The first time we moved to the Holland, Michigan area during the summer of 1993, we quickly fell in love with the scenic coastline of beautiful Lake Michigan. Summers here are fabulous. And it seems everyone else agrees by the great influx of tourists that come every year!
As ice cream shops open up, everything else shuts down. Ok, ministry related things shut down. Bible studies. Small groups. Church mid-week activities. Apart from Sunday morning, everything else drops off of a lot of ministry calendars until fall. Not to mention that weekend church attendance drops because so many people have boats and summer cottages beckoning their presence. My first summer here, I was stunned.
Oh, I get it. The winter is long with few days of sunshine. (Believe me – I’m a southerner, so it feels longer to me than most.) And when you spend money on something, you want to get your money’s worth out of it. I agree! Plus, there’s so much of God’s beauty around to enjoy!
I know this summer refocusing phenomena isn’t unique to the beautiful West Michigan coast. (Though I do think it’s ramped up here quite a bit. I’ve never seen people play so hard!) When school lets out, it completely changes how families function. So summer life does look differently.
But how can we make the summer shift without neglecting our first love?
How can we continue to nurture our most important relationship – the one with our Savior – during the summer, instead of hitting the pause button? (Would we want Him to hit the pause button on His attention to us? Yikes!)
One thing’s for sure. It has to be intentional. So intentional it needs to be discussed with your family members or Bible study group. It won’t just happen as we get sucked into the fun of the warm days (boasting blossoms, bikes, and boats) and late sunsets (featuring fire pits with family and friends).
And so intentional that it needs to get put on the calendar or to-do list. I will spend time alone in God’s word, prayer, and worship everyday. I will be in church these weekends. (No, I’m not against vacations!) And I might even need accountability. Not because I’m legalistic, but because sometimes it’s a battle to do the things that God asks me to do. And that includes striving to continually seek Him and not neglect the gathering of His people.
“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” I Chronicles 16:11
“. . . not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
The Giver of these summer days doesn’t deserve any less of us. He doesn’t deserve less of our time, attention, or affection. And we definitely can’t afford any less of Him! Can we?
So what might He do if I invited Him to be a greater part of my summer?
What will I miss out on if I don’t?
What amazing life-change does God have planned for my life this summer, if I let Him have His way – walk in His purposes?
I suggest part of your intentional God-seeking summer be spent engaging in a Bible study with your family or small group. (Or by yourself if no one else will do it!)
If you haven’t read my study, Worship and the Word, this summer would be a perfect time to do that! (It’s 10 weeks long, so it even gives you a couple of weeks off.)
How amazing would it be to get a group of people excited about pursuing biblical worship together over the summer? Invite God to make the summer of 2015 one of life-change revolving around His very purpose for seeking and saving you! (Philippians 2:9-11)
It’s a journey that changed my life so much, I had to share it. The truths I discovered in His word about worship were just that powerful!
Whatever you do, don’t take the summer off from pursuing your first love or worshiping with His people! Don’t let it become a big, three-month distraction from God being the exclusive recipient of your worship . . . instead of ___(fill-in the blank)___.
Pray and ask Him how He wants you to spend your time. (It’s obviously okay if it looks differently because it’s summer! Why not have your small group meet around that fire pit! Out of town? Why not visit a church there? Brainstorm creative ideas!)
And pray that the good things of summer point you to Him instead of drawing you away from Him.
It’s not too late to decide to have an intentional God-seeking summer! I know He’ll pour out His blessings in response to your faithful seeking of Him!
What are you going to do to have an intentional God-seeking summer?
If you want to learn more about Worship and the Word, how to get 3 FREE sample lessons, or where to buy it, this is where you go to do that! (You can also find leader tips and other helpful items in the top tool bar under “W&W Tools”.)