It’s that time of year again. You know the time well. Our fall through spring ministry season is coming to a close. Now we move into that dreaded time of year: the summer slump. Every pastor dreads it. Many churches suffer from it. But why?
Summer is challenging for churches because of the number of things contending with for people’s time. The warm weather sends many to the lake or swimming pools. Vacations are taken. Sports are active. Many just grow into the habit of sleeping later. These factors, and others, often lead to summer slumps.
Fewer guests show up.
Momentum seems to halt.
But does this have to happen? Is it inevitable?
I believe the answer is “no.”
In recent years at the church I pastor, we have not only maintained momentum in the summer, but gained it. In fact, I’m about to begin casting vision to our congregation over the span of multiple weeks on why we should refuse to go through a summer slump.
Here the 5 things we are going to remind our people about:
- Lost People Still Perish Eternally in the Summer
I know this an in-your-face statement, but it is true. People who do not have Christ still go to hell when they die in the summer. There are countless thousands facing a Christless eternity, all around our churches, who will remain in that condition even when our churches mail it in during the summer. This simple reminder should stir our hearts to remember our mission doesn’t cease in the summer months.
- The Holy Spirit Still Regenerates Sinners in the Summer
While our churches often take it easy in the summer, the Holy Spirit does not rest. The Spirit of God remains active. This reminder helps us recognize that the power at our disposal, through the Spirit, never takes months off. Our people need to realize that people who hear the gospel, even in the summer, can be saved and transformed.
- People Can Still Grow Spiritually and Be Discipled in the Summer
Spiritual growth is still possible in the summer. Our need to be transformed and reflect Christ is ongoing. We are called to put off the old and put on the new. We are to be imitators of Christ and the aroma of Him to the world around us. This process of growth, sanctification, and discipleship happens daily. Yes, we can look back at “seasons” of growth, but the summer is not restricted from being one of those seasons. In fact, if we are not careful, we may lose ground in our spiritual formation if the summer is looked at as cruise control and neutral period.
- We All Still Need Community in the Summer
While the weather is warmer and your time may be more free, your need for community with believers doesn’t go away. Taking a hiatus from the church can leave you isolated and alone. This is often a recipe for the weeds of sin to begin growing unchecked. We need others to walk with us for accountability, encouragement, and fellowship. We should not give up meeting together, even in the summer, as some are in the habit of doing.
- Jesus Is Still Worthy of Our Praise and Worship in the Summer
This should go without saying, but it needs to be said anyway: Jesus is worthy of praise. King Jesus is deserving of the praise of His people. Yes, you can praise Christ from the lake, ballpark, or backyard, but there is an important thing that happens when believers gather together to worship Jesus as one. We cannot neglect or diminish the importance of this practice to our hearts or our church. Jesus is not less worthy of praise because school is out or the earth is closer to the sun.
No Summer Slump
Refuse to let the urgency of the gospel grow weak in the summer. Jesus is building His church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it. This building, that Jesus is actively doing, doesn’t take breaks for summer. The gospel still changes lives in the summer. The kingdom of God still advances in the summer. God doesn’t take summers off in His plan to redeem His people, neither should we. May Christ be exalted in our churches this summer. And may our people see the dog days of summer as a time for continued spiritual growth.