Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. Following Easter, creation itself seems to reflect and celebrate the resurrection as the temperature rises, the trees and flowers bloom, and the birds sing their praises to God. The celebration of spring is so engaging that even die-hard homebodies have been known to venture outside to enjoy nature’s beauty. But the draw of the outdoors can also distract.
Spring fever is a real condition, and its symptoms often include empty pews, low participation, and general distractedness.
Here are a few ideas to strengthen your congregation’s immunity to the spring fever epidemic:
- Build Community – Embrace the weather by planning a community event outside—a family picnic or movie on the lawn, a church-wide cookout or camping trip, or a day at the lake can be great ways to build community. Each person in your community matters. Take away their excuses by showing them they are an essential part of your church. The truth is, if they feel they matter, they are more likely to show up.
- Cast a vision for a BIG event – Have you ever noticed that a crowd draws people? There is something about standing in a large group of people with a unified purpose that inspires. For the Christian, corporate worship is more than inspiring. Believers connecting together can experience God in a mysterious way. For example, two years ago, 67 churches joined together in the Atlanta area to serve their community for “40 Days of One to Another”. The event began with individual churches hosting service projects and culminated with a multi-church worship service that unified the city. Many remarked that the worship service was a picture of what they hope heaven will be like. A big event can afford people the opportunity to feel connected to something bigger than themselves.
- Encourage Unplugging – Solitude can be elusive in our technology driven age, but God’s voice is often better heard in the stillness. Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God,” and Romans 1 says that God reveals Himself through His creation. Encourage those in your congregation to unplug from the demands of life to engage with their Creator. Spring is a great time to get still and listen for God’s quiet voice.
In a Tale of Two Cities we glean the thought, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….” Spring can be that for the church. My prayer is that God will use this spring to draw those in your congregation into a deeper relationship with Him and each other.