Thursday, June 6, 2013

Summer Spiritual Surge

It's Summer Time! We welcome this time of year because we all need“a change of pace.” Longer days permit us more leisure time after work, more opportunities to hit the lake or the park. Most will take needed vacation time away at a park, beach, or mountains. These are times that families make life-long memories, not to mention the simple benefit of “a change of pace”that can simply rejuvenate us emotionally, physically, and relationally.

Yet, in the midst of all this good, most churches suffer during the summer. Lower attendance, lower offerings, less contact with one another during the week, and sadly, less consistence with our walk in the Spirit.

How can this be a Summer Surge instead of summer slump? To paraphrase Jesus, “what does it gain a family to win great family time, family memories and yet lose their spiritual vitality?”

May I propose two visions for a Summer Surge for our body of believers and for us as individuals?

As a body of believers
1. Be present at the church’s gatherings when you are in town. 
    Everybody will be gone some during the summer and that is encouraged. But when you are in   
    town on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, be in attendance. Don’t begin to “forget” its
    Sunday or Wednesday and drift in your attendance.
2. Stay current on your financial giving. 
    Summers are expensive to our families, but the financial needs of the church do not stop, and more
    importantly, your commitment to the Lord to honor Him with your giving can not be substituted
    or another good commitment, even if it is family and fun.
The biggest challenge will be not to forget to give our tithes and offerings either in advance of us being gone or to catch up when we return. You may also give online through our web site. Don’t let our church’s ministries suffer, and more importantly, don’t lose the practice of obeying God.

3. When you are away, catch up spiritually with the church. 
   You can download the Pastor’s sermon on ITunes or check his blog for an audio of the message. I
   am going to blog more this summer. Stay in touch through Facebook, tweeter, texting or email with
   your LIFE group members. Check on them and hold each other accountable. “Life” does not stop 
   during the summer, so reach out to those who are hurting.

As individual believers
Just as important that the corporate body surges, so it is that we individually surge this summer. How can we do this?
1. Commit to read a certain portion of Scripture this summer. 
     Take it as a summer goal to read the New Testament, or through a Gospel, or however else God leads. This will give you a marker to know how you are doing.
2. Commit to some extra times of prayer and fellowship with God.
      An early morning or during a nice sunset, just connect with God in deep prayer and intimate communication. Just as extended time of being with the family and friends will enhance your relationship with them, so with God.
3. Be sensitive to the spiritual condition of persons you may spend extended time with this summer. Pray that you will be in tune to family/friends that may not be walking with the Lord and seek to speak to them while at the beach, the backyard barbeque or at the lake. This will keep you “surging” for the Lord spiritually.
4. Commit to read a good Christian book this summer. 
    That one you got for Christmas or a birthday, or a classic. It will do you good.
Let’s refuse to give the summer away to mediocrity. Let’s surge this summer, not slump. And when September comes, we’ll be glad we did.
(Thanks to a pastor friend for this blog)