The Best Summer Yet for Your Church

Congratulations! You made it through Easter!

Your church undoubtedly invested plenty of time and energy into making Easter a great experience and celebration of Jesus’ sacrifice for your members and newcomers. Hopefully, all that buildup to Easter and the guests that attended for the first time breathed some excitement into your congregation. Not only have we just celebrated our New Life in Christ, but maybe you’re seeing some “new life” in your congregation for the first time in a while. Certainly, you want to keep that excitement and momentum going! Interestingly, though, with the exception of spikes at Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and VBS, spring and summer are typically low-engagement seasons for many churches.

So how do we keep the momentum and excitement from Easter going throughout spring and summer instead of falling off your community’s radar? We have a several ideas that could just help your church have its best summer yet.

6 ways to increase engagement with your community this summer:

1) Follow up with your Easter guests. You likely collected information from your Easter guests this past Sunday. Now put that information to good use! Regardless of the method you choose (email, text, note card, phone call), be sure to reach out to connect with those guests. Let them know you’re glad they visited, learn more about what prompted their visit, and invite them back again next Sunday and/or connect them with a relevant ministry team lead. If they have kids, reach out again when it’s time for VBS registration and invite them to participate.

2) Yard Signs. Yard signs are a subtle way to build awareness of your church branding and also help your attendees feel a sense of belonging in the community when they see other homes with your sign in the front yard. Neighbors may ask about these signs, opening the door for personal evangelism.

3) Personal Evangelism. The summer months are when neighbors more naturally connect, as the nicer weather draws them outside. Talking to neighbors about Jesus can be a little intimidating to start, but the BLESS method puts evangelism within reach for anyone in your church, and builds relationships in your community. Unfamiliar with the BLESS method? Read more about it here.

4) Acts of Kindness Campaign. Make a BIG impact on your community with an Acts of Kindness Campaign during the summer. Encourage your attendees to invest a few dollars into an act of kindness toward a stranger accompanied by a card inviting them to your church. This is a great way to get the whole congregation involved in community outreach, showing God’s love for people by meeting tangible needs.

5) Give away some ice cream! Visit local parks or sports fields and give out freeze pops to everyone. You’ll need volunteer t-shirts, church invitation cards, freeze pops in a cooler, wet naps for parents, and some scissors to cut the freeze pops open. That’s it! It’s a simple and impactful outreach on a hot summer day.

6) Neighborhood Block Parties. If your church has small groups, seed them with around $100 each to start covering costs for neighborhood block parties. Parties can be simple, too – grill some hot dogs, add some side dishes and bring out the Corn Hole boards for people to bond over a fun game. Post a sign at neighborhood entrances or at the mail boxes letting people know when the event is happening, and be sure to make some personal invitations as well. Don’t worry about praying for food, holding a devotional, or inviting people to church. Just wear your church t-shirts, act normal, and get to know your neighbors. Trust us, they’ll want to spend more time with you.

As you can see, a little intentionality over the next few months can turn a time of traditional low engagement into a season of real growth and excitement for your ministry. Of course, these aren’t the only ways to increase community engagement.

Did these suggestions spark any ideas? Have you had any particularly successful summer strategies? We’d love to hear what has worked for you. Share them in the comments!