Taking Off This Summer? Better Read This!

Can we be honest for a second here? Can we take a moment and make a confession? Are you ready? Let’s do this.

Sometimes, I do not feel like going to church.

 PHEW! We did it! How does it feel? Has a burden been lifted from you as you say those nine words? Don’t worry, that heat you feel after saying those words are not the flames from the lake of fire, it is the Texas temperature warming up as the summer months approach.

If I am being honest, I am not a big fan of the summer as pastor. Why? It is not because I get hot and sweaty in a large robe on Sunday mornings…mainly because I do not wear a robe on Sundays. Rather, it is that people don’t really come to Church as often on Sunday during the summer. I have heard it said before that Memorial Day weekend is like the Lex Luther to Easter’s Superman.  It, and its uglier stepsister Labor Day, serve as bookends to the consistently lowest worship attendance throughout the year. Attendance seems to go down…. programs are tougher to maintain… and giving falls a little short.

The summer, in all of its glory, gives us many reasons to make it difficult to go to Church on Sunday morning. So, rather than hiding the fact, let’s be honest with ourselves. There are times when church might seem like more of a chore than an exciting opportunity to be transformed and to transform others. Sometimes, if you are like me, you lie in your bed on Sunday morning and wonder, “If I do not go to church today, who will notice and remind me I missed the next time they talk to me?” 

I have heard time and time again as a pastor the following phrase, “I wont be at church on Sunday because….” First, I think it is great that people want to keep me informed as to where they will be. Especially if they are not there for two or three weeks because I worry. It is true, if Joe isn’t here for two or three weeks I begin to wonder what is going on. However, if Joe misses one week, life will go on and IT IS OKAY!

 Gasp! The minister is saying it is okay to not go to Church! Yes and no.

The summer is a time for rejuvenation, relaxation, and fun. We hope that  church is part of your summer plan. However, if you miss a Sunday because it is so darn beautiful outside, that is okay. It is okay to miss a week or two of church. With that said, please do not make it a habit. Do not forget the importance of worshiping together and growing in a faith community.

In hopes of making this transition to the summer a little better, let me try and give you some tips on enjoying your Sunday off (if and when you end up taking one)

Tip #1 - Take some time to rest if you are on vacation.

Are you out of town? Don’t feel like heading over to visit a new church for one Sunday? It’s okay…a vacation is your time to rest and relax. It is your time to find God in the midst of this relaxation. But, if you don’t plan on putting on that suit and tie (or shorts and sandals)  to go to church, please refer to Tip #2.

Tip #2 – If you take the day off from church, do not take a day off from your faith.

Many options here. Pray, read the Bible, enjoy some coffee on the porch while talking with God, sing some hymns, spend time with the family making breakfast, or share God’s love with others. Do something that makes an impact on yourself. Do something that makes an impact on someone else. Taking a day off from church is one thing, but I hope you never feel like you have to take a day off of following Jesus.

Tip #3Come back.

Don’t forget us. This goes without saying, but we would miss you.

Tip #4Come back excited! (This is the most important tip.)

If you take a break from church for a week, you are not a terrible person. But please, be EXCITED when you come back to church. Church should not be a chore…it should be more like a party. A party where you get excited to attend and bring all of yourself to worship this AWESOME God who shares his grace with us. It is okay to get excited in worship. We want you to be excited J

I hope that these tips might help as you venture off to exciting places this summer. Whether that exciting place is out on the beach or relaxing at home, keep being awesome and keep sharing the love of God.

See you this summer...bring your excitement with you.

 

But God is my King from long ago;

he brings salvation on the earth.

The day is yours, and yours also the night;

    you established the sun and moon.

It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;

    you made both summer and winter.

Psalm 74:12,16-17

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