I have never been a proponent of retreating in the summer as a church. But you have to admit that it is not the strategic time to advance so hard that your organization is on empty when everyone is heading back to church in the fall. There is a reason for National Back to Church Sunday.
So how do you steward the summer well? Here are 3 ideas.
1. Focus On The Neighborhood
In much of the country, this is when people fill local parks, front yards and community areas. Encourage and empower your people to be present and active in their neighborhoods.
Here are some practical examples:
- We host a party for our neighborhood with a popular cover band and a fireworks show.
- Our kids ministry is giving every family a card with 10 ways to serve their neighborhood as a family over the summer.
- We have taught a series on the B.L.E.S.S. strategy.
- We have encouraged our small groups to use an externally-focused curriculum such as The Art of Neighboring or The Tangible Kingdom.
These are just a few ways that you can focus your church to the neighborhood and steward your summer well.
2. Invest In Your Core
We don’t have members, we have Partners at Mission. (I plan to write more on this in the Fall.) These folks are truly our core. They are the first ones to gather consistently, give sacrificially and serve faithfully. We gathered them in May and will gather with them in mid-July to invest in them.
At this gathering, we will:
- Celebrate and thank God for what He is up to!
- Celebrate and thank our Partners for their commitment
- Remind them of our Mission, Vision, Values
- Bring in a Spiritual Mentor to teach a new spiritual discipline
- Worship, pray and take communion
It’s a great way to invest in your core mid-summer and another way to steward your summer well.
3. Develop Your Next Leaders
This is a season where staff, leaders and volunteers take time away for a few weekends over the summer. Waiting in the wings is a small group facilitator, weekend volunteer, worship leader and even teaching pastor. The summer is a great time to give meaningful leadership opportunities to the people who have been apprenticing and developing. This is a great season to practice healthy delegation and empowerment.
At the outset of the summer, work these 5 steps:
- I do, you watch, we talk.
- I do, you help, we talk.
- You do, I help, we talk.
- You do, I watch, we talk.
- You do, someone else watches...
The next generation of gifted volunteers and leaders can and should be developed this summer in your church. This is a great way to steward your summer well.
@@Leaders may retreat in the summer, but your church doesn't have to.@@ Adapt your approach this summer and advance!