When I first joined the staff team at my local church, I noticed a sizable drop in attendance at the beginning of summer. It was like the sun came out and captured one-third of our crowd over to the beach or some distance campground. Where’d everybody go? Over the years, I learned to take the summer drop off in stride. In fact, my boss and founding senior pastor used to say – in a non-critical voice – “It summer so people worship the SUN versus worshiping the SON.
Now, if you’re in a groove in life when summer time means every weekend at your cottage, multiple vacations, long road trips with your family, there’s no criticism here. BUT, you know that all of that summer fun does create an uncomfortable yuckiness in your spirit. As much as you love hanging out with family and making memories, your spirit feels the disconnection from your church family as well as the hit-n-miss feeding of your soul with God’s Word.
So, how can you say “yes” to all that summer has to offer without sacrificing your connection to your church or relationship with God?
I’ve got a few suggestions for you. Don’t look at these suggestions as a to-do list, rather a place for you to start praying for what God gives you the conviction to do.
- Join Bible Café on Facebook – If you aren’t going to check your emails to read your daily devotionals, then your best intentions will become your worst nightmare. BUT, chances are that you’ll be on Facebook, so Bible Café is a great place for you to be encouraged along with tens of thousands of other women. You can be a part of book clubs and online summer Bible studies. Click here to find out more.
- First5App –First5 is hosted by Proverbs31 and I have a number of friends who write daily devotionals for them. This content is pushed to you on your device so you don’t need to forget, if you set up your notifications properly, they will make sure that you see the content. (But you still have to actually read it…)
- Pool Bible Study – For several years when my kids were school-age, I loved doing summer Bible study with ladies around a friend’s pond. Our kids were old enough to swim and they had fun in the sun while we did our study. To stretch out time, we’d pack lunches and snacks for the kids so they could keep themselves occupied for as long as possible.
- Invite friends for BBQ worship night – If you’ve got other believers at your campground, then invite folks over for dinner and include 30 minutes of worship music and ask someone to read a devotional. You can play music off Spotify or Pandora. Again, no one needs to teach or preach, but a devotional with a few follow-up questions can make for a beautiful God-honoring evening.
- KEEP GIVING! I know this might sound odd, but when you continue to give your tithe and/or offering while you are on the road, this keeps your heart connected to God. Jesus taught that where our treasure is, our hearts will be also. Giving is about recognizing God’s favor in our lives and the fact that we can go on vacation is proof that God has blessed us. Keep giving to God while you are away and you’ll lessen the likelihood that God will feel far away.
So, those are some ideas for you. What ideas work for you? Join the conversation here and leave a comment!