We’re fast approaching the end of the church programming year and heading into summer. In many churches, things slow down during this time. There may be no Sunday school or Bible study; groups and committees may meet less, if at all. It’s an opportunity for busy church leaders to rest and think about improvements for next year. Although the schedule may be less jam-packed, summertime doesn’t mean that you can’t be growing spiritually or helping others in their journey of faith formation.
PRC is here to help you keep your church alive in the summertime. If you’ve been too busy during the regular year to take advantage of the many free webinars we have to offer, now’s the time to catch up. You can register to view recorded webinars on the Recorded Webinars page of our website. Our webinars are on a wide range of topics, from Church Growth & Renewal to Caring Ministry to Technology & Social Media.
If your children don’t normally attend the entire worship service but will be there during the summer, then you should think about making your service more appealing to everyone. Check out Karen Ware Jackson’s recorded webinar “How to Make Your Worship Service More Engaging for All Ages.” Karen also provided webinar attendees with handouts related to the webinar and these can be downloaded from our Recorded Webinars page. One of the websites Karen recommends is Carolyn Brown’s Worshiping with Children blog which provides “ways to read scripture in the sanctuary so that children understand it, scripts for prayers and liturgy that draw children as well as adults into worship, plans for folding worship education (for all ages) into the worship service, and essays about how children understand and participate in worship and sacraments.”
If you’re not having Sunday school during the summer, perhaps you’ll be offering Vacation Bible School (VBS). You can go to the Children’s Ministry section of the Resources page of our website and download a booklet with tips on running VBS as well as reviews of the 2016 VBS curriculums. Another booklet on that page, “Keep Faith Alive in the Summertime” gives suggestions for summer Sunday school, ideas for special children’s and intergenerational programs, as well as ways to stay in touch with children and their families during the summer. One suggestion is to send families home with a Take Out Church box; the GraceFilledChaos blog has instructions on how to do this. Another booklet on PRC’s Resources page is called “Spiritual Refreshment for Busy Sunday School Teachers and Leaders” and provides ideas for putting together a plan to focus on your spirituality this summer including a list of resources, specific spiritual practices, and ideas for creating a sacred space at home as well as going on a personal retreat.
If you’re a subscribing church in our area, stop by one of our offices and pick up a book from our Personal Spirituality section. We also offer all of our subscribing churches three hours of onsite consultation each year, which can be used for leadership training, evaluation of your church or a specific area of ministry, or for a program such as a mini-retreat or workshop. Our list of possibilities for your three hour on-site consultation includes teacher training, a labyrinth workshop, a prayer beads workshop, and a core values leadership retreat. If you’d like to set up an onsite consultation visit or just want to brainstorm about your church and its ministries, stop by, call us at 631-821-2255 or 631-486-4350, or send us an email. We’re here to help you fulfill the mission of your church.