No two families have the same summer schedule, which is why many churches stay away from scheduled studies during the season, especially church-wide studies. While churches are right when it comes to specific ministries--like small group ministry--I'd argue that summer is the perfect time to enact a congregation-wide study! Here are 7 reasons why:
Maintain (or increase) momentum and involvement in your church. Where most churches wind down in the summer, your parish can use a summer study to dig deeper in the Word and grow in faith individually and corporately.
Engage new families. Summer is a top time for families to move in and out of areas--they'll be looking for ways to connect with their new communities, especially churches. This is the perfect opportunity to welcome newcomers to your church by updating your welcome bags/packs to include the same book the rest of the congregation is reading. What a way to greet new families!
Increase social media connection. A church-wide study is a great way to engage parishioners on social media, especially during the summer. You can post shareable images that serve as a reminder to read the day's devotion, encourage church members to post photos of them reading their devotions on vacation or stay-cation (and tag your church), or create a summer hashtag to aggregate what your church is saying about the devotional online.
Promote congregational engagement--no matter someone's location! Families are pulled in so many directions during the summer; they are never doing the same thing two weeks in a row. It's a benefit to have a summer study that the whole church can read, whether they’re on vacation or at home.
Get deeper in the Word than you might during the rest of the year. Everything slows down during the summer...why not a study? Take a 6-week series and double it--encourage your parish to spend additional time in the Word. By spending two weeks on each segment, as opposed to one 'chapter' per week, there are opportunities to unpack each Lesson in-depth.
Provide opportunities for the congregation to stay in community. Most small groups will take the summer off--it makes sense that they would, but it can lead to families feeling a bit disconnected from the church. Use things like the series kick-off, close out, or even a mid-session 'energy boost' to encourage communion. Keep it fun (think barbecues, pool parties, etc.)!
Give your church members something to talk about! It's always easier to invite someone to church or an event when you can share what the visitor will experience. A summer study gives them a chance to share what's going on in your congregation, whether it's during the summer or when the "traditional" schedule begins again in the Fall.