Engaging Families in the Summer

What have you noticed about your church community as we move forward post-pandemic? What are your people really hungry for when it comes to church? Two things bubbled up for me:

  • Community and Connection: People coming back into the church building have told me over and over again: “How good it feels to be together again!” People care about being in community and rekindling friendships and connections with their pastors, old peers, and new people.
  • Meaning and Why: One family decided their return to in person worship on Christmas Eve. But half way through the service their 4 year old asked them: “Why are we here?” People are re-engaging their values on what church means to them as well as rediscovering their “why” to church and Jesus.

As we enter into summer and program year comes to an end, my hope is that we still find meaning-making at church, make new connections, and build community. Here is what we do:

FUN TABLE: We have a check-in table for the program year, and we are going to keep that table open over the summer. It will be a place for families to get upcoming info, sign ups, and something fun for kids to do in the pews (beside busy bags).

SPARK YOUR FAITH: These are our family summer devotions. Check them out here.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: VBS is a long standing tradition at many churches. We offer VBS in three different ways for our families: the regular 9-12 noon, a family-style evening VBS, or one Sunday a month after worship. The great thing is “Operation Restoration” from Augsburg Fortress has all these options available in the curriculum.

LEMONADE STANDS: We are connecting a service project through lemonade stands for families to sign up for. All proceeds go to My Very Own Bed, a local organization. Check out more here.

100 PRAYER PARTNERS: Prayer is a great way to connect people. We have around 100 families registered for programming between newborns to 5th grade. Packet pick up can happen anytime. Below is what they will do:

  • Pray for their assigned kid(s) and their family during the summer.
  • Send a monthly postcard which are provided and pre-labeled with address. All they have to do is write a message, put a stamp on it, and put in the mail. 
  • Join in the Ice Cream Social planned for pray-ers and families on Wednesday, August 16 from 6:30-7:30 pm.

SCRAPPY ART: Invite households to do some scrappy art outside. Offer fun art projects, probably something families would not do at home (think messy); something they can make for home or to keep at church for a larger program.

I would love to hear what you are doing for the summer!

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