Now is a great time to start thinking about the summer. You can use it to your advantage to strengthen, boost and recharge your worship ministry.
One of the worst things I hear people say is, “Oh, summer is coming up, no one is going to be around…” and other phrases like this. Stop saying that. Like any season, there are some limitations in the summer, and there are always some crazy schedules, but reinforcing it only demoralizes those who are there. Embrace the summer months and make some plans to use those important weeks to your advantage.
There is an element of relaxation to the summer months and we can capitalize on that. Here are some ideas for your life and ministry.
CREATE A SOCIAL EVENT
Building community within your team is an important part of the ministry and summer allows some time to do it. It can be simple or grand, but don’t try to find a time for everyone….it’s impossible. Set a date and do it. Ideas might include a homemade ice cream social, a potluck, a hike, a bonfire or another event. Pull someone in to be the person who can help organize it.
PLAN WITH YOUR PASTOR
Find a time – maybe a morning, afternoon, or whole day, to visit with your pastor about plans, future ministry, and vision for the church. Think about series ideas and planning. Think about the anchor dates for the year. Pastors will welcome the opportunity to share the vision, gather ideas, brainstorm, and be connected.
PLAN YOUR OWN MINISTRY SCHEDULE
How can you spruce up your own calendar? Whether you’re full-time, part-time, or volunteer, it doesn’t matter. You can take hold of your schedule and create the optimal week with everything working perfectly and shoot for it! Plan out rehearsal times and structures, plan out your prep time, scheduling methods and more – then put it down on paper. If you even get close to this optimal schedule half the weeks, it will bring about a tremendous impact to your work.
KEEP THE MUSIC SIMPLE
Summertime is a great time to let off the gas pedal a bit. Do songs you know. Lessen the intensity of the rehearsals and practice times. Lessen the length of the worship service by a fraction. It’s ok to be intentionally strong and simple for a couple of months. It opens space to plan new things for the fall, gives some breathing room, and includes new people.
INCLUDE OTHERS IN LEADERSHIP
This summer might be a good time to include some new worship team members. If you have a farm system, pull some of the leaders in. If you have an opportunity to bring in a guest worship leader, now is a good time to invite them. If the students will be returning from a camp or mission trip, invite them to sing a song they learned or experienced.
MUSIC THEMED SUNDAYS
Plan some creative Sundays, especially if you’re having trouble getting a full band for some Sunday. Ideas may include acoustic music, bluegrass, jazz Sunday, 90’s Sunday, hymn Sunday. Publicize it a little and have fun with it.
HIGHLIGHT TEAM MEMBERS
What about taking a segment of the worship time each week to highlight a worship team member? Interview the sound person or computer expert in your church. Do a brief interview of the longest-serving worship team member. Have a series of a handful of Sundays where you do this live or on video to make a personal connection.
SCHEDULE YOUR HOME TIME AND STICK TO IT
Sabbath, vacations, rest, and free days, all need to be dealt with intentionally, especially in the summer. Don’t let the months slip by without taking a serious break.
SERVE AT A KIDS EVENT OR OUTREACH
There’s nothing quite like leading worship for children or students. It’s a burst of energy, it’s some amazing connections and the investment of time in the summer pays huge dividends over the course of the year. Accept an invitation to lead worship for a summer camp, VBS, a special one-night family event, or something else.
GET THE BIG BLOCKS IN FOR THE FALL
With the slightly slower pace in the summer, take some time to dream about the Fall. Get the big dates down – your training times, conferences, Christmas and Easter and next vacation.