When summer begins and school is out, something happens: the routines and rhythms we have been operating under for months, sometimes without even noticing them, come to an end. Summer adds uncertainty and playfulness to the mix: it stays light later, it gets warm earlier, and suddenly, you remember people live in your neighborhood. Most churches experience a “summer slump” in giving and attendance. And, I think the reason this happens is that many of us go through a slump of our own, abandoning the ways we connect with God because we are out of our routine. Our small groups break for summer, we sleep in a little and miss our time with our Bible, and our bodies are tired from sun and play so prayer time slips away.
I love the flexibility and freedom of the summer, but if I’m not paying attention, it will be mid-July and I will be wondering why my soul is tired and restless. I also know that I cannot put any plan into place for the whole summer because it’s too big of a chunk of time for me. So, I’m just focused on this week:
I’m reading Scripture outside. In the mornings, I want to be outside and drink my coffee. I’ve been waiting for this all winter. I read One Year Through the Bible each day and about 7-10 verses in Ephesians.
I’m listening to sermons while I drive. I do this most of the time anyway, and it really keeps me connected to God. But, in the summer, I like to drive with the windows open, so I often think it’s too loud to listen. This week, I’m just turning up the volume. I listen to Steven Furtick sermons using the Elevation App for my phone. One not to miss: The Worst Greatest Story Ever Told (Feb. 9, 2013).
I’m saying this prayer every day: God, please renew my mind today. Let me see you in every place and every face. Help me not to worry about tomorrow, but to be fully present in the moment I find myself.
What does your week look like?
Can you avoid a summer slump?