Reframing “Summer Slumps”

Photo by Alvesgaspar. CC Wikimedia Commons

The topic of “Summer Slumps” has come up in the UU Growth Lab. Do lower Summer numbers have you down???

Whether it is due to ministers on vacation/study leave or other factors, many congregations have a different feel to their Summer services.  When this difference includes a dip in attendance, leaders often fall into the trap of putting a negative spin on things.

What’s wrong with having a different tone, size and worship leader in the Summer?

I recall reading a church website that talked about their upcoming wonderful “casual and cozy” Summer Sunday services featuring better food, a cafe vibe to the fellowship hour — they set up card tables and chairs — and lots of spontaneous community get togethers.

This congregation used the smaller numbers to their advantage using Summer months to build strong relationships among those who did attend.

What’s happening this Summer in your congregation?

Something different?
Something amazing?
Something special?

Whatever you are offering, make it count.


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2 thoughts on “Reframing “Summer Slumps”

  1. We are doing several lay-led summer services. We’ve had great luck with these in the past as each approaches worship in a different way from our sanctuary worships. We usually use our Parish Hall and set the chairs up in a circle. We don’t expect large gatherings. But, we know people are church-shopping and we have summer visitors. We also follow-up with “coffee” hour.

  2. I think the key is not to expect a large crowd but to provide interesting and engaging services none the less. Our summer services have focused on the solstice, gardening, building stewardship, social justice, the arts, UU history, picnics, canoeing, readers theater and more. All of these are lay led involving little cost but great fellowship.

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