Planning Ahead: Worship in July and August

Planning summer worship can be seen as a challenge or an opportunity. Here's an index of resources and ideas for planning worship in July and August.

Planning Ahead: Worship in July and August

Planning summer worship can be seen as a challenge or an opportunity. On the one hand, Laura Smit writes in Reformed Worship, "Most churches do go through a slump period in the summer: the pastor and the choir go on vacation; the Sunday School doesn't meet; and church attendance drops dramatically."

And yet, the open and flexible summer schedule offers opportunity for creative thinking about themes and Scripture texts for your church's worship and growth. It's an ideal time for a series with a theme that shapes your preaching and music. Summer may also be a time to consider holding an outdoor worship service, perhaps a service celebrating the beauty of God's creation.

In addition, as Smit notes, "summer is also the time when the greatest number of visitors (and potential new members) come through most churches." So summer is a crucial time for worship and hospitality in your church.

Related Articles
Planning Summer Worship
August Adventures: Emphasis on Evangelism (Reformed Worship)

Introduction to Ordinary Time

The name "Ordinary Time" sounds rather mundane, but as Alfred Fedak writes in Reformed Worship, "This designation is not meant to imply that these weeks represent an unimportant part of the Christian year. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Ordinary Time is a valuable reminder that the Christian life is an everyday vocation and is not reserved simply for special occasions. The very word ordinary derives from the Latinordo, (“rule” or “order”); thus, these Sundays are numbered consecutively to mark the passage of time, which, like life itself, is a gift from God."

This season after Pentecost is also a season for growth—and in fact some churches use the name "Growing Time" for this season—as we celebrate our spiritual growth as individual believers and as the body of Christ.

Related Articles
The Pattern of the Christian Year
Ordinary Time: Counted Time of the Church Year by Dennis Bratcher  
Extraordinary Worship During Ordinary Time by Harry Boonstra (Reformed Worship)
Lectionary Readings

Find the readings from the Revised Common Lectionary for these Sundays from the Vanderbilt Lectionary Project
Find resources for these readings from the Revised Common Lectionary from TextWeek.com

Summer Worship Service Ideas

Summer Festival of Praise (Reformed Worship)
Celebration of God's creation 
August Adventures: Emphasis on Evangelism (Reformed Worship)
Vertical Habits
The Psalms
Sermon series suggestions and planning a summer sermon series from the Center for Excellence in Preaching 

Comments