I don’t know about you… but I am ready for summer! It’s early May, and summertime is right around the corner. For many of us, this means making our plans for summer travel and weekend get-aways.
Summer is right around the corner for churches too, which can lead to a dose of financial stress. The “summer slump” in giving can be a reality for many congregations. Worship attendance tends to decrease because of vacations, family weekends and maybe even golf. A drop in attendance results in a drop in offerings.
As church leaders wrestle with this challenge, one reaction might be frustration that their members don’t understand that bills keep coming to the church, even when they don’t. It may not be enough to simply communicate to the members that the summer slump in giving is a problem.
A couple thoughts…
Encourage members to take advantage of electronic giving. Whether it be through their own bank app, or setting up automatic gifting through the church, recurring electronic giving can keep the donations on track throughout the summer.
Also consider inviting members to pre-pay their financial commitments to help cancel the summer slump. Place in the pews special “Before You Go On Vacation” offering envelopes which will remind them about this opportunity and make it easier for them to participate. A benefit to the contributors is that they will reach the fall on schedule, or ahead, instead of behind in their giving commitments. The benefit to your church and its ministries is obvious.
As always, start by asking the leaders of your congregation to be the first to commit to giving ahead this summer. When they do, advertise their intentions. By leading by example, your members will be inspired to pitch in to avoid the summer slump in giving.
In the meantime… is it too soon to cue my favorite summertime song?
Fred Stoltz, Sr. Program Director
The James Company