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8 Ways Your Church Can Gain Momentum This Summer

March 6, 2024 jill Blog
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The school year is nearly over, and, for many families, it’s time to take a break, sleep in, and enjoy a slower pace of life. But for churches, summer is a busy time.

Children and student camps are around the corner. Vacation Bible Schools (or other summer programs) are being planned.

You have volunteers to train and recruit, endless logistics to coordinate, and creative projects filling the hallways as you prepare for the next church event.

From a ministry perspective, summer holds great opportunities for your church to pour into the next generation and introduce them to Jesus. And it can be a catalyst for fall momentum and growth for your church.

As students and children engage in summer programs, they invite friends to come along.

These friends have a great time and experience God’s love, maybe for the first time in their lives. They go home and tell their parents all their stories and experiences.

Parents begin to lean in and ask, “What is this all about? Who is this church? If it is that great, maybe our family needs to engage more this fall.” So, they turn to your website, social media, and start watching services online.

This summer, your church can reach more families, with lots of prayer and a solid strategy.

Here are eight ways you can harness your church’s summer activities to better connect with families and grow your ministry.

  1. Promote Your Social Media

Ask parents to follow your church on social media for camp pictures, daily updates, and stories. This is a great way to introduce them to the life of the church and the message of hope you bring.

  1. Go Analogue

Call every parent to thank them for sending their child to your event. Let them know how much you enjoyed getting to know their son/daughter and invite them to join you for a weekend service.

  1. Make It Hassle Free

Put your best foot forward by thinking through all the touch points for your event – greeters, registration process, quick onsite check in, FAQs and website, etc. – and creating a smooth process that communicates how much you care about each student.

  1. Optimize Your Digital Presence

Walk through your website and social media with a new person in mind, especially someone who may not know anything about church. Make sure your language, visuals, and navigation are welcoming, designed well, offer value, and answer the basic questions people are asking. If you are streaming your services, make sure they are easy to find and have a decent production quality.

  1. Create Email Engagement Series

Set up a series of emails to parents who send their children to your camp. Thank them, introduce them to the team, tell them about your weekly offerings, invite them to connect and attend.

  1. Plan an Engaging Fall Series

Design a sermon series that launches when school starts that is biblical and touches a felt need. Think about creative ways to communicate topics people experience at this time of year, such as stress and anxiety, priorities, work/life balance, winning as a parent, etc.

  1. Create a Fall Promotion Plan

Consider promoting your fall series and events with an email campaign and run digital ads targeting parents whose children attended summer events.

  1. Don’t Check Out

Remember people still visit in the summer, so keep the energy and excellence flowing during with your summer communications and weekend worship experiences.

How to Heat Up Summer Giving

If you’ve been a church leader very long, you know that the summer months are the toughest months for churches financially. But it’s not just giving that goes down. Attendance drops in the summer, too. At the same time, programs and expenses don’t go on vacation during the summer. Quite the opposite…some programs—such as VBS, mission trips, and youth ministry—actually amp up.

So, what’s a church leader to do?

  • Make giving easy while people are away. Create a seamless online giving process because more and more giving is shifting online every year.
  • Preach a great sermon series. If you want to have guest speakers preach during the series, that’s fine, but put a series in the summer that you know will speak to people’s needs. Give them a reason to show up at church.
  • If you’re a senior pastor, show that the summer is important. Don’t take eight weeks off every summer. If that’s the case, you tell your church, “I’m taking off, so this is the time when you take off, too.”
  • Don’t assume that your people don’t want to give. Don’t assume that their pocketbooks are closed in the summer because they might go on vacation. Give compelling reasons for people to give throughout the summer. Remind them of the ministry that’s happening, of the lives that are being changed, and the unique position that your church holds in the community. If you do, it will help them understand why giving is so important during the summer months.

Summer is a busy time – but it’s filled with opportunities to reach more families. These tips will help you make the most of the summer to introduce even more of your community to a warm, welcoming, Jesus-loving community.

This information is courtesy of Dunham+Company, which exists to help nonprofit organizations create more impact through elevated marketing, fundraising, and media solutions,