Together We Engage

Strategies to Beat the Summer Slump

Easter has passed, and the next big focus on the calendar is the summer. It’s natural for many people to start thinking about planning vacations or spending more time outdoors. But for churches with members taking off for travel and relaxation, the summer often ushers in a “summer slump”—a marked decrease in church attendance, engagement, and giving. But summer doesn’t have to be a slump. In fact, summer can be a powerful time for renewed connection and growth.

At its core, the Church is about gathering together in a shared mission and purpose. But that doesn’t have to mean physically gathering together. So, while attendance or engagement might drop during the summer, there are still plenty of opportunities to build and strengthen your community.

From Slump To Success With Hybrid

Just because your congregation is out-of-town or out-of-church doesn’t mean they can’t stay engaged. Hybrid worship services give congregants the flexibility to choose what works best for their schedule and location. Whether traveling or staying home, your members can stay connected to the community and their faith by participating in online services.

Our 2024 State of Church Tech Report found that 90% of churches offer hybrid worship experiences. So, while hybrid may not be new to your ministry, there are a few ways to refine and polish that experience before the temperatures start rising. The most important one is to set up (or refine) systems that support your engagement efforts for both physical and digital attendees.

Jeff Whye, the online campus pastor at Sandals Church, shares that a church management system is “our hub for everything we do. It’s a tool to help us know where you are on your path to Christ and how we can help you. And it’s making ministry tangible, because in a church our size, we have to have that system to make sure all of that happens.”

Along with a church management system, check on your other tools for digital ministry—cameras, audio equipment, livestreaming software, church app, and online giving, just to name a few. Take stock of what’s working and where there’s room for improvement. Your digital experience will likely see a spike in traffic this summer, and you want it to be as welcoming and familiar as your in-person experiences.

Connect Across Generations With VBS

Children being out of school is a challenge for parents—but a huge opportunity for church leaders like you. Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a great way to keep congregants and community members’ children engaged during summer break while giving parents some time for themselves. And the impact of a single week during the summer can ripple out for years to come.

Carolyn Kersten, the Strategic Leader of Growth at Trinity Church, shared Benji’s story, one of the thousands of students she saw during her 16+ years leading VBS. Benji was the youngest of six kids and lost his mom when he was two. His aunt stepped in to help, and she enrolled Benji and his siblings in VBS every summer despite not being a member of Trinity Church.

Now, as a junior in high school, Benji is a student leader in the church’s youth group and leads the music team. He reflects on his summers spent at Trinity Church, that VBS is a powerful consistent rock in his life. But it wasn’t just his life that changed. The summers spent at VBS grew Benji’s faith, which in turn, inspired his aunt and uncle to become members of the church and get more involved.

While students and families like Benji’s certainly reap the benefits of VBS, everyone in your church has something to gain. Adults who aren’t on vacation can volunteer, and spend a week mentoring children, connecting more to your church, and strengthening their own faith through serving others.

The sun-drenched days of summer don’t have to mean a slump for the Church. They can be full of growth, connection, and community building—both in-person and digitally. Whether you refine your hybrid experience, ramp up your VBS program, or find new opportunities for engagement, the summer offers a unique opportunity to strengthen your community and empower its members to thrive.

For five more strategies to make the most of the summer season, check out Pushpay’s free guide, How To Beat The Summer Slump.


Leave a Reply

HTML Snippets Powered By :