5 Actions to Take This Summer to Help Your Church Grow
Here we are in the middle of another hazy summer, and it could be tempting for you to sit back and think that this isn’t a season to expect church growth.
Many church leaders view the typically lower attendance of the summer as a chance to regroup. While it’s a good idea to rest and prepare for the busy fall that is right around the corner, this isn’t the time to take your focus off of reaching more people in your community and making a greater impact. In fact, you can use the summer to see your church reach more people.
Fewer knocks on your door mean that summertime can be the perfect time for church leaders to engage in new activities to help their churches grow. With that in mind, here are five actions you can take in the coming weeks to help your church grow during this season and in seasons to come.
Plan your fall promotional schedule
Most churches see a bump in attendance around the beginning of the school year. For some reason, there’s something about autumn that has a New Year’s sort of feeling to it as people get back into routine and once again try to integrate spirituality into their lives. By the fall, new families have moved into town and are ready to find a church home. This time is an incredible opportunity for your church to reach out to parents who are new to your community as many are looking for encouragement and insights on raising children.
Do you want to do something special with your fall kickoff that is particularly targeted to new parents in the community? You can start working on that now!
You can also take time this summer to step back and ask if your church is doing enough promotion as you roll from one series to another. Why not use this summer to plan promotional activities to help your people invite their friends?
Hold one-on-one meetings with inviters
Your church likely has a small percentage of people who do most of the inviting.
This group represents a disproportionate number of people engaged in seeing their friends and family become connected to the church. This summer, sit down with them and simply ask, “What do you say when you invite other people to our church?” Their responses will help offer new insights on why your people not only want to be a part of your church but also what wider circles in your community are hearing about your church.
As you look to build future programs, you should develop activities and marketing efforts around those things that people find most exciting and attractive about your church. You’ve got a little extra time in your schedule this summer and investing it in both thanking the people who invite others to your church on a regular basis and learning from their experiences would be a great next step.
If you’re ready to improve the way you think about extending invitations, take our free 5 Day Church Invitability Challenge this summer.
Brainstorm Christmas outreach potentials
I know it’s hard to believe, but Christmas really is on the way.
For most churches, Christmas services are the next largest-attended weekend of the year. You really can’t start working too early on those services by figuring out how to best leverage that opportunity to be in front of your community.
Summer is the perfect time to gather your team and ask how you can make the Christmas services even more appealing to folks in the community. Are you developing enough promotional and invite tools for your Christmas services? You could start working on how those materials are going to roll out in the weeks before Christmas. You could also reach out to other churches to see what they did last year and then use those ideas to motivate and inspire your team.
Prepare community service projects
In my book, Church Growth Flywheel, I discuss the idea that one of the key ingredients of growing churches is they get people out of their seats and into the streets to serve their community in practical ways. Growing churches that are making an impact aren’t just about having people attend their weekend services; they ultimately want to motivate people to go out and make a difference in their community.
Summer is a natural time to invite your people to get out of their seats and into the streets to serve.
Maybe you could plan a community outreach six or eight weeks from now. Start by meeting with the most senior town official in your community (e.g. the mayor) and ask him or her, “What is a need in this town that you think a group from our church can meet in a day or two of volunteer service?” Inform them that you’d like to get 70% to 80% of your adults and kids mobilized to make a difference in your community. Not only will this service open doors for conversations with community leaders, but you’ll also begin to understand more deeply how to care for and love your community.
Grow your leadership
The speed of the leader really does impact the speed of the team.
Did you know that 94% of all churches are losing ground against the growth of the communities they’re in? [ref]
I encourage you to invest extra time, effort, and energy this summer to grow your leadership so that when your people return this fall, they’ll find you even more equipped to help them move forward in their discipleship journeys and reach their community.
If you’re looking for ways to grow your leadership when it comes to church growth, we have many resources at unSeminary to help you. Check out our free three-part video series on church growth, which walks you through some lessons we’ve learned as we’ve studied the growing churches in our country today. 94% of all churches are losing ground against the growth of the communities they’re in, and we would love to see your church be the exception that is growing, making a difference, and seeing people step closer to Jesus.Thanks so much for all you’re doing to make an impact in your community. I know that leading in a local church is not an easy task, and it’s our honor here at unSeminary to serve you as you reach out to your community.