I have a confession to make – I used to hate summer.
As a pastor one of the most difficult times of year is summer. Attendance is down. Folks who were getting into the weekly groove of church attendance fall off the wagon again. Church giving takes a dip for a few months, while church expenses seem to climb due to higher utility costs and much needed upgrades for the coming fall. And the most difficult part is that most of the relationships a pastor has are put on hold until school gets back in swing.
All of these factors used to make me hate summer. I would gripe and complain about summer attendance. I would long for school to be back in session. I would pray for our church to make it through the summer. Honestly, I just wanted it to be over. The sad reality is that I felt that way ever single year until God showed me the beauty of summer.
You see all year long I would run at a frantic pace from one church holiday to the next. I would work six and seven days a week trying to help the church grow until I realized why life slows down for summer. It slows down because we need it to slow down. I need to slow down. I need the break that summer affords as does every one else that attends the church I pastor.
As a result summer has become a very purposeful time for me. A time to rest. A time to plan for the fall and the return of the busyness of life. A time to recharge spiritually and relationally with my family. It is no longer a time of year that I dread. Instead, it is a season that I look forward to (except for the Memphis humidity) with great anticipation.
My challenge to you this summer is to do just that. Take time this summer to refuel yourself. Read a book. Read the Bible more. Rest. Eat some new foods. Take a vacation if you can afford it or at least a staycation if times are tough. The main thing is to enjoy it. Enjoy the down times of life that God gives you. He’s giving them to you for a reason.
I have another confession to make – I love summer. What about you?