The school year is over (finally!), and for many families it’s time to take a break, sleep in, and enjoy a slower pace of life.
But for churches, summer is a busy time.
Children and student camps are around the corner. Vacation Bible schools (or other summer programs) are being planned.
You have volunteers to train and recruit, endless logistics to coordinate, and creative projects filling the hallways as you prepare for the next church event.
From a ministry perspective, summer holds great opportunities for your church to pour into the next generation and introduce them to Jesus. And it can be a catalyst for fall momentum and growth for your church.
As students and children engage in summer programs, they invite friends to come along.
These friends have a great time and experience God’s love, maybe for the first time in their lives. They go home and tell their parents all their stories and experiences.
Parents begin to lean in and ask, “What is this all about? Who is this church? If it is that great, maybe our family needs to engage more this fall.”
So, they turn to your website, social media, and start watching services online.
This summer, your church can reach more families, with lots of prayer and a solid strategy. Here are eight ways you can harness your church’s summer activities to better connect with families and grow your ministry:
- Promote Your Social Media: Ask parents to follow your church on social media for camp pictures, daily updates, and stories. This is a great way to introduce them to the life of the church and the message of hope you bring.
- Go Analogue: Call every parent to thank them for sending their child to your event. Let them know how much you enjoyed getting to know their son/daughter and invite them to join you for a weekend service.
- Make it Hassle Free: Put your best foot forward by thinking through all the touch points for your event – greeters, registration process, quick onsite check in, FAQs and website, etc. – and creating a smooth process that communicates how much you care about each student.
- Optimize Your Digital Presence: Walk through your website and social media with a new person in mind, especially someone who may not know anything about church. Make sure your language, visuals, and navigation are welcoming, designed well, offer value, and answers the basic questions people are asking. If you are streaming your services, make sure they are easy to find and have a decent production quality.
- Create Email Engagement Series: Set up a series of emails to parents who send their children to your camp. Thank them, introduce them to the team, tell them about your weekly offerings, invite them to connect and attend.
- Plan an Engaging Fall Series: Design a sermon series that launches when school starts that is biblical and touches a felt need. Think about creative ways to communicate topics people experience at this time of year, such as stress and anxiety, priorities, work/life balance, winning as a parent, etc.
- Create a Fall Promotion Plan: Consider promoting your fall series and events with an email campaign, and run digital ads targeting parents whose children attended summer events.
- Don’t Check Out: Remember people still visit in the summer, so keep the energy and excellence flowing during with your summer communications and weekend worship experiences.
Summer is a busy time – but it’s filled with opportunity to reach more families. These tips will help you make the most of the summer to introduce even more of your community to a warm, welcoming, Jesus-loving community.
+ More Insights from Dunham+Company: “Five Ways to Encourage Participation in Online Church“