Summer Doldrums

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by USN2Pulpit, May 19, 2004.

  1. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Can anything be done about it?

    What do you do when there is a nice summer Sunday, and half your congregation decides to barbeque instead of coming to church. Guilt-trips don't work - I don't want to sink to that. Are there any "strategies" that work beside praying for rainy Sundays in the summertime?

    (And yes, I'm speaking of "attendance" and how to improve member attendance.)
     
  2. Servent

    Servent
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    Why not have your own bar-b-que dinner on the grounds,bring a covered dish,guest singers, and so on
     
  3. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Nothing wrong with an old-fashioned guilt trip! :D

    Seriously, how involved are your people in the ministry? I am finding that attendance benefits when people know that others are depending on them. Even something as simple and mundane as passing out bulletins needs to be done, and someone needs to do it.
     
  4. aefting

    aefting
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    Is it just the Summer?

    I moved to the South a few years ago after 10 years in Maryland. One of the biggest surprises has been the lack of commitment to services down here.

    Andy
     
  5. GODzThunder

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    Summer time is a lazy relaxing time for people. You have to appeal to their entertainment senses. Summer time is the perfect time for dinners, revival services, gospel singings & special services ie baby dedications and such! a little entertainment can open the door to a lot of salvation experiences.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Problem is that people in Wyoming get very little time for recreation (because our summer is so short). So as a result, many work extra hours during 9 months so that they get long weekends - often Friday or Monday off. Plus the average worker gets 3 weeks (with 4 weekends) off in the summer.

    And head to the lake, the cabin, the park, in state and out of state.

    The church where I interimed has "unified SS" all summer. Two classes only. All the "regular" teachers are given a sabbatical for the summer (like regular teachers) because attendance is so low and so many teachers are gone for much of the summer.

    Games, contests, concerts, special activities, even business meetings are doomed to poor attendance from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

    Gimmicks seem not to be an answer . .
     
  7. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I like Greg's comment about involving people. They are far less likely to lay out when they know they will be missed. Passing out bulletins, teaching Sunday school, passing the collection plate, having designated greeters. More music specials, more testimonies. Have someone different give the Sunday school report or read announcements. All of these are ways to involve as many people as possible.

    One of the things I like best about Summer in the South is Vacation Bible School. Maybe it's just a southern thing but we get a lot of kids around here. The same kids may go to VBS for six weeks at six different churches. I know I have sent my kids to many other churches on weeks when we were not having ours. Last year our church was running about 40 on Sunday mornings and we had 100 kids out every night for Bible School. We had several salvations, two that led to Baptisms and one that led to a new family joining the church. It took every adult worker we could muster and yes we did use parent volunteers who were members of other churches. I have helped at other churches before. So what are you doing for Bible School.
     
  8. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    Good point, of course. We're doing VBS as well, and using many people to do it - although there are some who don't want to help.

    As to involving people, that's an excellent idea.
     
  9. MDavidM

    MDavidM
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    We sort of retrench for the summer. Our Wednesday evening service and AWANA program, both of which take place Wednesday evenings, are replaced by Family Fun Nights comprised of special family-oriented activities. I miss our normal Wednesday evening lineup, but this seems to work well each summer.

    In addition, we offer Kingdom University, a series of topical Bible studies on Saturday during one of our normal Bible study hours preceeding our Saturday evening worship service. Sundays remain largely unchanged, and while attendance drops in the summer, it is not by a great percentage.

    One interesting/unusual occurence at our church is that we have a steady flow of vacationers that attend our church through the summer including many pastors and missionaries.
     
  10. Bro.Bill

    Bro.Bill
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    Go to your sEARCH WINDOW AND TYPE IN "Elmer Townes", he has several books full of ideas.He is an expert on Sunday Schools (church usually follows right after. You can print out several of his free books , they should give you some ideas that might help.
    Lunch on the Green right after church.
    Hot dog Sunday
    Baptismal service out at a nearby lake with a picnic afterwards.
    a Revival
    Special Guests
    Softball and dogs(hot) after church
    to suggest a few.
     
  11. swaimj

    swaimj
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    For the summer months, on Wednesday nights, we are substituting the regular Bible study/prayer meeting format with home Bible studies. Three are being conducted in homes with a group for parents and a discussion on raising kids, a group going through "The Purpose Driven Life", and a group going through "Experiencing God". Last night completed the third week. The groups have grown each week, and this week, our total attendence for all the groups exceeded a usual Wednesday night service. The girl hosting my study group served strawberry shortcake last week and lemon pie last night. I don't know if that has anything to do with the attendance growth or not! [​IMG]
     
  12. GODzThunder

    GODzThunder
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    if you are going to do a search for elmer "townes" then you need to drop the E (its just Towns not Townes" (I had to say something because I have to same last name and always get that unwanted E lol).

    Drop the E and you will find a great deal about Mr. Sunday School ;)
     
  13. Major B

    Major B
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    A friend of mine was stationed at Minot ND for three years, and said he missed all three summers because he worked each of those days...
     
  14. SaggyWoman

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    hmmm.

    Don't let it get to you. Do something different.
     
  15. Pastor J

    Pastor J
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    Pray for rain. That will work also.
     
  16. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    God is good! Rather than plateau or decline, our attendance has increased! This is the hand of God! I know it's only June, but I have every reason to be optimistic!
     

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