April 15, 2024

Is Your Church Missing This Key Ministry Strategy?

summer ministry strategy

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Most churches and church staff breathe a sigh of relief in the summer. Attendance is typically lower due to vacations and summer activities. And many churches use this time as a ministry break leading back into a large fall kick-off.

However, your church may be missing out on untapped potential to reach new people in your community if you don’t have an intentional summer ministry strategy.

So what does a summer ministry strategy look like? We reached out to ministry consultants on our team to explain how their churches look at summer differently, but with intention. 

Creating an Intentional Summer Ministry Strategy

Sun Valley Community Church (Phoenix, AZ)

“I don’t think churches think about summer in a strategic manner and, if they were really honest with themselves, it’s often a complete afterthought.

At Sun Valley, we look at summer as an intentional time of ministry. We don’t behave differently in the summer than we do the rest of the year. Here’s why:

  1. Summer is a time when a lot of new people are moving to our area for job transfers. A move is a major life disruption—people are beginning new relationships in that season, and they’re uniquely more open to the Gospel and an invitation to church.
  2. Summer is a natural time for church attenders to ‘church shop’ because they’ve been on vacation or gotten out of the rhythm of attending their normal church.

We’re all familiar with the principle that housing market prices typically peak in the summer. It’s supply and demand. New people are coming, so we don’t let our foot off the gas.” — Paul Alexander, Executive Pastor

Beulah Alliance Church (Edmonton, AB)

“We don’t have one specific strategy we do every year, but we consider this time differently than the rest of the year as we go through our ministry planning process. In Canada, since most of our provinces have longer winters, people are away vacationing, camping, etc., and loads of people are moving both away and to our city for work. 

We find it helpful to identify a few targeted initiatives that focus less on getting people to our building and more on getting people involved in our city (we also run camps and programs that serve our city, too.) We also respect that people will be away and doing things with family, so we put a special emphasis on our online experience.

Above all, we view summer as an opportunity to reach new people as they move to our city or re-consider priorities going into the fall season.” — Drake Farmer, Executive Pastor of Ministries

Orchard Church (Brighton, CO)

“Unfortunately, I think a lot of churches tend to put things on autopilot and just coast through summer in anticipation of everyone coming back in the Fall. On the flip side, we have found summer to be a great time to capitalize on many new people moving into our area who are open to a new church. If you give them a compelling reason to attend, they will. 

For example: We have been doing an ‘At The Movies series’ for the last several years during the summer. The series runs from July to August and is our best attended series of the entire year. At a time when most churches see their biggest dip in attendance, we usually see an increase of 40%.

ATM is a unique and intriguing series that brings in a ton of first time guests—many who have never attended church or haven’t for a very long time—because it’s super easy to invite people to. Last year, we saw over 400 people accept Christ during ATM. Many of them went on to be baptized and are now a part of our regular church family. It is common for us to hear, “We started attending Orchard during the ATM series. We had never heard of a church doing something like this and just had to see it for ourselves.” 

The Gospel shouldn’t take a vacation—it should be the year-round focus of everything we do. 

Churches just need to be more intentional with their approach and design services to draw people to an experience for the whole family. Don’t be afraid to have fun and try something new and fresh. Offer them an experience that can’t be missed.”Doug Dameron, Lead & Founding Pastor 

As summer quickly approaches, consider how your church can use this unique season of ministry to reach new people. 

Jordan An

Jordan is our Digital Marketing Manager. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University and, prior to joining The Unstuck Group, worked in social media and marketing communications for a Christian non-profit media ministry. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband Sam, and enjoys leading worship at her local church.

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