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View Summer Programs

Cancel the ‘Summer Slump’

Most churches are resigned to a slump in attendance in the summer months.  They often cut-back on programs and ministries.  However, summer can be a great time to attract new attenders. 

Why should a church consider continuing their programming in the summer and anticipating visitors? 

1) Most families schedule their moves for the summer.  However, once they get settled, the kids have no friends in their new community.  Churches that have ministries that moving ministries connect with these new residents.  Churches that continue children’s programs and youth programs can offer new friendships to the children of the new residents. 

2) People who are unhappy with their current church often go “church shopping” in the summer.  They reason that they won’t be missed in the summer vacation months.  Churches that continue quality programming and are welcoming to guests in the summer can provide an attractive new church home to these people.

What else can a church do to expand their outreach in the summer?  Here’s a list of summer outreach ideas – one of which may work well for your church.

  1. Sending children to Bible camp.  Find ways to save money during the year in order to have your children invite their friends to join them.  Include these kids in blessing service at the Sunday service prior camp and invite their families to come the Sunday after camp as the kids share testimonies.  Have a bar-b-que that Sunday after the service in order to connect informally with their families.
  2. Schedule a Vacation Bible School.  The Jan-Feb, 2006 edition of “Outreach Magazine” has a Sneak Peek at 7 different VBS publishers.  At the end of VBS week, have the kids come along with their parents to church so they can sing a song, receive awards, etc.  The pastor can preach on family or “Raising G-rated Kids in an R-rated World.”
  3. Schedule Back-yard Bible classes.  This is a great way to invite neighborhood kids.  Again, include the kids and their parents in a worship service to celebrate, get awards, etc.
  4. Sports Camp.  Many unchurched kids are heavily involved in sports and wouldn’t be interested in Bible School. has come up with a sports-themed ‘Bible School’ that will attract many kids.  If you can arrange for sports coaches to come and help the kids work on skill development, you have a winner.  Then, follow up with an exhibition for the parents – and invite them to church.
  5. Art Camp.  You could arrange for the same kind of targeted summer ‘Bible School’ with an art theme.  Art teachers, music teachers, etc. could be recruited to help the kids with creative development.  You could then schedule a “Youth Arts Celebration” at the end, complete with songs, art discplays, etc.  The pastor could speak on “The Creator and Creativity in a Fully Spiritual Life.”
  6. Handi-Camp.  This is a VBS that targets the handicapped.  It takes more staff and planning than normal, but parents of these children will be very appreciative.
  7. Service-Camp.  Your teens can work to help improve their community or a near-by urban area.  Camps can include Habitat for Humanity, cleaning up a city partk, painting the homes of the elderly or homebound,  or running a day-camp for a city church.  Of course, you could add a servant evangelism component to any of your summer programs, VBS, etc.
  8. Movies.  You can offer movies in your church parking lot on summer evenings and provide refreshments; or you could have people invite neighbors and their kids for a ‘drive-way movie’ by projecting against your garage door (works well if it’s a light-colored door).  Show a Veggie-Take movie or Disney movie for the kids.  It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors.
  9. Many other ideas on Servant Evangelism can be found in Steve Sjogren’s books, “Conspiracy of Kindness” and “Community of Kindness.”

After the summer, send in reports of what your church did and we’ll share them with others!


Category:Seeding - Preparation for Church Planting
Category:Attractional and Incarnational Evangelism