Fall Ministry Season Is Just Around the Corner (5 Steps to Get Ready)

Summer is quickly passing and the fall ministry season is just around the corner.  School will be starting in a few weeks.  Once school begins and the fall ministry season arrives, attendance normally starts rising again after the "summer slump."  The fall can be a great time to grow and expand your ministry if you go into it with an intentional plan.  Here's 5 steps that will help you prepare.

Enlist new volunteers and re-engage any volunteers who took a break for the summer.  If your fall ministry season is successful, it will be because you have a strong volunteer team.  Start now inviting new people to join your team so they are ready to start serving when the fall season arrives.  And if you have volunteers who took a few weeks off, reach out to them and re-engage them.  You can get lots of great ideas on how to enlist new volunteers in the book "The Formula for Building Great Volunteer Teams."

Connect with all the families in your data base.  More parents start thinking about taking their children to church once school is back in session.  Reach out to every family you have contact information for and let them know about what's coming in the fall.  You can include things like a new teaching series, special days and events, programs kicking off, etc.  Use every communication tool you have at your disposal including social media, letters, phone calls, email, postcards, etc.  The more ways you communicate, the more families you will connect with.

Plan a big attendance weekend.  Pick a special weekend where you do a big push to reach as many kids and families as possible.  Wait until after school starts back.  This will enable you to get invite cards in the hands of the kids who already attend.  Do a strong push to encourage kids to invite a friend for that day.  You can do special things like giving away a prize to the kid who brings the most friends.  I have had a kid bring as many as 26 friends by himself on one day when doing this.  You can also give away a gift to everyone in attendance, bring in a special guest speaker or whatever else you can plan that will bring new kids in the door and re-engage kids who have been hit-and-miss during the summer.

Prepare your fall festival.  If you are doing a fall festival, now is the time to start getting ready.  A fall festival can be a huge opportunity to open the doors of your church to your community.  If you are going to be using bounce houses, cotton candy or any other thing that needs to be rented, now is the time to put in your reservation.  The earlier you can prepare, the less stress you will have when the event rolls around.

Start new teaching series that appeal to kids and parents.  This is a great time to kick-off new teaching series that will engage kids and their parents.  An example would be starting a fun new series for kids on a relevant topic and a teaching series on parenting or marriage for adults.

I have found over the years, in the flow of a ministry year, that there are two time frames that you will experience great growth if you are prepared.  One is the months of January to April and the other one is August to October.  Seize the moment and you will see fruit come out of it.