Summer time Â brings weird scheduling challenges to small churches. Since small churches don’t have a large staff (thus no automatic subs), there are those days where something needs to be planned ‘cuz folks are gonna show up…but regular leadership might not.
Here’s an idea for something to sizzle your small church summer.Â I borrowed it from myself from an article I wrote for Group about five years ago; I’ve freshened it up, adding in more multi-sensory touches.
Â Summer Prayer Stations: Set these stations up around your Sanctuary. Print up Scripture readings to happen at each station. Of course a great (but softly played) sound track always adds to the mood. Â Setup the prayer time by Â explaining each station, then give folks at least 20-30 minutes to fully participate.
1) SUMMER FLOWERS: As they pick a fragrant flower, have participants thank God for the beautiful things in their life. Make sure there’s something there to give off a flower scent (like a Glades plug in) to involve another sense. Â Have them makes a list on flower printed paper.
2) SUMMER SUN: Shine a light behind a picture of a sun to make it glow and have people pray for others to know the Son. Have participants write those names on the picture of the sun or use sun shaped post-its to create an “after the event” prayer reminder.
3) SUMMER BREEZE: Place a fan on low and let it oscillate. As they feel the fan blow, have them think of the times theyâ€™ve felt the fresh wind of the Spirit. Attach white streamers or ribbons overhead and allow people to take one to tie onto their car a/c vent as a reminder.
4) SUMMER RAIN: Use a table water fountain and a nature sound machine. As people listen to the sound of the babbling brook or summer rain, have them pray for God to wash away the sins in their lives. If you want to go ALL out, Google rain machines. There are plans online for making it “rain.”
5) SUMMER SAND: When you think of the beach, you think of a refreshing vacation. Place sand in a large low open container. Have people write a sin or struggle in the sand, read the story or the woman caught in adultery and then have them erase their sin. As people touch the sand, ask them to pray for friends who need to be refreshed and restored. Add to the senses by having beach sounds with seagulls softly playing.
6) SUMMER FRUIT: Provide pieces of summer fruit; for ease, look in the frozen section. As each person eats a piece of the tasty fruit, have them pray for God to increase the Fruit of the Spirit in their life. Use lots of fruit and vines as additional visual presentation. Add a fruity scent-sation for smell.
I hope this gives you a spark or two of your own. Be sure to let me know how this works for your group.