Vacations. Camp. Sports, family commitments and learning opportunities. There are myriad reasons why attendance slumps at our congregations during summer. In many churches, this is seen as a problem.

What if, instead of “missing church” for the summer, we invited one another to take church with us into the world? Technology allows us to reframe the travel, commitments and busyness of our summer schedules into an amazing opportunity.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus charged the disciples: “You will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” Every summer we are witnesses. On vacation. On the soccer field. At camp. As we travel. To the ends of the earth. And every witness needs tools—it doesn’t just happen by accident. There are ways that we can use technology to equip one another for this journey.

Create community

A church Facebook page is a great way to get information out and share news about the life of the congregation. In addition to announcements, share prayers throughout the summer that members can use as they travel.

In addition to a Facebook page, your congregation may benefit from a Facebook group. A closed group of members can serve as a virtual fellowship hall—a private space where they can continue their coffee-pot conversations throughout the week.

Growing in faith

Helping members to find and use a Bible app can make sure they always have the Scriptures with them as they travel—even when there’s no room in the suitcase. Emailing or posting each week’s readings lets members who aren’t at church read along.

In addition to reading, there are many ways to make the sermon available online. Whether by podcasting or livestreaming on Facebook or another service, it has become increasingly easy to share the experience of the sermon far beyond the walls of the church building.

Questions and discussion from Bible studies can be shared on Facebook groups. These conversations help us to keep learning and to stay connected with one another.

Continuing generosity

One of the real concerns many congregations have about summer travel is the affect it has on members’ stewardship—it becomes easy to forget our regular gift when we can’t drop it in the offering plate. A multitude of online giving options are available for churches. Before summer begins, many of us find it helpful to set up automatic giving to the ministries we support.

Singing faith

Another key experience of worship is the music: the songs that shape our faith and time together. Martin Luther said, “Next to the word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

A streaming music service like Spotify can allow you to set up a playlist of your church’s worship music for a given period. That way everyone can experience the same songs together wherever they are.

David L. Hansen
Hansen is pastor of Spirit of Joy! Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas.

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