How to Use Summers to Revive Your Ministries

Summer is here, which means the close of another school year, and often, church budgets and ministry calendars as well. And, as we all know, when one season ends another begins.

To make the most of summer before embarking on another year of ministry, look for ways to revive your ministries. While every church has its own set of values, opportunities, and challenges, we’ve rounded up a few basic ideas you can build on to meet the specific needs of your church.

1. Brainstorm the year ahead

January may be the time for resolutions, but summer is a great time to pause and plan for the upcoming year. With many budgets starting July 1 and the school year following shortly thereafter, take time in June to consider new goals and priorities for the coming year. Review personnel, ministry scheduling, and any training needs so you can plan your summer and year accordingly.

2. Recruit new volunteers

For some, summer means more free time and less pressure. Take advantage of people’s extra mental space by inviting them to volunteer for the upcoming ministry year. Start by sending out a survey to your current ministry volunteers in late spring or early summer to find out who will and won’t be returning to their ministry roles. Use this information to recruit people to fill in any potential gaps. If you do this early, you can also incorporate new recruits into summer training!

3. Train ministry volunteers

Without needing to coordinate with sports schedules, homework, or the holiday season, summers are a great time to hold trainings for volunteers. Review best practices and ensure everyone is up to date on important training, like CPR and First Aid for child care workers. It’s often easier for volunteers to attend a Saturday or weeknight training during the summer months when they have less to juggle, so consider adding a few training dates to your summer ministry calendar.

4. Celebrate volunteers

The holidays are traditionally the time when ministry leaders host Christmas parties to show their appreciation. However, consider holding a “Christmas in July” party instead! With the warm temperatures and reduced stress of summer, July is a great time to set aside an evening to show your ministry volunteers that you recognize and appreciate their dedication and service. This is also a wonderful opportunity to get new ministry volunteers to mingle with those who have been serving in ministry for awhile.

5. Combine ministries

Why not take advantage of the additional free time some volunteers enjoy during the summer months and plan for some cross departmental ministering? Allow volunteers to try new areas of ministry by planning ways they can serve each other or spend more time together. Would the children’s ministry enjoy some help from the senior ministry? Could the music department bless the homebound ministry in some way? Your church may have volunteers who have extra time during the summer months to work with ministries outside their typical areas of service. Explore opportunities to connect church ministries in new ways, and allow volunteers to expand their ministry reach!

Don’t let the summer fly by without using it to your advantage. Let the volunteers in your ministries know you appreciate them! Use this time to recruit new volunteers, train people, and find new ways to work with other ministries. Take advantage of summer to bring new excitement, knowledge, and volunteers to the important work at your church.