The majority of your summer events are geared toward children. The decision-maker and calendar-manager for children is MOM. Where will Mom most likely be on May 11 (next Sunday?)
AT YOUR CHURCH!
In 2011, LifeWay Research surveyed 1,000 pastors about highest and lowest church attendance days of the year. A Christian Post headline summarizes the results: Mother’s Day Church Attendance Third Highest After Easter, Christmas; Father’s Day Last
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, attributed the Mother’s Day attendance phenomenon to “the affirmation that is typically offered in most churches”—flowers, pictures, arts and crafts projects, and public recognition—along with the increase in family members “knowing their attendance will honor their mother.”
Considering that your typical attendance is already 61% female (Barna), this is a prime opportunity to give them something that really helps them, but also benefits your summer programs.
4 Tips for Helping Moms and Increasing Summer Event Participation
1. SAVE THE DATE
Have your summer events planned (or at least scheduled) so that you can announce them and get them on the busy summer calendars of those present at this larger-than-normal collection of moms, all juggling multiple commitments. Try a large poster promoting summer events near the children’s check-in area, plus bulletin coverage.
2. TELL THE CHILDREN
Where there are more moms, there are likely more children. As they exit the children’s area, give each child an invitation and schedule of all camps, VBS and other summer events to give their moms.
3. OFFER SELF-SERVE, ONLINE REGISTRATION OPTIONS
Make sure the events can be registered and paid for online—busy moms are 200% more likely than the general population to be online at any given time. Recent studies show that moms are more digital than teenagers. If they can register and pay for their childrens’ activities on their smartphones while they’re waiting for the doctor or at a game, this will often be a deciding factor as they coordinate their families summer. Check out this great resource for ways to understand and reach moms in the digital age.
4. DON’T FORGET GRANDMOTHERS
Many of the moms in attendance will be grandmothers. Though the day is about them, they’ll naturally be thinking about their children and grandchildren’s spiritual well-being (as they usually are!). They know their daughters and daughters-in-law are strapped for time and perhaps even cash. This makes a blurb in the bulletin about a Gift of Camp opportunity timely.
Increasingly, grandmothers engage online, too, but mailing a follow-up, hard-copy reminder of the idea is a good idea. If you’re thinking ahead, you’ll realize that a checkbox for grandchildren on your communications card can help you focus this Gift of Camp message directly to grandmothers.
Be sure to include all summer events in this mailout; grandparents can be influential in decisions about children’s summer schedules. If they’ll be keeping their grandchildren during the summer, they may be looking for wholesome activities.
Even on “her” day, Mom’s most top-of-mind concern is always her children’s well-being. Because of the concurrent theme running through her mind of how she will manage the quickly approaching summer, your summer events calendar could be the most useful gift she gets next Sunday.
Are you ready?