But the fact of the matter is that if a large portion of your church is going to be gone for at least a week or two within a 13-week timespan, just all at different times, that means that your worship attendance and volunteer teams are going to be lean, for one reason or another, just about every week for the entire summer.
Your people aren’t doing this to you. The families in your church, even the important leaders, are allowed to get away for a week or two.
In fact, if you are an emotionally healthy leader who regularly encourages your people to respect their need for rhythms of rest, they’re actually doing what you told them to do. So, good on you. Don’t sweat the small stuff, like being down a volunteer or two.
3. Think of Creative Solutions To Stave off the Slump, but Ultimately Understand That This Is a Season.
To a certain extent, the summer slump isn’t entirely out of your church’s control. Wise ministry leaders see the slump coming and consider strategies that might stem the tide. This could include choosing a compelling topical sermon series for the summer months or strategically scheduling Vacation Bible School to infuse a fresh burst of energy.
Strategically-minded churches often employ these tactics and others during the summer, with varying levels of success.
Nevertheless, ultimately, the summer season is just that: a season. Everybody who has been in church leadership knows that attendance tends to spike at Easter, only to slowly slide to its low point in the summer months. But usually once autumn rolls around, so do all the people you haven’t seen on a regular basis for a couple months.
It’s cyclical. It’s seasonal. Growth—whether in terms of numbers or spiritual maturity—is almost never linear. We can fight it. We can resent it. But it remains true. So it would be better for us to accept it and meet our people where they are.
The summer slump may be more pronounced in some years than others, but it doesn’t seem to be a reality that will ever go away entirely, despite the best laid plans of VBS and other summer events and sermon series. And that’s okay.
Your church needs you to pastor them according to their current season of life, and summer is a season that comes every year. Every summer is a unique opportunity to pastor them well.