Nine ways to work on connecting with church members in the summertime

Leadership depends on relationships. Summer may be a bit less busy for ministry tasks and meetings. Why not take that time not only to plan for the fall but also to build relationships? Here are ten things to try:

  1. Show up at the summer children’s program, even if you aren’t involved. Stop by at the beginning and end at least, to connect with parents.
  2. If a church member invites you to a cookout, say yes. At least stop by, even if you’re not a party or outdoor person.
  3. Take one board member to lunch or coffee every week. Talk about them, not church.
  4. Bring snacks for the staff (fruit, if you want to be healthy). Surprise them. They may or may not be members, but you need relationships with them.
  5. Write thank you notes.  Real, handwritten ones. (See my last post about my interview with Maggie Lewis.) You have more time, and it’s a good time to start a new habit.
  6. When you’re talking to someone after church, practice listening and being present. Fewer people in church means fewer people to talk to, so you can take a little more time.
  7. Try something different at committee or team meetings. Ask people to share something positive the group may not know about them. Or do something else to shake up the agenda and learn more about your folks.
  8. Get a little vulnerable in the pulpit. Don’t play true confessions (save that for your therapist or mentor), but be appropriately candid about something you struggle with that you know they do, too.
  9. Initiate a conversation with your biggest critic. Be pastoral rather than defensive.

What are some ways you find to connect with church folks this season?

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