Often times children’s pastor’s get the summer time blues because as soon as school lets out, people disappear! Nothing is more heartbreaking that to see all that momentum that you were building suddenly, groan to a slow rumble. Why does this have to happen? Do we contribute to it? Can we prevent it or do anything to counteract it?
I believe we can figure some things out and together make it a summer time of fun, learning, and growth!
Why does it seem that we decline in the summer? Several reasons could be the cause. The first one I notice is that the church has a summertime problem of always letting down and not offering the normal programs. Many churches stop their programming or limit it, and that sometimes sends a message that everyone is taking a vacation. (I’m not saying its bad to do this, just that this can often lead to a more laid back mentality towards church in the summer time.)
I’m again not trying to criticize anyone, for slowing down as we all need a break sometime, but I do wonder if it’s truly a healthy thing and for that matter, is it really a biblical mentality to have? I’ll leave that debate for another post.
What I do know is that I have seen personally the affect that backing off does to a kids ministry. In my experience, I discovered that many families become hit and miss when the church begins to back off its normal programming. They don’t maintain their faithfulness in worship and instead are off for vacation, sleeping in, and just taking time off. It creates many challenges as a leader, especially when we work so hard to maintain consistency and discipleship growth.
I also know that many leaders mentally struggle with programing in the summer and sometimes we all slide into just doing the minimum during the summer months. We must guard against this slide and work to keep things fresh and alive to avoid the summertime slide!
What can I offer to help? I would first suggest keep the programing, light, simple and fresh! Try something new! This is a great time to test run something new and see how it works.
Secondly, Keep the bar raised and even though you may have limited staff and limited attendance, keep your momentum rolling forward by sticking with your vision and goals.
Create opportunities for the kids to try new things along with their family. Create worship in a box where if they are going to miss a Sunday, you can prepare a recording of the lesson, some take home activities and some application ideas that a family could do while they are camping, traveling or whatever. Let them know that family worship doesn’t stop in the summertime, but it can take on a different form.
Let’s not give into summertime and get the blues! Let’s redeem the time, get creative and keep moving forward.
What other advice would you give to prevent the summer time blues???