We are creatures of habit, and when our schedules change in the summer we can get off track. We take much needed vacations, but if we are not careful, we begin to think our lives would be better if we moved to our favorite vacation spots. Enter your summer with intentional goals and practices in mind to spiritually flourish. Here are twelve thoughts I shared with our church family about summer growth.

1. Have a Personal Bible Reading Schedule

If you have not already, begin a schedule to read through the Bible in a year. Every day Bible reading is so basic, but so needful (Matthew 4:4).

2. Get a Bible Reading Partner

This could be someone in your adult Sunday school class, or even your class teacher. Tell the person your goals, and have him ask you about your Bible reading every Sunday (and be honest!). Even if you miss your goal but are honest with your reading partner, you will probably read more than if you had no accountability at all.

3. Hold No Grudges

Husbands and wives, forgive one another. Don’t ruin your future by living in the past. If you are not right with someone, restore that relationship before the summer starts (Ephesians 4:32).

4. Serve Your Family

It could be a barbecue, time at a park, or dates with your wife. Plan both family activities and special times with just your spouse or one of your children (Ephesians 5:25).

5. Serve Your Lord

James 1:27 says, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” Serve the Lord by serving others in need. Volunteer to help at teen camp or junior camp—children and teens make big decisions during these times.

6. Be Accountable in Your Ministry

Tell your pastor or ministry leader when you will be away on vacation. It’s the polite and responsible thing to do, and it helps them to make plans for the ministry.

7. Move Towards the Front in Church

Enter the summer intentionally wanting to hear every message (Acts 13:7). You may have your own seat where you always sit, but when you are feeling a little lethargic in the summer, get out of your comfort zone and move closer to the preaching.

8. Plan to Leave Your Offering When You Travel

I want to have everything set in order before I leave for vacation (1 Corinthians 16:2). Even when I am gone, the church continues to minister and incur bills.

9. Attend Spiritual Leadership Conference

I’m excited about several lessons I have been preparing for on spiritual leadership, balancing life and ministry, making disciples, and other topics. The conference sessions cover biblically based lessons on practical topics such as marital relationships and time management. It will charge your spiritual batteries.

Find out more at the Spiritual Leadership Conference website.

10. Read a Godly Book

“Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.” Equip yourself by reading Christian biographies, books on doctrine, leadership, marriage, and other topics that will help you be a better Christian. Encourage your children to read, and even offer incentives for finishing a book.

You can find a list of recommended reading on this site.

11. Create a List of Project Goals

“He who aims at nothing hits it every time.” Make a list of things that need to be done around your home, and work that list before the busyness of fall returns. You might determine to clean your garage, paint your living room, or replant your backyard. Husbands, your wives will love you for it.

12. Show Gratitude Every Day

The average employee will complain about everything, no matter their pay or responsibilities. How would your workplace change if you showed gratitude to your co-workers? Your gratitude is infectious.

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

May some of these thoughts be a blessing to you this summer.

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