As I’ve pastored at Crossings Community for over six years and been on the ministry staff of two other churches, I’ve noticed a few things about summer. Two things almost always happen in church life during the summer. First, attendance and involvement dip below the usual levels. Second, worshipful giving of financial resources usually dips below usual levels as well. Before you think this is a venting session from an angry pastor……. hold on just a moment.
The summer offers some really awesome opportunities for families to make biblically faithful investments in their home. When the kids are out of school and the weather is primed for outdoor activity, families should seize the opportunity to enjoy time together. Married couples, for the health of your marriage you need to take some time to break away from everyone else and invest time and effort in your marriage. Parents, for the health of your family and in your journey of faithful obedience to the scriptures, you need to break away in appropriate ways to invest quality and quantity time with your children. Intentionally seize the opportunities that summer affords!
These are all biblical priorities. However, as we seize these opportunities, we must continue to pursue our ‘first love.’ For those of us who have children, the summer offers a great opportunity to disciple them through modeling our biblical priorities. Often times, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we model for our children that summer is a break from everything…. including a spiritual break. We disciple them through our actions to think it is a season where our engagement in the church body is not as important as the rest of the year. On a deeper level we often train them to think that biblical ideas are important when they fit within our personal desires. It is as if we are saying to God and our children, here is our calendar of what we want to do…. God will fit into the gaps.
What if we turned this cultural phenomenon upside down? What if we seized the opportunities of the summer to make a greater spiritual investment in our homes than any other time of the year? So much of the busyness we experience the rest of the year revolves around activities which do not continue during the summer. What if we used the short-term spring board of the summer to establish some new habits in our home.
Here are some ideas for you to think about –
- Begin a rhythm of having spiritual conversations with your spouse on summer evenings.
- Invite another couple or family to engage in a local serving opportunity over the summer.
- Whether as an individual, couple, or with your children, set a financial giving goal for the summer and involved everyone in accomplishing the goal (lemonade stands? washing a grandparents car?).
- Lead your home to strive for greater depth in your church relationships rather than taking a break.
- On the occasion you are out of town on a Sunday, take some time to worship as a home demonstrating that this weekly rhythm is a priority for your family.
- Leverage the opportunity for days at the park, block parties, and barbecues to establish some new gospel driven relationships in your community.
Do you have any ideas or some things that your home has done in the past to seize this season for continued gospel transformation?