Summertime Church

Church attendance is something we talk about at Glory Associates because attendance has a direct correlation with offerings, and offerings are what keep the church lights on, the AC humming during worship hours, and the staff paid. Summer attendance is particularly a topic because church attendance suffers during the summer months.

Social scientists have been tracking self-reported religious service attendance for almost 80 years. According to a 2012 report, 40% of adult Americans claim to attend church or religious services every week. Yet they believe the self-reporters exaggerated as much as 50%, so they set the number somewhere around 26%.

These numbers, for example, might be useful if you want to estimate the potential income of a new church community. But what does the report say about church attendance in general?

For one thing, it tells us that because people “believe” that they should attend there’s the opportunity that they will attend regularly under certain circumstances. Churches can use this knowledge to promote worship services, study groups, ministries, and social events that are so humanly and spiritually rewarding that people become willing to inconvenience themselves to attend regularly.

So instead of muddling through the summer months of vacations, travel and general freedom from commitments, we might take some time to engage in conversation with one another about how to change this “no-show” summer mentality. If we slow down in the summer, take long vacations ourselves, and accept a reduced number in attendance, are we not training our congregations not to show up? Something to pray about. #SummertimeChurch