How to Beat the Spring Lull & Gain Momentum at Your Church
The season between Easter and summer is a strange one in the life of a church.
Many churches gain momentum coming up to Easter and then find the weeks that follow before summer arrives, drag on.
In any other year, this lull in momentum can feel difficult to climb out of; however, this spring is particularly difficult as we all try to come out of a COVID-induced coma that so many communities seem to be in.
We naturally anticipate seeing more people attend online and in-person services as summer approaches, but this spring you might be feeling a larger “drag” on momentum than in other years. Momentum is a key asset that every leader needs to consider when they make decisions in their church. This spring is no exception.
Momentum is forward motion fueled by a series of wins. We need to be looking for ways to both generate and increase momentum in our churches.
3 Components of Generating Momentum
When looking for ways to build positive momentum in the life of your church, you should be looking at either introducing new aspects to your ministry or improve preexisting ones.
- NEW // Anything new in your ministry will trigger momentum. It could be new leadership, new direction, or new offerings. Momentum is rarely triggered by tweaking something old. It is triggered by introducing something new! Of course, momentum can be positive or negative.
- IMPROVED // The new must be a noticeable improvement from the old. As leaders, we must consider if what we’re adding is a significant improvement over what we’ve already been doing. If you are in a situation where there is not enough money to do something new and improved, you are doing too many things.
- IMPROVING // Momentum is sustained through continuous improvement. It’s a flywheel. Continuous improvement requires systematic and unfiltered evaluation. You may need to take a long and hard look at what you’ve been doing and find ways to make significant improvements to it.
3 Steps to Increase Momentum
As your church moves through a series of things that go well, you will gain momentum.
Whether this is volunteer engagement, overall community engagement, or even finances, your church needs to move from one step to another when it comes to gaining momentum.
We need to identify what we win at and show our people that good things are happening in our churches. It really is as simple as these three steps:
- Set a Goal. // First set a goal that is attainable and will stretch your community. Communicate the goal as widely as possible and begin rallying your people toward this. Make sure that the desired outcome is understood by your community.
- Exceed the Goal. // Develop plans for executing your goal that will ensure you exceed your desirable outcome. It’s important to build your plan around exceeding your goal. How will you help your team reach higher than their target?
- Celebrate the Wins! // Many churches are simply not good at celebrating when good things happen. There’s so much negative going on around us. A part of what we need to do is to slow down and celebrate. Build a plan and factor in the celebration at the end. Celebrate that you not only succeeded in attaining your goal but that you also exceeded it!
Consider what areas you could help in adding momentum to your church this spring. To do this, think about investing in several things that will help your people be more engaged with the mission of your church.
6 Ideas to Inject Momentum in The Spring Of 2021
Below are six ideas that your church leadership team could brainstorm when planning on injecting new momentum into your church. Each one of these ideas can be examined against the rubric above: set goals, exceed those goals, and then celebrate the win.
How could you take one of these ideas and make it “new or improved” in your context?
- Another round of phone calls. // One of the most fascinating wins over this last year has been the number of times I’ve talked to church leaders and they’ve celebrated the fact that their church has directly called hundreds or thousands of their community members. Many large churches have added this to their game plan over the last year and have commented that they will continue this practice as they look forward. A group of well-trained volunteers reaching out adds a personal touch and shows that your church cares. It will also boost volunteers as they are inspired and trained to excel in this practice.
- Community service. // We’ve talked about this in a lot of other contexts but getting your people out of their seats and into the streets to make a difference in their community is an amazing way to not only be the church but also be the kind of church that your people want to be a part of. Spring is a perfect time to get out and make a difference in your community. Reach out to some community leaders and find out what needs must be met this spring. Even a park cleanup can be a great way to give back to a community. Regathering people around the practice of community service is always a win.
- Connection events. // Building strategic social events this spring could be a way to add momentum to your community. Many of our churches and people that attend them have been socially disconnected for a long time and building intentional events designed to help people reconnect with others in their neighborhood, or maybe their town, would be a great win! In many communities across the country, this is a perfect season to get people to reunite. Planning events with the goal of attendees developing friendships (not listening to us talk) is what will gain you momentum in your church this spring.
- Invite your people to invite their people. // For so long, during this intra-COVID period, we’ve seen a decrease in our people inviting friends to come to church, whether it’s online or in-person. This season would be a great time to build an “invite your friends” campaign. Whether it’s around a specific series or an upcoming big day, this is a great season to remind people about their important role in expanding the kingdom of Christ.
- Plan and launch a church-wide campaign. // This would be a great season to launch a chuch wide campaign that attempts to align weekend services, small groups, kids ministry and personal learning experiences. Church’s that have run a campaign like Red Letter Challenge have seen a boost in engagement on multiple levels. Even the effort of pulling together a campaign can be such a momentum builder for your team!
- Try that crazy idea. // Have you had a wacky idea sitting in the back of your mind? One that you’re not sure whether you should action? Take this as permission to try it out. We’re still in an intra-COVID period where our communities will not only accept but be willing to try new things. Maybe it’s a new community service project, a new way of doing weekend services, or a creative series of messages you’d like to present. Try something new this spring. Reach out to 10 other churches and ask them what the biggest risk they’ve taken in the past year is. Then implement it at your church.
Looking for more help to build momentum into spring? Download these resources.
We’ve pulled together two resources to help your church gain momentum this spring. The first is a description of what makes a great connection event, as mentioned above. The second is a lesson from a calling campaign that reached over 2,005 people. Both resources could be used with your leadership team to help make a difference in your community.
- Increase Your Church’s Volunteer Community with This Proven Multisite Expansion Tactic PDF // In this resource we dive into the mindset behind great connection events and give you lots of practical help to ensure your team does them right!
- 8 Lessons Learned from Making 2,005 Phone Calls PDF // In this resource we pull apart key lessons from a church-wide calling campaign where we contacted over 2,000 people in less than two weeks. You’ll find lots of actionable ideas for your church this spring!
Thank You to This Article’s Sponsor: Red Letter Challenge
One of the best times of the year to start an all-in church series is the time after Easter. The team at Red Letter Challenge have become the 40-day church series experts…they created not only a 40-day church series, but offer unique daily challenges as well for everyone in your church to complete. It’s a fun, amazing time and many people take steps towards Jesus! Pastors, grab your free 40-day challenge book here and see what your church can do!