Something about the summer beckons us to adventure. The warm weather and sunny skies that motivate us to spend time outside. Many of my fondest memories as a kid took place over the summer. My brothers and I often spent a few days a week with my grandparents. We went to the movies. We went to the beach. In fact, going seems to be a pattern for summertime.
As we go this summer, wherever we go, we need to be wary of the temptation to get disconnected from the body of Christ. With all of the work and the vacations and the going, we feel the force of gravity a little stronger on Sunday morning as we lay on our pillow, struggling to get out of bed. Vacations can offer our families a great time to decompress and reconnect with each other. They can also throw off our normal rhythms and habits of discipleship. What I’d like to offer in this article are a few encouragements and practical suggestions for staying connected with Jesus and his people this summer.
- Remember, you’re still a Christian on vacation. We don’t take vacations from following Jesus. We can be tempted to throw off all of our normal habits, Bible reading, prayer, and family discipleship time when we go on vacation. On our family vacation this year, I am making it a priority to continue our family devotion with my wife and children. We will read the Bible together, sing songs, and pray together.
- If you miss a Sunday on vacation, make the effort to watch the live streamed worship gathering. A live streamed worship gathering is not equivalent to gathering together with the body in person. However, watching the gathering with your family can help you stay on track with the sermon series, learn, and can provide excellent discussion with your family while you’re on vacation.
- Gather with your LifeGroup beyond Sunday morning. Summer supper clubs are a great way to do this. Stay connected and even deepen relationships with your LifeGroup over the summer by inviting people to your home for a meal. In the past, we have blocked off one night a week to invite someone from our LifeGroup over for dinner. Inviting just one person or couple to your home allows you to get to know them on a deeper level.
- Serve Together. One of the greatest ways your can grow together as a group and grow more like Jesus is by serving. We have recently introduced Serve Saturdays as a church. On the first Saturday of every month, we have several opportunities for you, your family, and your LifeGroup to serve together. Contact Jeremy Robbins for the locations we have available!
- Have Fun Together. We produced a resource called The Best Summer Yet. The booklet contains all kinds of ideas for things to do locally to connect with your church and with your community. Talk with your group and plan to do an activity together or attend a local event together. Be present in the community.
Summer often offers us opportunities to relax and take some breaks from the normal rhythms of work and school. But it also provides us with some great opportunities to grow together as a church family and for you to invest in your family with intentionality. Consider how God might be leading you to disciple your family and others this summer. Stay connected to the church. Stay connected to each other. And most of all, stay connected to Jesus.