Summer is time for family vacations, relaxing by the pool, and enjoying backyard grilling with friends. It’s also a time of year when church attendance tends to decline. With AAA predicting that more than 35% of Americans plan to take a family vacation this year, you’re likely to see fewer faces in the audience over the next few months. Since you can’t rely on them hearing announcements from the stage, communicating with your congregation during the summer can be a bit more challenging.
While this feels discouraging, there are ways to stay connected even as people are traveling this summer.
Tip #1: Leverage technology to keep your congregation informed of upcoming events
You probably have events going on over the summer, such as VBS and various youth activities. You’re also looking ahead to Fall with back-to-school events, small group sign-ups, outreach events, and more. It makes sense to start communicating those events now so people can plan to participate. However, if they’re not at church, even the best video announcement won’t get the information to them.
Instead, embrace the options technology provides and use it to communicate to those who are out-of-town.
- Share a list of upcoming events digitally from Facebook, Instagram, your mobile app, or your church websit
- Post links to video announcements on the church’s mobile app home screen.
- Send a push notification via your church mobile app to let parents know it’s time to register their kids for VBS or to sign up for the next big event. Include links to more information on the church website and links to register for each event.
Tip #2: Invite people to watch services online
Even though they’re visiting a theme park or hanging out at the beach, they can still attend church online. Provide a live stream of your services and post a video for people to watch at a later time. Make sure your congregation knows this is an option for them as they travel and encourage them to carve out time as a family to participate in church even while on the road.
Don’t have live-streaming set up yet? We can help.
Send out push notifications on Sunday morning to remind people they can catch the service online or within the church mobile app if they’re traveling. Make sure they know how to access the sermon notes on the church mobile app so they can discuss the message as a family.
Interested in seeing how your church could benefit from push notifications? Sign up today for a free demo.
Tip #3: Disciple your congregation, even when they’re not at church
While it’s preferable (and probably best) to disciple in-person, there are ways to help your members continue to grow over the summer. Consider offering a summer Bible reading plan through your church website and mobile app. Provide questions to go with each excerpt and link to a message that ties into the Scripture passages they’ve read that week. This plan could go along with your sermon series during the summer months. You could even import videos from YouTube and provide discussion questions.
Tip #4: Help small groups stay connected
Summer is also a time when many small groups stop meeting since so many members will be out of town at some point. Help them stay connected by providing them with a chat group through your church’s mobile app. Small group leaders can quickly check on who’ll be in town next weekend and schedule a cookout on Saturday. They might decide to meet in a different location (one with a pool so the kids can play), meet every other week to accommodate schedules, or join in with another group for a fun activity.
Tip #5: Engage with your community
With school out for the summer and folks enjoying the warmer weather, there are bound to be activities your congregation could get involved in. Local races, free outdoor concerts, and helping with a food bank’s summer meal program are just a few potential opportunities.
As we recently mentioned on our blog, gathering members of your congregation within the local community serves multiple purposes. It’s a chance for people to see the impact your church is having in your community. It’s also a fun way for families to serve together, developing new relationships within the community, with others from the church, and growing as a family.
While you may see fewer faces in church over the summer, there are several ways to stay connected with your congregation. A bit of creativity and use of technology can help your members continue to thrive spiritually this summer and return ready to dive back into their church family’s activities.
If you’d like help with accomplishing any of these suggestions, aware3 can help. Learn more about how a branded mobile app can keep more people connected.