Summer is a great time of year—picnics, vacations, a slower pace—but also is a time when many churches see a downward trend in attendance. You know it’s coming, but that doesn’t make it any easier to stand in the pulpit on Sunday morning and see empty pews where there were full ones a few weeks before.

In an issue of his Creative Leader newsletter, Ed Young Jr. talks about dealing with the ups and downs of attendance: “Every church, no matter how large or small, eventually experiences low attendance phases that defy explanation. You can drive yourself to distraction trying to figure out the reason, when it could be something as unrelated as a hot football playoff season.

“Never let your personal worth rise and fall with the peaks and valleys of your attendance numbers. You are a unique creation and so is your church, so don’t fall into the comparison trap. Just because most churches experience a bump on Mother’s Day doesn’t mean you will. Instead, you might see higher attendance in the summertime than others. Seek God’s guidance closely, talk to other pastors, learn as much as you can, and remain true to the vision you’ve been given. Those seasons of struggle are often followed by explosive growth!”

Michael Duduit

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