Summer is a tricky time in churches. Vacations and blooming backyards pull people from the structure of the sanctuary to the heat-induced malaise of patios and pitchers of icy sweetness. (I’m drifting to Harper Lee’s description of ladies wilting “like soft teacakes with frostings of sweat and sweet talcum.” What an image...)
Most churches pull back in summer. They go from three services to one, opt for casual wear, and fold the choir. Since we’re already taking a break from routine, why not use these months to explore new ideas of creativity, church, and community?
Here are 5 ways to shake up your summer worship:
#1. Go Outside!
Offer worship in the parking lot. Hold Bible study on the sidewalk. Host a hymn-sing on the lawn. Not only will going outside add new dimension to your worship, it will also show your broader community what the church looks like in “real life.”
#2. Offer Summer Concerts.
Take advantage of that quiet sanctuary and put on a concert series! Create a schedule, advertise to the community, and take an offering to support the musicians. Not only will you support the artists in your city, you’ll also offer a non-threatening reason for people to walk through your front doors.
#3. Invite Guest Musicians.
Your band needs a break and your music director needs a vacation, so take advantage of that timing and invite some guest musicians to play on Sunday morning. Choose locals or find out who might be touring in your area. This is also a fun way to introduce new music and styles of worship to your congregation.
#4. Take Song Requests.
Everyone loves to sing their favourites, so let them! Let the congregation know that each Sunday’s music will be chosen from their requests. Collect song titles via email, social networking, or slips of paper. A great way to involve the congregation in the worship planning process!
#5. Start a Post-Cottage Service.
If your congregation is missing Sunday mornings to lounge by the lake, meet them on the way back with a Sunday evening service. They’ll still be in shorts, so keep it casual and relaxing - prayer, uplifting music, and a relevant message. Think about offering cool drinks and snacks so people can share those great fishing stories...
I’d love to hear what your church is doing this summer!
Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below…
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