Hey church…summer is quickly approaching. Are you ready? During the summer months, a lot of churches will consolidate their service times to accommodate a smaller summer crowd. If you plan on doing that, read this first.
Decide Early. If you haven’t already made this call for your church, do it yesterday. Don’t wait until the last minute and cause unnecessary confusion to your congregants and any potential visitors. And don’t just make this decision for your Sunday services…this should include your other ministries as well. For example, if your youth group will not be meeting during the summer months, that needs to be decided now, too.
Prepare Your Teams. Let your volunteers know what to expect before you start advertising it to everyone else. Give them time to decide if they can continue to serve during the summer based on the updated schedule. If not, it’s time to start recruiting summertime volunteers.
Get the Word Out. Start letting people know about the service time change as soon as possible. Post it on your website, your Facebook page, your bulletin, and announce it during your Sunday services leading up to the service time change. A couple of summers ago, one mystery guest told us this: “I arrived at the church for the second service only to learn that they had a combined service that day and it was half over.” Don’t let this be your church.
Double Check Everything. In our line of work, we see a lot of church websites, social media profiles, bulletins, etc. and it’s always surprising how many discrepancies we see in service times. Another mystery guest told us, “I checked the church’s website and found incorrect information that led me to the church at the wrong time. I visited thinking I was attending the 9:30AM service only to find they had switched their schedule.” Make sure the information across all of your sources of information is correct and that it all provides the same information.
Don’t. There is no rule that says you must change your church service times during the summer. Usually, when there is a change, there is also at least a little confusion. If you don’t have a good reason to change your service times, just don’t do it.
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether or not to change your church’s schedule for the summer. For a smooth transition, be sure to let everyone know your plan, including your potential guests.