I must admit as your Worship Pastor that I’m about to be in the thralls of a love/hate relationship.
It happens to me this time every year.
The object of both my affection and loathing?
Really? Let me explain.
On the one hand I’m a huge fan of summer. I love the beach. Hot sunny days. Warm breezes. Cold watermelon. Lots of cold watermelon please. Camping trips, outdoor baptisms and picnics like we’ll have next week, long hikes, vacations and Vacation Bible School. (by the way, our VBS happens June 11 through the 15th and promises to be over the top!) Just getting outdoors is like medicine in so many ways. In fact, God provides us healthy doses of mood enhancing Vitamin D when we soak in the sunshine, so get outdoors if you can! And I think it’s safe to say I’m not the only person on the planet who enjoys a break from the daily and weekly routines of life. Summer helps us with all of that.
But then there’s the other side of this season, the side that I have no affection for. In this search for all things fun and different, there seems to be a growing trend to take a break from God and the church family when summer arrives. I’m always amazed at how churches go through what are called “summer slumps.” Across America - from June to September - church attendance goes down. Giving goes down. Serving goes down. I would venture to say that time spent reading the bible goes down as well. And this is what I hate about summer. I know we sometimes need breaks from the monotonous routines of life – but some routines are really good for us. Being outside and enjoying God’s creation should make us all want to join with others to worship the ONE who created it! It’s very common for people to go into a spiritual swoon this time of the year and many never recover from it. They don’t realize that being “away” from God by not reading His Word and worshipping together with other believers really hurts us spiritually. And when we’re lacking spiritually, it affects every aspect of our life.
So in these next few months, enjoy all that summer has to offer, but don’t take a break from God. In fact, how about spending even more time in scripture? Make sure your two weeks away from church doesn’t turn into three. When God says “forsake not the gathering of the believers,” He means it! Then, when school starts back and autumn rolls around – you’ll find yourself in a stronger relationship with God – ready to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
Until next time I’ll see you on the hiking trail and at the ice cream stand – and at church as well!
Worship Pastor and Watermelon Eater