“Only seven weeks of school left!” said my child’s teacher via email on last week. Seven weeks. I know she’s excited about summer break but has the countdown really started? While the thought of a more relaxed schedule certainly is appealing, as a busy mom to three young children the joy is short lived and the panic sets in. So what does this have to do with your church? Quite a lot as it turns out.
While attendance at services may drop during summer months, your role ministering to and for the community is just as (if not more!) important. As a church leader, this is your opportunity to provide a safe haven for kids, a moment of respite for parents, a chance for families to reconnect, time to give back, and a more relaxed way of worship. So don’t let the next weeks pass without implementing an action plan that helps your church combat the summer slump.
Outreach Magazine recommends getting started early with these six simple steps:
- Decide on events and put them on the calendar.
- Secure locations.
- Ask for partners.
- Estimate volunteers.
- Book entertainment.
- Map out a marketing plan with a timeline.
Vacation Bible School may be your church’s biggest summer draw, but it’s only one week! So if you need a place to start we’ve compiled a list of events and ideas that parents, youth, teens, and your community as a whole, can get behind.
All about the Kids
- Summer Outings for Kids – How about a few special days where you charge a nominal fee and kids can take field trips? The zoo, children’s museum, bowling alley, or local farm are just a few places to start.
- Day Camps – Hold themed day camps with planned activities such as crafts, cooking, games, and stories. From designing t-shirts to make your own pizza to theatre productions of bible stories – the possibilities for this one are endless.
- Book Club/Story Hour – Have a volunteer read to the younger children while the older ones break off into small groups to discuss various readings.
- Camp Outs – Plan a father and kids’ camp out on the church lawn complete with hot dogs and s’mores!
- Mom’s Morning Out – Many moms would greatly benefit from a 3-hour window where they could drop off their kids in order to run errands or get some work done.
- Outreach – Your teens can organize a drive-through to pass out free snow cones and an invitation to Sunday worship.
- Parents Night Out – Provide donation only child care during local events. This would be a great way for your teens to raise money for mission trips.
- Staycation – Everyone likes to get away from it all. Teens are no different. Create an entertaining, more grown-up VBS. Give young people a chance to get away, live independently for a few days, have fun and be inspired.
Everyone is Invited
- Movie on the Lawn – Rent a movie (with permission to show the movie to a group), pop plenty of popcorn and invite the community.
- Summer Nights Worship Series – This outdoor series could focus on worship and fellowship with outdoor Christian music concerts and inspirational speakers.
- 4th of July – Why not plan a “red, white and blue jean” Sunday the week prior to the 4th. Invite local government leaders to attend your worship service, present them a gift, and voice a prayer for them.
- Take it Outside – Invite the community to join you for outdoor tournaments, such as volleyball, horseshoes, softball, bocce ball, 3-on-3 basketball.
- Mission Mania – Go beyond the church walls! Youth model well for us the connections that exist between fellowship and service. What about involving your congregation in a week of mission mania? Look around your community for places of service and ministry.
We’d like to credit our sources for many of these amazing ideas. Lifeway, Children’s Ministry Magazine, and United Methodist Communications are great resources for outreach ideas not just during the summer months, but all year long. And we would also love to hear what your church plans on doing this summer! Please leave a comment below.
About Toni Kemper: A mother to three young children and marketer by trade, Toni is passionate about writing and enjoys contributing to the Copyright Coach. She is also passionate about education which fits right in with CCS’s mission to educate the church community on copyrights, as well as why you will find her volunteering in the Children’s Ministry department of her church.
About Christian Copyright Solutions: CCS’s quest is to help churches and Christian ministries “do music right.” CCS is an expert on church music copyrights and our primary focus is providing licensing and clear educational resources to churches, as well as representation, administration, and advocacy for copyright owners. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.