I've been in church all my life and I've come to observe what is commonly called the summer time slump. I actually happen to enjoy a bit slower pace in summer most of the time but having two daughters to marry off; this summer has been anything but slow for me. What I've observed is attendance in church is generally lower as people travel with their vacations and opportunities to go away for the weekend. Along with that travel, church offerings decline because people don't plan ahead. These times of refreshment are important and a wonderful blessing and I am thankful for my own vacation and time to rest.
Let me encourage you in a couple of ways on this. 1) When you go, have a great time, rest, renew, refresh, recharge. But if you're in town, be faithful in your attendance to church as you need to continue to feed your spirit the preaching of God's word. 2) If you're out of town, find a good Bible preaching church to attend on the Lord's Day. God wants you to put Him first even when you're on vacation so you need to worship on the Lord's day. When you visit a church, take note of how they function, what's their children's department like? How does their choir or music work? Bring me a bulletin and feedback on your experience as a visitor as we might find some nugget of gold out there to help us be more effective in ministry here at Calvary. Sometimes we've been places where that was not an option, so we had church as a family, we sang, shared testimonies, and someone in the family shared a devotional. You can have church where ever you go as a family if there is not a solid place to attend. 3) Even when you're out of town, make provision to support your home church with your tithes and offerings. We're working at making this easier for you at Calvary by exploring how we can offer you the opportunity to give online. Until then, be intentional with your giving. Before I left town on my recent vacation, I left my family's tithe and offering in the church office to ensure it would be included in the offering the Sunday I would be gone. I don't want my church to struggle financially while I'm playing around and I'm not asking you to do something I don't do myself. God's work continues and our church still depends on the tithes and offerings of God's people, even in summer.
When you are reading this in "The Way" newsletter, we'll be almost exactly half-way through summer. We have a wonderful fall of ministry opportunity on the horizon, our new church schedule of committee meetings will begin in August meeting on Sunday evenings, not weeknights, new Wednesday night meal and worship schedule begins in September, AWANA resumes and much more. Would you begin asking the Lord to impress upon you where you are to serve this fall? We'll need several food preparation teams to rotate through to prepare the Wednesday meal. We continue to have needs in our extended session childcare, there are opportunities every where to serve. I need some spirit filled men to serve on our missions committee and help us lead our church in a global Acts 1:8 missions strategy. I want to train Bible Study teachers and strengthen our great Bible Study ministry. I want to disciple you by helping you learn how to be an effective witness for Jesus. I want to disciple you by helping you learn the blessings of service and ministry. A Christian who is not serving is a stagnate Christian. Don't be a sponge, let God wring you out in service so He can fill you continuously. We'll be participating in a significant way with the Bel Air Festival of the Arts that takes place in the park behind us on September 20th. God is bringing people to our back doorstep and we intend to reach them, but I'll need you to help us.
I love you, I'm proud of you my church family and I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to do with us this summer and this fall. Let's beat the summer slump together in our faithfulness.
From my little corner to yours....