Anyone who works at a church knows the summer generally means less attendance, less offertory, and less “going on” in general. But that doesn’t mean the summer is time to check out until September rolls around.
Beyond the obvious benefit of refreshment and renewal the summer vacation should provide (if you plan it properly), summertime is the time to learn, prepare, and grow.
Here are some examples from our staff.
When much of the year is spent coordinating activities for others, summer is a good time for more focused self-growth and reflection. Our staff leadership team, (me, Tom, Alison, Sue, Brian, and Chris) see summer as an excellent time for learning and professional development. Learning is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. Summer is a prefect time to take advantage of available conferences and seminars. This summer we’re planning on attending Saddleback’s Purpose Driven Conference where Tom and I have been invited to speak. And summertime is a great time to catch up on reading too…as a team we are currently reading Patrick Lencioni’s new book The Ideal Team Player.
Not to mention, summer is just a great time to pray with less distraction. By the time September rolls around, we should feel more equipped spiritually and mentally.
Children’s and Student Ministries
While there are lots of summer programs for kids and students, both on and off campus, summertime is the time to prepare for the fall. And for Chris and Maggie and all our kids and student minister, more than anything else, that is about cultivating ministers to work with the next generation. We want to enter a new year staffed up when it comes to all our programs.
Small Groups and Ministry
Stephanie, our Director of Adult Ministries, and Jackie, our Director of Small Groups, when asked, both shared their belief that summer is the best time to connect with existing ministers and leaders relationally. Through a series of smaller, informal events, as simple as breakfasts or happy hours with teams of ministers, they are able to connect with their stories, hear their feedback, and do some vision casting.
Recently Lucas, Jeremy, and Mike from our staff creative department took a day trip to New York to learn about new equipment and technology that might be helpful down the road. It was just basically window-shopping, but the experience helped them cast their own vision about future investment in technology.
When the facilities aren’t being used so frequently, summertime is a great time to clean out and throw away. This is especially true of kids and student spaces (kids and student programs are famous for collecting junk, so use the summer to prune the collection). For Sue and our entire operations team, this is also the time for “deep” cleaning and painting so that everything looks fresh for the fall.
What are your summertime projects?