As we gear up for summer, things may start to slow down at your church. But fear not! We've put together a few ideas for you to keep your church community engaged throughout the summer.
1. HOST SUMMER EVENTS
Hosting events is a great way to keep people engaged during the summer months. This provides many opportunities for everyone to come together outside of Sunday in a relaxed, fun-filled environment and strengthen their relationships with one another.
Here are a few event ideas to get started:
Outdoor Movie Nights: Host outdoor movie nights featuring family-friendly films, complete with snacks and drinks.
Sports Tournaments: Organize sports tournaments such as volleyball, basketball, or pickle ball, that bring people together and encourage friendly competition.
Day Trips: Take a day trip to nearby attractions, such as water parks, zoos, or amusement parks, for the congregation to enjoy together. Depending on the size of your church, you may let people know that there is a limited number of spots available for the trip.
Summer Picnics: Host summer picnics, BBQs, or potlucks where everyone can bring their favorite dish to share. This could be hosted at the church or at someone's home.
If you need more ideas, we wrote a master list of summer-themed church events you could host. Then if you need some tips for executing your events, check out this article on the 9 best practices when planning events this summer.
2. DOUBLE DOWN ON ONLINE ENGAGEMENT OUTREACH
For those who may be traveling or unable to attend in-person services, implementing your online presence is the lifeline that keeps them connected to the church community. You’re probably already hosting a live stream of your Sunday services, but here are a few other things you might want to consider :
Engage more on social media. Post content designed to start a conversation, and be sure you’re promoting the things that are going on at your church building well.
Try out a brief, mid-week pastoral video message. It can be a follow-up from last Sunday’s sermon, a preview of next Sunday’s sermon, or other things happening in your church.
Give a new social platform/channel a try. Maybe Instagram Stories or Reels if you haven’t used them yet. Maybe YouTube shorts. Or maybe even something like BeReal or TikTok—you never know where you’ll find traction.
If you need help with getting your live stream off the ground, check out this article. And if you need more ideas on how to create content from your Sunday service, we wrote an article for that too. Read it here.
3. ORGANIZE COMMUNITY OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Engaging in community outreach as a church is another great way for you to remain active during the summer months while also giving back to the community. There is something really special about serving others together and it builds genuine friendships. This will look different for every church but could include organizing volunteer opportunities, such as helping at a local food bank, serving at a homeless shelter, or organizing a community cleanup day in a local park or neighborhood. However, we’d encourage you to research local organizations or non-profits that you could help consistently.
4. PROVIDE THEM WITH RESOURCES
Summer schedules tend to be a little all over the place for a lot of people. This can make it more difficult than usual to stay on a routine and in the Word. Providing some resources to help meet that need can be a great way to keep them engaged and connected to their faith while they’re traveling.
A summer Bible reading plan is one way to improve church summertime engagement and encourage members of your church to stay connected to scripture, even when they're busy with vacations and other activities. Or you could offer a devotional for a short daily reading or reflection. If you don’t have the capacity or staff to create your own bible reading plan or devotional, there are plenty of reliable resources for you to pull inspiration from or point your congregation to, such as:
YouVersion Bible App (www.youversion.com) - Offers a wide selection of reading plans, including plans for beginners, plans that focus on specific books of the Bible, and plans for different seasons of life.
The Bible Project (www.bibleproject.com) - Offers various Bible reading plans on their website, including plans for reading through the entire Bible in one year, the New Testament in one year, and thematic plans that focus on specific topics or books of the Bible
BibleStudyTools.com (www.biblestudytools.com) - Offers a variety of reading plans, including plans that focus on different themes and topics, as well as plans that cover the entire Bible.
Ligonier Ministries (www.ligonier.org) - Offers several reading plans, including plans that cover the entire Bible, the New Testament, and the Psalms.
There’s something about being in a new location and in “vacation mode” that throws every schedule out the window. However, when it comes to our faith and staying engaged with the body, we should try to do what we can to keep that routine no matter the location.
Pulling together all the media to support the summer events, outreach programs, or even communicate additional resources can be really challenging. Igniter's has a huge library of summer collections, summer social graphics, summer events, summer stock photos or videos with the goal of providing variety AND high quality.
Not sure you want to commit to a membership? Start with a 30-day free trial. We offer 3 types of membership PLUS a starter plan for smaller churches that qualify. Sign-up and see what you could do as an Igniter user.