As the warmer weather approaches, calendars fill up with vacations, sports, and other fun activities to take advantage of the summer sun! If you are a church leader, you have probably seen how this season impacts attendance at your church. This dip in attendance is commonly referred to as the “summer slump.” Churches see attendance hit an all-time low as the snowbirds return to their summer homes, college students travel back to their home states, and parents are looking for ways to occupy their kids during the break from school.

While you can’t bypass the summer slump altogether, we’ve got a few tips for church leaders to help deal with the summer slump and prioritize your church calendar.

1) Set Realistic Expectations

Don’t be discouraged when you see the summer slump start to impact your attendance. It’s normal for all churches to see a dip in attendance, and it is generally unavoidable. By setting realistic expectations, you won’t be disappointed or discouraged when those numbers start to dip.

2) Get Creative with Your Ministry

During the summer months, it might be difficult for some people to show up on a Sunday morning consistently. But that doesn’t have to mean that they are disconnected from their church community during this time. Look for ways to minister to your members and community outside of your prescribed service times. Look for local festivals, events, and service projects that you can participate in as a church and have a presence at to invest in the community.

3) Prioritize Digital Ministry

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to consider digital ministry options that people can partake in whenever it fits their schedule. Some questions to ask: How can we add value to people’s spiritual life through a digital ministry? Can we provide resources for a family worship night? Or maybe bite-sized devotionals that can easily be done in 5-10 minutes? The possibilities are endless to provide alternative ways to keep people connected to your church online.

4) Make Giving Accessible

Just because people are less likely to be physically at your church over the summer doesn’t mean that they don’t want to give regularly. Make sure your giving is accessible to those members with busy schedules. Online giving is a great way to provide options to your members whether they want to give once or set up a recurring monthly gift. Make sure your members know online giving is an option before the summer slump is in full swing!

5) Plan Ahead for the Fall

With a decrease in attendance, the summer is the perfect time to review and plan for the Fall. Set aside some time to review any systems you currently have in place and see if there is a way to improve them. When involvement gets more consistent, how will your ministry need to change? What initiatives need to be planned out now to be most effective?

6) Provide Special Events for the Whole Family

With children out of school and one, if not both, parents working, it can be difficult to find events the whole family can enjoy. Take note of the demographic of your church. Do you have more families, singles, or young couples? What kinds of events will serve your community best? Depending on the demographic of your church, you might consider offering VBS, movie nights, water park days, or picnics in the park. By offering events that help bring the family together, you can make sure connecting with your church is beneficial and not an obligation to fill-up their calendar even more.

The summer slump can be discouraging if you aren’t prepared for this season and don’t adjust what your church offers to support your congregation. If your church needs help setting up online giving or adding systems to be better prepared to get back into your stride in the Fall, now is the perfect time to try out a demo of One Church Software.

You may wonder if using a check-in station is the right call for your church. It may seem like it’s just a fancy new piece of technology that is nice, but is it really necessary?

The truth is that the purpose of using a check-in station is not just about technology; it’s actually to make it easier to reach and serve your community, and easier to manage the day-to-day life of your church.

Check-in stations have a number of benefits that provide connection, organization, and safety, and help you stay prepared to make a connection with the people you are called to serve. From checking kids in to your children’s ministry all the way to tracking attendance at special events or classes, here are five benefits a check-in station offers your church:

Benefit #1: Keep Your Children’s Ministry Secure

Whether the child care you are offering is for a special event or as a part of your regular Sunday morning service, there is no other place in your church where security matters more. With easy check-in, you’ll know who the child’s guardian is, the child’s name, and any dietary restrictions all on one label! This ensures that only an authorized adult can pick up the child.

If you ever need to look back at a full attendance roster for a service, or past attendance for a specific child, the system makes it really easy to track that information down.

Benefit #2: Track Attendance

Some churches use a check-in station to track attendance for their Sunday services, and some use it only for special events and classes. Either way, this is a huge benefit to a check-in station that allows people to check-in as they come in.

For special events, if you utilize a pre-registration, tracking the event attendance using a check-in station will allow you to compare the number of people that registered versus those who came to the event. Having attendees check-in at the event will also allow you to send follow-up emails and helpful resources only to the people who that information would apply to, and automatically print labels or name tags necessary for that event.

Benefit #3: Helps Identify New Guests

Church can be a busy place, especially if you have kids running about or are busy keeping a big event organized. With an event check-in station, you’ll know exactly who came to your event and be able to narrow down who wasn’t part of your regular attenders. So in the case you aren’t able to make a personal connection at the event, you can still send them a special follow-up afterward.

Benefit #4: Advance Registration for Events

One of the toughest parts of planning for an event is knowing how many people to plan for. With advance registration, you can collect an accurate number of how many people to expect, as well as compare that number with the number from your event check-in. If you have any conferences or events where there is a fee to attend, you are able to easily add that into the advanced registration.

Benefit #5: Provides Valuable Data

Coordinating events is more than just getting them scheduled in the calendar. You also need to know how many kids to expect (if you are offering childcare), how many volunteers you’ll need to watch the children, and how to set up your space for the amount of attendees expected. If you have a weekly event, a check-in station provides valuable data to tell you how many people are regularly attending, and the average number of children, so that you can properly prepare and adjust for the next event.

These are just a few of the benefits that come with having a check-in station at your church! The goal of utilizing a tool like this is to improve the experience for guests at your church, make organization easier for you and your team to manage, and allow you to connect more easily with the people in your church.

Interested in how One Church Software’s check-in station integration and all-in-one church management software could support your ministry? Learn how it works.