8 Tips for Building Community in the Summer Months

It's not uncommon for church attendance to lull during the summer. As people travel and are busy with other activities, they aren't always available for services. This doesn't mean you should lose touch with your congregation. In fact, this can be the perfect time to build fellowship and faith with creative efforts.

1. Schedule

Don't rock the boat by changing the regular schedule, but consider adding a weekend evening service for people who are busy during the day. Some churches have found success with a Sunday evening service as the perfect way to wrap up a summer weekend.

2. Children's activities

If your church doesn't offer Sunday school during summer, consider offering other activities for children to draw families in. A summer drama club where kids meet to work on a play is just one idea. Vacation Bible schools are another popular option. Older kids might work on a service project together over the summer.

3. Pictorial directory

With fewer school activities and colleges out for the summer, it’s the perfect time for families to gather for a new family photograph. An updated Lifetouch Church Directory will be a useful resource to stay connected all year round, and provide a cherished keepsake too.

4. New family events

While focused on the summer lull, you're probably not thinking about all the new families that have recently moved to the area. Summer is peak moving season, so it's important to plan a few activities to welcome potential new members and make a great first impression.

5. Social events

Summer is all about being social. If attendance at services is low, consider drawing more people in with church-sponsored social events. This could include weeknight potlucks, Friday board game gatherings, family camping trips, or weekly walking or reading clubs. 

6. Play groups

With school out, plenty of parents will be trying to figure out what to do for three months with their kiddos. Church-sponsored play groups for different ages are a wonderful way for parents to bond while their kids burn off some energy. Offer weekly times both in the day and evening to accommodate everyone's schedules.

7. Digital services

For those who can't be there, consider offering a live broadcast of your church services. That way even when they're at the cabin, they can tune in if they have an Internet connection. Keep these recordings and publish on your church's website so members can play back at any time from anywhere.

8. Communication

Make sure weekly communication is electronic so it's widely available. For example, publish the church bulletin on your website, upload to your app if you have one, and promote it on social media. You might even consider putting out an e-newsletter that goes beyond the content of your bulletin.