Summer can be a challenging time of year for outreach at any church, but this does not mean we need to bump the breaks on your church’s outreach efforts in the coming months. School is out, families will go on vacation, and some people may even opt to go to the lake on Sunday instead of going to church.

But in spite of all that, you can still reach your community and grow your church in the summer season. And here are three practical tips to help you as you prepare for this time of year.

First, properly set your expectations for attendance and involvement at your church. As stated earlier, the summer tends to offer people more excuses than usual to miss church, and you have to accept that. Once again, you do not need to back down your outreach efforts, but you should still set your expectations accordingly. There may be some exceptions, but it’s very unlikely that you’re going to have any Sundays with record-breaking attendance in the summer.

But, just because you’re anticipating a season of limited involvement does not mean you need to get discouraged. Once again, there are still steps you can take to make the summer a very successful time of growth and development at your church which leads us to tip number 2

Focus on the growth of your families and the overall internal development of your church. Yes, the majority of the families in your church will take a vacation or two and miss more services than usual this summer, but there is a silver lining here. During the vacation season, families are spending more time together and in most cases drawing closer together. Remember that strong families make strong churches. Therefore, use this time of year to encourage the growth of your families in your church by perhaps preaching a sermon series centered on the family or creating opportunities for family engagement throughout the summer. More on that in a moment.

Another area to focus on this summer is developing your church internally. Maybe this means that you tackle a project that you’ve been putting off all year. Maybe you evaluate and provide some training for your staff or volunteer team. You can also use this time to look ahead to the fall and beyond and get a jumpstart on special events and outreach opportunities you will have then. Your level of external success during uptime is largely dependent on your level of internal diligence during downtime.

Take advantage of seasonal events to create opportunities for outreach. For most churches, there’s no one event in the summer with Easter or Christmas level big day potential. However, there are several days of this season that your church can use to create special opportunities for outreach. Memorial Day and Independence Day are about 6 weeks apart. You’ve got Father’s Day mid-June and even though Mother’s Day is in the spring, it often serves as a transitional time between the spring and summer. Then, of course, there’s always huge opportunities for reaching children in the summer through programs such as kids camps and vacation Bible school.

How you utilize these opportunities specifically is up to you, but here’s how you can make the most of your outreach this summer. Rather than focus all of your efforts on one big day, create a summer outreach campaign to encompass all the events of the summer. Having one big Sunday or event with record-breaking attendance is unlikely, but having 3, 4, or even 5 special events that provide consistent opportunities for families of your community to connect with your church is not only possible but will be very beneficial for the overall growth of your church.

Any season of the year is going to present a different set of challenges for outreach and church growth. With each one, we can either make excuses or make advancements in our churches. Here at Must Increase, we are rooting for you to have an awesome summer season at your church and want to help in any way we can.

That’s why we developed the Summer Media Bundle, a collection of original graphics, artwork, and more for each event of the coming months including Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, and even summer kid’s programs. And we are offering the promotional graphics for each of these events completely free of charge. All you have to do is visit SummerMediaBundle.com to claim your FREE summer graphic downloads. So take your first step towards having an awesome summer and claim your free graphics at SummerMediaBundle.com