While it may be unavoidable all together, there are ways your church can break out of the summer giving slump.
April 29, 2019
The summer is a nerve-racking time for many pastors.
If you’ve been pastoring for more than a year, you may have experienced a significant dip in attendance and giving in your church, which makes sense.
Between families going on vacation, sporting events on Sundays, and parties and barbecues, there are a ton of good things going on during the summer that can distract the members of your church from regular attendance.
A decline in attendance during the summer usually leads to a dip in giving.
It’s natural for your members to think less about the church when they’re laying on a beach. The only chairs they’re thinking about stacking are their rusty collapsible beach loungers.
While the members of your church are on vacation and enjoying summer activities, the life of your church goes on. But God’s call on your life doesn’t stop just because attendance suffers a 30% drop.
You still have ministries to fund.
You still have bills to pay.
You still have salaries to provide.
The summer months can be demoralizing and kill your church’s momentum.
But here’s the deal: You don’t have to be a victim of a summer giving slump.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through eight ways you can overcome the summer giving slump. Here’s what we’re going to talk about:
Make a plan
Promote online and mobile giving
Trumpet recurring giving
Engage your congregation on the go
Plan summer activities
Share stories of changed lives
Save for a summer slump
Support your community
The summer is approaching fast, so let’s get started.
#1. Make a plan
Do you expect to see a decrease in attendance and giving this summer? If so, you’re not alone.
This summer, there are two different ways you can prepare.
First, you can stick your head in the sand and just hope things work out.
I’m not sure if this has been your approach in the past. But it usually doesn’t work out well. Not knowing whether or not you’re going to have enough money in the bank to tend to your church’s needs can be a stress-inducing experience.
Let’s agree not to stick our heads in the sand this summer.
Second, the best thing you can do is to make a plan to smooth out your church's summer giving slump. In the rest of this article, I’m going to share with you seven ways you can make your plan.
Regular recurring giving lays a solid foundation for your church’s budget.
On average, people who make recurring donations give more frequently and more per year. When you lead the members of your church to automate their giving, it will help you to avoid a summer giving slump.
Taking a vacation is essential for you and the members of your church. It doesn’t matter if you take a “staycation” or go somewhere with your family and friends. Taking a break from work and life to have some fun is good for your soul.
When the members of your church are away, you can help them to stay connected by providing a church app.
With a church app, you can let people:
Listen to your sermons on the go
Check for prayer requests
Keep up with church news and social media
Donate with 1-tap
Making it easy for people to connect on the go will help them to feel apart of the life of church still even though they’re not physically present.
#5. Plan summer activities
Don’t set the cruise controls during the summer just because people are on vacation.
There’s nothing wrong with taking family vacations or skipping a worship service here and there, but that doesn’t mean the mission of your church needs to come to a halt.
If your preaching pastor is taking time off, bring in a guest preacher who will draw a crowd. If your worship team has dwindled down to “we’re going to do an acoustic set today, with Danny and his guitar,” then consider hiring a worship team or a popular band to fill in and give people a break.
#6. Share stories of changed Lives
God doesn’t take a break during the summer. His presence isn’t felt less during worship just because you have a few people absent.
Sharing stories of God’s work in your church is a natural way to inspire giving. These types of stories—testimonies—are a tangible way people can see God’s work in the life of people.
Is there a new profession of faith you can celebrate?
Are there new baptisms you can acknowledge?
Did God recently restore a marriage in your church?
Does your church support a local nonprofit agency or missionaries?
Don’t worry about whether or not your story is grandiose and fit for the big screen. The best type of stories you can share is from the common types of stories people can easily relate to.
Share stories during your church offering, your worship service, on your website and via social media. Make sure to thank the people for financially supporting your church to make these stories possible. This way people will see that their financial gifts continue to matter–even during the summer months.
#7. Save for a summer slump
It’s a good idea for your church to have a financial cushion in case you do run into a summer giving slump.
Having an emergency fund isn’t an expression of a lack of faith. Instead, having cash reserves to take care of unexpected expenses or a decrease in giving is a sign you understand stewardship in the Bible.
According to a survey conducted by Christianity Today’s Church Law & Tax Group, the average church saves 2% of its annual budget. This may be a good benchmark for your church. But consider setting aside more money per month until you’re able to cover 90 days of your expenses.
#8. Support your community
Do you know who else struggles during the summer?
Not only will many nonprofit organizations experience financial setbacks, but, according to TIAA Charitable, “Among the hardest hit are organizations that depend on schools and businesses for group efforts, such as hosting blood drives or collecting food for charity.”
This summer, consider partnering with nonprofit organizations in your community to provide financial assistance and volunteer support.
There are many ways you can get your church on board to help, including:
Pray for organizations in your community
Invite a representative from a local organization to share with your church
Organize a church-wide volunteer opportunity or donation drive
Set up weekly opportunities for your church to volunteer
Take up a one-time offering
Supporting a nonprofit organization during the summer will encourage the members of your church to participate in the work of the ministry and stick around.