Sumertime Ideas

We are thankful to our servant-leaders who spend most of the year teaching and feeding us God’s Word.  While they rest and rejuvenate from their regular Bible studies, below are a few ideas for how we can spend some time feeding ourselves while also discipling and/or praying for others:

  • Join a Holden Chapel Life Group: The purpose of a Life Group is to help people follow Jesus faithfully as His disciples. Members have an opportunity to discuss how God's Word applies to everyday life, encourage each other through the joys and struggles of life, and pray together. Life Groups consist of small groups of men or women that meet at various times throughout the week.  Current groups running through the summer are:
    • Young Women:  Wednesdays at 7:00pm
    • Young Men:  Thursdays at 6:30pm
    • Women: To Be Determined
    • Men:  Wednesdays at 6:30pm
  • Visit Other Churches at Your Vacation Destination: Have you ever ventured out to find a local church when you are away vacationing?  Try it out, meet new Christians, and share your experiences/testimonies with them. You could be planting a seed that helps someone connect with the Holy Spirit. You may even find you want to share your experiences from attending other churches with your Holden Chapel family when you return in the Fall.
  • Bible Studies on RightNow Media: We know staying in constant connection with Him is important. Why not feed yourself while blessing others by hosting a RightNow Media study of His Word. Most of them have Study Guides that will help with discussions. Remember to draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
  • Attend Prayer Meetings: Praying for others in community allows us to join in a unified voice and is a great way to ask our Abba Father to water the seeds we have been planting in others. Only He can water them. It is an opportunity to experience the Spirit and power of God tangibly and often brings miraculous results when believers unite in faith. Meet us in the Sanctuary on:
    • Sundays (9:30 to 9:50 am),
    • Tuesdays (7:15 to 8:15 am), and/or
    • On the third Saturday of each month (7:00 to 8:00 pm).

You’ll be surprised that you may find some extra joy in your summer and come back even more refreshed this fall.

Growing as Disciples in the Summertime

Go into all the world and make disciples … except for the summer … take the summer off. Didn’t Jesus say that? It’s tempting to look at the Great Commission to make disciples as something we toggle on and off, or our church involvement and our service in the work of the church as something we vacation from. Jesus didn’t model this. Though He wasn’t a workaholic, Jesus taught and modeled a strong and consistent work ethic within His disciple-making ministry. Jesus means for us to have a similar work ethic when it comes to our own disciple-making.

If you’ve played on a sports team, you may have had a sweaty faced coach yelling, “No days off!” “No days off!” Jesus wouldn’t have agreed with this either. Jesus often would get away to an alone place to pray. Even every seven days we’re commanded to rest. Though Jesus modeled the importance of solitude with the Lord, it would never be for a full-blown season. It would be weird right? “Okay boys, I’m going to the Amalfi Coast this summer, I’ll be back in the fall. If you need anything, you can email Peter …” What would that have meant to His ministry? He’d have to start all over when He came back, right? This is how it can feel in the church. It can feel like we need to wait for everyone to come back mentally and physically, so we can start over in the fall. This shouldn’t be. Seasons change, but disciple-making shouldn’t.

The ministry of the church shouldn’t have to take long protracted breaks … but … we live in America aaaand summer-break is as American as baseball and hot dogs, as cornbread and chicken, as apple pie … well, you get it. Taking the Summer off is built into the American framework, into our society, into our culture and, unfortunately, into our church. Summer is when we take family vacations, spend time at the beach, travel, relax. We get it, kids are out of school, you’ve worked hard all year, stockpiled vacation time, now it’s time to chill, to unplug from the grind. All good things… but have we counted the cost of discipleship into our summer plans? Are we going to neglect the building of the Kingdom this summer? Are we checking out of our involvement in the church altogether?

Time off ought not to mean time off from discipleship. This is American culture; it is not Jesus’ culture. It is not what Jesus taught us or modeled for us. Vacations are amazing, necessary, and quality time with family is vital for health and growth; yes, we all need breaks, but let’s examine how we utilize our time, how we steward our days this summer. Let us count the cost and make sure that our time for relaxation doesn’t come at a cost to the Great Commission, at the cost of discipleship.