Memorial Day weekend is almost here and that means it’s time to hit the beach, amusement parks, or go camping. Wait, that’s what happens on Memorial Day weekend for most people. But life as a pastor requires you to be at church instead, right?
Chances are your church crowd on Memorial Day weekend will be light, and as such, your staff may not feel the need to do anything special for the weekend. However, don’t forget that this Sunday service is one of only 52 chances you get in the year to welcome someone new to church and the amazing work your preaching staff, worship team, and kids ministry do every week of the year. Here are some tips to help you create a powerful and memorable Sunday service for Memorial Day weekend.
Get the Big Picture
You may wonder what the impact of Memorial Day is for your church. It’s a time to remember the sacrifice that people have made for our country, and you may have families in your community that are grieving the loss of parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, siblings, friends, or battle buddies. As the Church, it’s our job “to look after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27), giving care and comfort to those who are hurting and struggling with the loss of a loved one.
Action step: Brainstorm with your team ways to be a help to hurting families who have lost loved ones in service to our country. Perhaps have a time of prayer set aside in your service specifically for them, or have a room set up after church with snacks to make them feel special and to help them meet other individuals in their shoes.
Draw a Crowd
You probably had a big push for Easter Sunday church goers. Why not do another push leading into summer to get people involved in your church or reenergize your current attendees? Even though it’s easier to miss church during the summer because there are lots of distractions with vacations and outside activities, it’s also a time when a lot of people slow down. So, encourage them to make a commitment to being at church all summer, starting with Memorial Day weekend.
Action Step: Create a campaign to promote church attendance including social media posts and/or ads, street front signage announcement you’re “open” all summer, and a freshened presence on your website’s homepage.
Hopefully your efforts to draw a crowd worked! Don’t let the momentum stop after one Sunday. As you are probably aware, people are more likely to come back week after week if they feel appreciated and needed.
Action Step: Get in touch with your church attendees on Facebook with a huge thank you for being part of your church community. Make personal contact with new visitors to your church. Stay in touch with the families that you honored on Memorial Day and provide a support group for them or consistent personal outreach from someone on your staff as they continue to grieve. Bottom line, make personal contact in one form or another with all types of people at your church to help them feel wanted and needed.
We hope these ideas help you get a great start to summer at your church!
Here are a few resources for you as you plan your Memorial Day weekend service:
I Remember Decoration Day by Michael Milton
Memorial Day: Hopeful Memory by Craig Watts
Memorial Day: Honoring the Good and the Noble by Chuck Colson
Preaching and Memorial Day by Jason Micheli
In Honor of Service by Playback Media
Memorial Day Freedom Title by Centerline New Media