Beating The Summer Slump


Memorial Day to Labor Day is the summer season here in the U.S. Typically it’s prime time for families to vacation and be in and out of church. Most churches experience a little dip in consistent attendance during these months and tend to use the time to gear up towards the fall season.

We are in the middle of an experiment here at my church. Instead of doing the same ol’ thing with the worship team, we decided to try and bring a little variety to our look, feel, and sound. Typically, we have a band/singer setup not unlike the typical medium to large size church, but this approach can be adapted by any size church, and might even be more effective if used in a smaller church.

No, we’re not wearing spandex or doing all 80s cover tunes. We’re not doing top 40 or oldies covers. We’re doing the same music we’ve always done. The difference? We’ve changed our line-up of musicians and singers.

Because of the unpredictable nature of summer, and taking into consideration the health and sanity of my volunteers (everyone needs a break), we’ve created what we call a “Summer Set” here.

Basically, it’s a small set. Instead of the typical big band and handful of upfront vocals (and/or choir), we’ve gone to a very scaled down rock band set up. This set is made up of drums, bass, guitar, and 2 vocals.

One of the vocals doubles on guitar so in essence there are 4 people on stage. Compare that to the 9 or 10 we regularly have and you’ve definitely got something different. It’s definitely a different sound. It has a more intimate, coffee house feel to it, but yet still leaves room for the rock edge if you want.

This week we’ll be adding an acoustic and an electric guitar to the line up so it will be a little fuller sounding, but we’ve decided to keep the 2 vocals.

We’ll be playing with this set for the next few weeks, and as we move into the “Back to School” season, we’ll be moving back towards the big worship band set. So far, though, we’ve had nothing but positive comments on the change, and those singers that are normally on stage are enjoying a few months of just worshiping alongside their families without having to get up so early. It’s a win/win!

What are some ways you’ve beaten the “Summer Slump” in your ministry?  Leave comments below, or feel free to start your own discussion in the forums.