It’s no secret that when Summer hits, traffic patterns change.
They just do.
Pools open. Grills fire up. And (God willing), families are able to make and honor plans for much anticipated (and long overdue) vacations.
As husband to a high school teacher, and father to (now 2) middle school students, I will be the first to give witness to both the NEED, and the JOY, of Summer break.
It is a season, like no other, that beckons the body to rest and play; to baste and bask in the rejuvenating splendor of Sun, and the life-giving mystery of melatonin.
And what I believe (to my core) is, that there is a way to BOTH enjoy the gift of summer, AND remain fully, completely, vibrantly engaged in the life of our church.
How? By committing to remain connected, formed and mobilized in creative ways, all summer long.
Here, I offer few simple (yet vital) what 4’s and how 2’s of Summertime Church.
- What 4:
When we disconnect from one another (even for a season) our spiritual health is at risk. It just is. And yes, I will be the first to say a person can commune with Christ in solitude. Or on the beach. Or in the boat. Yes. Entirely possible. But we make a tragic error when we assume solitude is all we need.
The biblical mandate to “fail not to assemble yourselves” in Hebrews 10:25 was not given to confine us, but to free us. To free us from the myth that we can make this journey alone. The longer we are disconnected from church during the summer (or any time) the easier and easier it becomes to neglect the kind of soul-care and spiritual attentiveness we need to remain faithful. There is great strength in gathering together. And now, there are more ways than ever to do so through the summer.
- How 2:
First, make a family commitment: “If we are in town…we are in church.” It’s that simple. Prioritize the importance of worship attendance, as that primary jumpstart to the week.
Second, if you are out of town, make a similar family commitment. “If we cannot be at church in person, we will watch the live video stream of worship together as a family. Several of our JCBC families have already done so, and have shared what a meaningful experience it was to “feel connected while away.”
Third, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We frequently share reflections, links, inspirational quotes, and photos of our people on mission daily. It is yet another simple way to remain fully engaged.
- What 4:
We are never meant to stop growing. Our spiritual formation in Christ is a four-season journey. I think, we sometimes think of our discipleship and growth as one more thing from which we need a break. But it’s flawed to think of it this way. Our Christian formation is not one more thing. It is the only necessary thing. At least, that’s what Jesus told one distracted friend of his.
Fortunately, here too, we have ways to remain formed even through the summer.
- How 2:
First, make a family commitment: “If we are in town, we will be in Sunday School.” Many of the classes combine during the summer, providing a unique opportunity to seek our formation together, across the age span, in a healthy multi-generational fashion.
Click here to see our current line up of formation opportunities for Children, Youth and Adults.
Second, contact our Formations Division with for a suggested list of devotional resources, tools and books that can become a source of continual growth and formation during the summer.
- What 4:
The call to mobilize love never takes hiatus.
As followers of Jesus, we take seriously our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world.
That means our Christian commitment to serve and support the ministries of the church must remain consistent and strong through the Summer.
The question is simple. Is mobilizing God’s love a priority in your family?
If so, it requires commitment and consistency.
- How 2:
First, make a family commitment: “Regardless of where we are, or what we are doing this Summer, we will faithfully support the ministries of Christ’s church with our financial generosity. Period.” Prioritizing the ministries of your church in your family budget is an act of faith. It will not only help to meet the needs of the Kingdom, but will orient, shape and discipline the spiritual health of your family in more ways than you can imagine.
Second, make it consistent. We now have more ways than ever to give at JCBC. More and more families are making the transition to online generosity. They are finding the “recurring generosity” tool to be an effective way to remain steady and consistent, in much the same way most of their other financial responsibilities are met and paid.
When the same predictable amount is paid automatically and directly from your bank, it equips your church with a reliable way to meet expenses and do ministry well.
And for those who still wish to place something in the plate as an act of worship, we provide a card in the pew rack for that very purpose.
My prayer for you is to enjoy the summer. Live fully and freely in it. And as you do, take these simple steps to remain fully, completely, vibrantly engaged.
Johns Creek Baptist Church