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Keep Your Church Engaged This Summer

Many churches have a slower schedule during the summer. Congregants are enjoying vacations, and the pace of life feels more relaxed. Summer can be a challenge to keep your church engaged. We’ve fired up the grill and are ready to serve up some easy ways to keep your ministry going during the summer.

Need worship visuals for summertime? We’ve got you covered there, too. Click the button to see our summer collection.

Summer is the time of the year when everyone wants to bask in the sun, relax and take a vacation. However, for churches, the season can also mean a drop in attendance and participation. But don’t worry, there are plenty of fun and creative ways for churches to keep their congregation engaged and active during the summer months. Let’s explore some of these ideas together!

Water Communion

African-American family at the beach collecting water for the Water Communion at their church.This idea has become a cherished annual tradition at Virginia-Highland Church in Atlanta, GA. Instead of fighting the fact that many people miss church due to summer vacations, the church flipped the situation into a positive. Water Communion is a common ceremony in Unitarian Universalist congregations.

At the start of summer, the church passes out small vials to everyone. The request? Wherever your travels take you that summer, use the vial to collect a sample of water.

Then, at the end of the summer, the church asks everyone to bring their vials for Water Communion Sunday. Each person (or family) empties the water from their vial into a large, communal vessel. It’s a fun way to celebrate everyone’s summer experiences, and also mark the end of summer.

The combined water is blessed, and then used for Baptisms and christenings over the course of the year.

Offer Volunteer Opportunities

Another way to keep your congregation engaged and active during the summer is by offering volunteer opportunities. Encourage church members to volunteer for local charities and non-profit organizations. This not only benefits the community, but it also allows church members to grow in their faith and serve others. Organize a mission trip or service project for members to participate in. It’s an excellent way to combine faith and service. You can also provide opportunities to participate in community events such as parades and festivals. This allows the church to have a presence in the community and show support for local events.

Host Fun Summer Events

A group of people sitting at a table playing board games.One way to keep your congregation engaged and active during the summer is by hosting fun events. The options are endless! You can organize outdoor activities such as picnics, BBQs, and beach trips. Nothing beats good food, sunshine, and fellowship with church members. Additionally, you can hold a summer camp for children and youth. It’s a great way to keep them busy and involved in church activities during their summer break.

Don’t forget to plan family-friendly movie nights or game nights as well. These events can bring the church community together and strengthen bonds between members. Lastly, inviting guest speakers to talk about relevant topics and inspire the congregation is always a great idea.

Embrace Technology

You can also keep your congregation engaged and active during the summer is by embracing technology. Use social media to share inspirational messages and updates about church activities. Livestream church services and events for members who are unable to attend in person. Host virtual bible studies and prayer groups for members who are away or unable to attend. Use church websites to provide resources and information for members who are away or unable to attend. Embracing technology allows the church to stay connected with members who may be physically distant, making them feel valued and appreciated.

Sermon Flashbacks

This one is great for social media – if you have video or audio of your sermons. Post snippets of favorite sermons from the past few months on social media, and ask people to comment or reflect on the message. This is a great way to post your engagement on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Their algorithms ranks posts that are getting a lot of comments higher – which means your post will be shown to more people.

Behind The Scenes

Use the summer as a time to showcase key individuals from your ministries. Post photos of meetings or activities, and use the time to celebrate any successes the ministry has enjoyed recently. These posts might help you find new volunteers for those ministries. Plus, everyone likes to have their efforts recognized.

Weekly Challenge

Give your church a new challenge every week, and ask people to post their efforts on social media (tagging your church, of course). For example, you might encourage people to do a random act of kindness. Or simply introduce themselves to someone new at church. 

Weekly Q/A Sessions

Image of a pastor about to spin a prize wheelThanks to Facebook Live and Instagram Live, it’s easy to do streaming, interactive sessions. All you need is a smartphone and a decent Internet connection.

Each week, have clergy or lay leaders lead an online discussion on a topic. For example, you might play “Stump The Pastor” – asking people to submit questions about the Bible they’ve always wanted to ask. Foster a safe space where people feel encouraged to share. Churches have found good success hosting these quick virtual sessions during lunchtime. 

In summer, summertime might be a quieter time for your church. We hope these ideas inspire to to be creative and use the summer as a time to cultivate new relationships and establish new traditions at your church.

Summer may be a challenging time for churches to keep their congregation engaged and active, but it doesn’t have to be. Hosting fun summer events, offering volunteer opportunities, and embracing technology are just a few of the ways churches can keep their members connected and involved.

By staying connected during the summer months, church members can continue to grow in their faith and support each other through the ups and downs of life. Remember, staying engaged with your church community is important for both personal growth and strengthening relationships within the church.

Have an idea that you’ve found success with? We’d love to learn more. Email us and share.

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