How to Capitalize on the Summer


As the temperature rises and days get longer, summer presents a golden opportunity for churches to extend their reach and deepen connections. Warm weather and relaxed schedules create an ideal environment for fostering a sense of belonging that lasts all year.

From outdoor events to service projects, you can enrich gatherings to benefit your community, city, and beyond. You’ve probably already considered VBS and mission trips, but what about more frequent activities to take up the summer days

Here are some events and outreach opportunities your church and community groups can enjoy throughout the summer.

Community Outreach Events

Food Drives — People tend to be more giving during this warm season of abundance and gratitude. With many families facing increased food insecurity while children are home from school, the need for support is particularly high during the summer months.

Neighborhood Clean-ups — You can do yardwork and neighborhood clean-ups in all four seasons, but it sure is a lot easier in nicer weather. Recognize that your congregation has a willingness to serve, especially on sunny days, and find the people nearby who need their able hands.

Outdoor Community Events 

BBQs — Summer smells like barbecue, and few church-goers will pass up an opportunity to share this festive meal. Host a church-wide lunch outside after service to unite the congregation. Allow families to take the slow path, mingling and eating together before running home. 

Picnics — When community groups meet in the same indoor spaces regularly, it can get stuffy. Parks, public pools, and nature preserves can provide a refreshing change, drawing people outdoors for activities beyond just conversation. Whether kids play on playgrounds or families hike together, picnics foster a sense of togetherness and community by simply doing life together in the great outdoors.

Outdoor Worship — Nothing beats hearing the sound of worshiping voices ring through trees and open spaces. Warm weather is a perfect time to remind the stones that they don’t have to cry out in your place (Luke 19:40).

Summer Programs 

Intramural Leagues — Involve athletes of all ages in intramural leagues to bond over a common interest. Being active and having fun together will break down walls that unites everyone involved.

Summer Bible Study Groups — You probably have some combination of students, teachers, and travelers in your church, meaning their schedules will change during the summer. Summer groups can offer these people opportunities for a tight-knit community during transitions. Seasonal groups can also help unify the congregation and introduce people who would otherwise not have met. Integrating summer groups can end up being the reason your lobby is full of socializing families before and after services.

Remember that everything you enjoy this summer is the Lord’s, so give it back to him with eager servant-hearts, glorifying Him for what he has provided, and utilizing it all for his glory. Your congregation, and even visitors, will be searching your website for how to stay rooted in community this summer. Consider what you can do to invite them in each week.