What will help you determine if you’re having or had a meaningful summer?
Don’t get competitive here, but we want to suggest a simple score card for your summer. A framework to help you pursue meaningful and faithful outcomes during the 100 days of summer we love and long for.
Jesus’ famous summary of the law and prophets is simple framework to help you plan purpose into your summer (rest included)
Incorporate a daily time to nurture your heart for God. Start each day reciting Psalm 27:4
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
Start your day focusing on beholding (gazing on) the beauty of God… and seeking his presence.
You can continue with scripture, prayer and reflection – but at the very least – lean in deeply allowing this prayer to become your desire.
- Want more? Use this daily liturgy or these weekly scriptures.
- Need support? Read ‘Being with God’ to help you remove the distractions and learn how to make more space for him.
- Don’t go it alone. Be present with Westside this summer on Sundays as we journey through various Psalms.
Make space for people over the summer.
Learn to practice hospitality – whether that’s hosting a BBQ, meeting up with friends in Pointe-Claire village for an ice cream, or being more present on your street for neighbors.
However you choose to make space for people, it will provide an environment to help you love others tangibly.
If it’s in your power, don’t you want some of the next 100 days to be filled with people?
- What about hosting a group this summer? We’re looking for people host a 1x time group mid-summer during the few weeks we do not have Sunday gatherings.
- You can host a simple discussion group (resources provided) or do something more casual like BBQ or desert event
- this can happen on a Sunday or mid-week, during the day or evening
- this take place in your home, back yard or local park
- choose a date, time, environment; invite WSGers and friends; have fun
- Let us know so we can resource you and promote your group
This seems counter intuitive to what we often hear about following Jesus, but Jesus did say ‘love your neighbour as yourself.‘
Jesus seems to be assuming that the best way to love people (after being immersed in God’s love) is to love in a way that you would want to be loved, or practice a kind of love for others that at a minimum you have for yourself.
How are you loving you? How are you growing, resting, renewing?
Don’t let the summer go by without some renewal for you – spiritually, emotionally, physically. This isn’t a false self help promise, but a desire from your Heavenly Father for your good. You are his image bearer.
The biblical call to Sabbath is an example of this of one does this weekly (and perhaps annually like over the summer for an extended couple of weeks)
- Stop (you get the point here; stop doing, going, striving, running, producing)
- Rest (anything that helps you renew energy)
- Delight (things that bring you joy)
- Contemplate (practices that keep you connected to God; silence, prayer, scripture, reflective walks, etc.)
Our church learned the hard way several years ago that if we didn’t do this corporately in some way our ministry teams would burn out, and out ministry as a whole would become stale and routine.
The year we’re practicing rest and renewal in the form of a mid-summer change:
- NO gathering on July 24 & 31
- some might be on vacation; some of our Sunday volunteers might really need a full pause
- take this time to meet up in smaller pockets – GROUPS – to encourage each other spiritually and relationally
- PICNIC on August 7 – replace our common gathering with a common meal
What’s your score card this summer?
Without much thought, summer has the risk simply becoming another rat race of activities, an escape from reality, unfiltered pleasure or unhealthy isolation.
Take 30min. as the summer starts to prayerfully and intentionally consider what would make it truly meaningful – restful, relational, and renewing.
This is why we turn to Jesus. He’s the source of life – the way, truth, and life. He’s not only saved us into life, but shown us the best kind of life. This is both good news and goodness.
Let’s trust his authority on this and lean into this summer in ways where our love for God, others and ourselves will grow!
Imagine what God might do this summer and beyond, growing into a life long vocation – calling. That’s the point isn’t it?
Reach out if you need support or guidance on how to process this and make it a reality.