Turning the Summer Slump into a Summer Hump

There’s just something about summer that makes our hearts and minds swell with its endless possibilities. Both school and the sun are out – and calendars seem to beg for adventure and change of pace. Families want to take advantage of the bounty that the warm weather brings and maximize their time together unencumbered by the (over-)scheduling of the rest of the year.

But between vacations, family reunions and other summertime activities, many churches can lose their momentum and sense of community.

ENTER: The dreaded “summer slump.”

It happens every year, and every church leader knows exactly what summer slump means: a drop in attendance, decreased participation, and reduced giving. Your church gains great momentum coming out of Easter as lives are changed, and your attendance is at an all-time high.

But then Memorial Day creeps up. Your attendance plummets, giving is down, and congregants just aren’t as connected to your mission, ministry or even to one another as they were just weeks ago.

The summer slump has begun.

According to Lifeway, average Sunday morning attendance drops by 23 percent in June and 34 percent in July – and in many churches, this ‘slump’ can last through Labor Day weekend.

This can be disheartening to a church leader when faced with the annual prospect of having to make progress toward the vision with fewer people and less money.

To combat the dreaded slump, churches just have to be willing to get a little creative. So here are three articles you may have missed that may inspire you to approach the summer slump with a renewed spirit.

Say Goodbye to The Summer Giving Slump: “You can pray about it and hope for the best, or you can pray about it and develop a plan to overcome it. If you’re interested in the second approach, here are some practical ideas for cultivating more consistent generosity during the ‘dog days.’”

4 Ideas to Keep Small Groups Thriving This Summer: “Before your church gives up on maintaining a thriving small group ministry during the summer, here are four ideas you could pass along to your leaders to keep the momentum going.”

Three Things Your Church Can Do Today to Prepare for Summer Giving: “Don’t allow summer to be a stressful season for your church. Instead, consider how these three ideas can help your church create incredible momentum for your fall kickoff and the new church year.”

So if you’re tired of dealing with summer slumps – and really, who isn’t? – consider implementing any one of these ideas this summer to see how they can serve you and your church well during the dog days of summer.

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Recent Comments
What happens when u dont have a meeting place any more. And u was forced out because the buliding wasnt available any more.
— Debra
If someone wants entertainment they're going to the wrong place. Church is not a place for entertainment...or in my opinion a barrage of coffee and donuts. Why are churches today bringing the world INTO them? Then there's the thing with children...age appropriate??? These little guys can pick stuff up in service. Besides Jesus said Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Mt. 19:14.
— Laurie
I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
— Michael Lukaszewski (@mlukaszewski)

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