BEATING THE SUMMER SLUMP THIRTEEN SPECIAL DAYS
BY TOM BARSTOW
The Summer months seem to take their toll on most churches, mostly in attendance. There are ways to combat this slump. Here in this literature, are some suggestions that may help you create an interest that can help span this normal dry spell and give you a boost going into the Fall season.
Some of these special days may not work for you but many of them will. Use all or pick and choose from the list. You can easily enlarge on these brief suggestions.
1. Baccalaureate Sunday
This is an occasion when many visitors will come to honor their youngsters who are present in cap and gown. This would be a good time for a special speaker. The Teen Department of the Sunday School might lead out in this special day. Their major role would be in visitation and preparation.
2. Baby Day
A perennial favorite among special days observed by the church is Baby Day. Several aspects of this day can make it distinctive.
Have a small gift for each baby.
(b) Have photographers ready to make each baby’s picture with the mother.
(c) Have a baby parade in the morning service, presenting each mother and baby to the congregation.
(d) Recognize the nursery workers.
3. Father’s Day
One small boy was asked to explain Father’s Day, only you don’t pay as much for the present.
It’s true, Father’s Day travels in second place, but it can be made a great day in Sunday school.
Have all the children to bring their father to Sunday school on this big day. Have a special recognition of all fathers. Give a gift to them. (Some small token of appreciation.) Have an all men’s choir.
4. Appreciation Day
Have each class in the Sunday school push for a 100% attendance of the enrollment to show appreciation for the teacher.
Mail everyone a small ribbon (1/4″ to 1/2″ in width and 2″ in length) the week before the special day, asking them to bring the ribbon with them on the following Sunday. Explain in the letter that you are observing Appreciation Sunday and they will be given an opportunity to pin the ribbon on some person in the church who has been a special blessing to them.
It will be an outstandingly moving and precious day, long remembered. You will want to make this an annual day in your church.
5. Pac-A-Pew Sunday
This is used by more evangelistic meetings than any other promotional idea, in the opinion of this writer. Why not use it to have a unique and large day in Sunday school.
Assign every pew in the church building to some worker with the design of having each worker to pack his pew with people on Pac-A-Pew Sunday. They may ask people (other than other pew packers) who regularly attend. If they don’t Find enough people to fill their pews then they must get people who don’t usually attend. The name or number of the pew packers should be prominently displayed on the pew so those to sit on his pew can easily find it.
6. Patriotic Sunday or I Love America Sunday
This day of recognition is usually observed on the Sunday nearest Independence Day, before the day. Have a lot of heart-stirring patriotic music. Most of the major religious publishers are producing an abundance of “God and Country” music. One of the best sources for simple, unique patriotic music is Staff of Life Publications, P. O. Box 33541, Decatur Georgia 30033. Lloyd Smith is the publisher.
Some other ideas for the day are:
A. Have members of the military in attendance.
B. Have a color guard present to present flags.
C. Recognize all men and ladies who served in the Armed Forces.
D. Decorate the auditorium in patriotic colors.
E. Have a high ranking officer of the Armed Forces to speak briefly.
F. Give a small flag to every child in Sunday school.
7. Double Sunday
This special day gets right to the heart of our prime duty as a
Christian, reaching others. Some aspects of this day that can be very exciting
A. Doubling your attendance
B. Doubling your tithe
C. Doubling yourself (bring someone)
D. Recognize all twins. Have a special gift for twins who look the most
E. Have a contest to see what two people, not twins, can look the most
F. Double your baptisms.
G. Sign-up double your enrollment.
H. Give all children a pack of Double mint Gum.
8. Senior Citizens Sunday
A time to put the senior adults out front is Senior Citizens Sunday. This brings many members of families who do not ordinarily attend.
Some things to do are:
A. Recognize the oldest person
B. Recognize charter members
C. Have a senior adult present special music.
D. Gather as many in the choir as possible and have them sing a special song.
E. Have a gift for all people over age 60.
9. Music Appreciation Sunday
Music is vital in all of our services. Even though this day may come in the summer when some choir members and musicians may be on vacation, a meaningful day can be enjoyed.
A. Try to get every choir member into the choir.
B. Have favorite hymns. Take a poll the Sunday before to determine the favorites.
C. Invite an outstanding singer or music director to be a guest.
D. Have someone give favorite stories behind some hymns.
E. Sing the Pastor’s favorite songs.
10. Break All Summer Records
This would be a good day to challenge the people to have a memorable
time in setting new records for Sunday school during the summer vacation time.
A. Set goals for each class and department.
B. Use every means at your disposal to get the word out to people:
b. newspaper ads
c. radio spots
d. TV announcements
e. phone brigades
f. set records for visitation
9. Have a soulwinning marathon.
h. Have the teens pass out handbills.
11. International Sunday
This particular day can have a two-fold benefit; attendance can be increased and you can have a fine emphasis on missions.
A. Have the auditorium decorated with flags of many different countries plus red, white and blue for the USA.
B. Have several missionaries set up displays of curios from other countries.
C. Have people from your community of different nationalities give a testimony, dressed in their native dress.
D. NASA in Houston, Texas, will furnish memorabilia such as beautiful color pictures of space craft launchings, etc., that can be used as gifts.
12. Kinfolk Sunday
Nothing is more profitable to a church than to have whole families involved in the ministry of the church. Try to get the largest “clan” into Sunday school and church. The goal, really, is to have every person have some relative with him who is not already in regular attendance.
13. Round-Up Sunday
The summer is over and it’s time to get all of the strays and mavericks all rounded up. Reach the strays, those who have their names on the rolls, and the mavericks, those who are not on the rolls or who haven’t come at any other time previously.
Methods already discussed can be used to get people in on this day, but this colorful subject lends itself to a great deal of decoration and useful printed matter.
A Western theme is always exciting for any area of the country.
These special days can be used at other times of the year, of course, but they can make for a triumphant Summer, beating the usual slump.
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