Avoiding the Summer Slump

Everybody talks and writes about the summer slump: practicing instruments, reading books, business sales, tourism and even Ryan Howard (sorry Phillies’ fans). Churches can predict that attendance dips during the summer months with vacations and weekend diversions. So many times when summer comes as Christians take family vacations sometmes we can even take spiritual vacations. In the last PANIC (Parents of Adolescent Needing Intensive Care) meeting I gave a lesson helping families avoid the spiritual summer slump. Hopefully these thoughts will help guide you as you prepare for your summer.

1) Prepare for Growth this Summer. Prepare for growth this summer by first of all planning. We often hear it said we don’t plan to fail, we fail to plan. This is true in our spiritual lives. We often are casualties of our own poor decision-making because we did not plan to walk with the Lord. We thought it would just “happen”. Make a commitment to your family this summer to prepare to be in church while on vacation, just like you would plan which hotel to stay at, make it part of your planning to find a conservative Bible-preaching church to attend. Demonstrate to your family the importance of corporately worshipping with other believers while on vacation.

2) Provide for Growth this Summer. Providing for growth is the implementation of the first point – preparing for growth. Commit yourself to being in the mid-week service throughout the summer. Don’t allow little league baseball, summer jobs or other commitments keep you or your children out of Sunday or Wednesday services. Provide for growth first through your practicing family devotions.If you’ve never been incredibly faithful to leading your family in family devotions begin this summer. Here’s a helpful recommendation for family devotions if you have children. Second, provide for growth through participating in ministry. There’s no greater way to teach your children ministry than by doing it with them. A couple of suggestions…serve in the nursery together, invite neighborhood children to the Summer Adventure Club, maybe even decide to serve on a bus route as a family for one month.

3) Parent for Growth this Summer. If we’re going to see the children/teenagers of Bethel Baptist Church grow this summer we are going to have to intentionally parent for growth. What do I mean by this? First, plan your vacations around church events. That’s not to say that it is wrong to miss a Sunday service here at Bethel because you’re in Orlando, but rather if there’s a big church event plan on being there. It may already be too late for your schedule this summer, but as you think about future vacation consider the following: children need to see mom and dad orienting their lives around the church, because church matters. Make sure you’re here for Summer Adventure Club and Community Sunday. Participate in the Bus Blast. What a blessing it has been to have families rearrange vacation schedules because they see the importance of their teen participating in teen camp. Life-long memories and decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Second, pursue a deeper relationship with each of your children. We’re pretty good at setting goals in the beginning of the year, but use this transition period from the school year to summer time to write out a brief goal for each of your children. Make it personal. Make it relational. Determine to know your kids better after this summer.

Have a great summer, avoid the summer slump. Make memories – awesome memories by preparing, providing and parenting for spiritual growth!

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