Don’t take a defeatist attitude about it, though. Sure, it affects churches at different levels, but we’re approaching the months where people (staff included) are going to take some time off for vacations and travel. This is going to have an effect on attendance, giving, and participation. Pastor, don’t think you did something to cause the slump, it just is.
If you accept that, then you can move on to ways to make the best of the summer months. Such as …
Tinker with new ways to communicate with members. Ministry leaders, try posting a little more to social media since church members and prospects could be checking their own profiles and feeds with the downtime summer brings. Also, see if you can work up that morning coffee or lunch with members/prospects you simply couldn’t seem to meet with over recent months due to work schedules.
Look outside. Yes, you’re going to have to take into account Georgia’s oppressive heat and plan accordingly, but this is the time to have events in the sun. Organize picnics and pickup softball/basketball/horseshoe games at the city park. Go to the public pool a few times and meet people who don’t have access to the private one in your subdivision. Get the names of visitors from VBS and arrange a way to take them fishing.
Evaluate and reset. Think of what went well the past church year and what didn’t. How did your church change over that time and what needs in terms of programming/discipleship should be addressed?
Find unique mission opportunities. Perhaps this is the time to organize and train a group for localized missions. Or, every summer children who depend on meals provided at school go hungry. Contact your board of education and/or local charities to see how you can partner with them.
Organize a potluck dinner. Yes, eating is good and brings people together. Whether it’s the entire church or a Bible study class, meet somewhere and make memories while eating casseroles. Just be sure to keep it safe.
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