Ahh, summer. For some of us life slows down, for others it speeds up. Whether we’re juggling children home on summer vacation or have a jam-packed schedule of family activities (or both!), summer is a time when it’s natural for our relationship with God to slip to the back burner of our lives.
I’ve been there. We long to be more connected with Christ than ever, but the lack of a structured routine inevitably puts a kink into those desires. Before we know it we can go days – or weeks – without cracking our Bible open or saying a prayer longer than a few words.
If we really desire not to let our relationship with Jesus become a casualty to the busyness of summer, we must have a plan in place before the summer chaos overwhelms us.
1. Commit to daily time with God, no matter when or where.
If your summer is busy, it’s probably not the time to do to an in-depth Bible study. We want to be realistic and set goals that are attainable.
If you and your kids are home and rising before they do isn’t realistic for you (though I highly recommend it!), be creative. Enforce a “rest time” in the afternoon and read a Scripture and pray for 15 or 30 minutes. Set aside a weekday morning TV time for the kids while you get in your time with God. Do a family devotional together at lunch.
2. Have a plan and an accountability partner.
Even the greatest of intentions fall by the wayside if we don’t have a specific plan in place. Choose a daily Bible reading plan in your YouVersion app on your phone. Choose a book of the Bible to read. My Bible Study Journey through Acts takes participants less than 20 minutes per day on average. Or if that’s too much, purchase a new devotional.
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Next, ask a friend to either do the same plan with you and keep each other accountable, or simply ask a friend to check in with you to make sure you’re staying with it. Having that accountability can make the difference between staying on track or veering off.
3. Schedule summer activities around church whenever possible.
We’re told in Hebrews 10:25 not to neglect meeting together with other believers. The reason for that isn’t some legalistic regulation. We are always the most encouraged in our walks with God when we are meeting with believers in our local fellowship.
I’ll never forget that our family very rarely planned our vacation on a Sunday when I was growing up. We worked our vacation around church whenever possible. Our local church was a priority. Don’t be stiff-necked about it; just seek to make plans around church when possible.
One more thing…if attending worship and Bible study isn’t a priority in the summer, your kids will notice. Do you want them to prioritize their relationship with God when they are adults? Then show them that you prioritize church now. Doing this also shows respect for the teachers and pastors who continue to serve in the summer when attendance usually declines.
4. Attend a small group Bible study, even online.
Many local churches take breaks from their normal small group Bible studies over the summer. If that’s the case with your church, seek out another Bible-believing group to plug into. You will meet new friends and stay connected in the Word.
Our relationship with Jesus should always be priority no matter what time of year it is. But summer presents its own challenges. Be proactive and seek God’s guidance in prayer. With a plan in place, may this be the best summer of spiritual growth ever.