The summer of 2022 is underway. For many churches, this is the first summer of what is called the “new normal” following the COVID outbreaks of the past couple of years. Some pastors look across their congregations with dismay as attendance is already down below the pre-COVID numbers. With the arrival of summer, the numbers may be even lower for some congregations. Yet, not all churches are slumping this summer; some are surging. They fully engage in VBS, summer camps, Bible studies, and sermon series.
Providing opportunities to engage people throughout the summer is essential to a thriving church. Summer is always a challenging season for a church. While vacations and the busyness of summer activities abound, one may notice that fewer members are in the pews on Sunday morning. The church's success should not be measured just by the attendance on Sunday morning but on the engagement of its people in taking the gospel to those outside the walls of its building. This is accomplished through the things the church provides for the community: VBS, camps, cookouts, mission trips, and such. The goal is to draw those outside the church walls into a relationship with Christ by engaging with the local church.
However, it is more personal than that. Church families engage with many individuals as they travel and connect with others all summer. Are you encouraging and training your families to share the gospel with others while on the go? Are you asking your families to be the hands and feet of Jesus as they minister to or serve others during their own or the church’s summer activities?
Avoid viewing empty pews on Sundays in the summer as a slump in attendance. Instead, let’s encourage ourselves by changing our perspective on church attendance in the summer. Realize that you are not slumping but surging in attendance through how your congregation is reaching into your communities to present Jesus to them. Engaging people who need Jesus is pivotal to the success of your church’s summer season. Summer is just beginning. It’s not too late to shift from a slump to a surge.