With summer in full swing, it’s easy to get into the rhythm of letting the days slip by without much intentionality. The sun shines longer, we play harder and many of us take extra days off of work. But while we may want to let go of some stressors during the summer, one thing we don’t want to let go of is our spiritual growth.
Here are five ways to keep growing spiritually during the summer months:
1.) Get outside!
With nicer weather comes great opportunity to experience God’s beauty in creation and let it shape our prayers and our worship. Take a prayer walk around your neighborhood, asking God to give you His heart for your city and the people there—and let the sights and sounds of where you live inspire your prayers. Or go on a hike and take your Bible with you and read Psalm 19 or Psalm 8 out loud, thanking God for how He’s created the earth and given you life. Swim in the ocean (or the pool!) and break to read John 7:37-39, considering the living water that Christ gives to us that sustains our very spirit.
With a little creativity, our time outdoors in the summer can be a wonderful way to attend to God’s presence in the world and to thank Him for His goodness and love!
2.) Make the effort to get to church.
I know, I know. With summer travel, vacations and holidays, it’s easy to blow off church on the weekends. But even if you’re traveling, find a church in town you can attend on Sunday. It’s a wonderful way to continue to growing in relationship with God, to get to know other believers and to experience church in a new way. God’s people are worshipping all over the world—go ahead and join them, wherever you are!
3.) Mix up your Bible-reading routine.
Instead of getting stuck in a rut this summer or doing the same old thing in your personal devotional life, consider trying something new. Join a summer study at your church or in your city, or join an online community participating in a Bible study together (for example, shereadstruth.com and hereadstruth.com are great places to start).
If you’re already in a group study, consider a new way of engaging the Bible personally through the practice of Lectio Divina or a similar spiritual discipline.
4.) Serve in a new way.
Summer can become a self-focused time if we let it; we think about our bucket lists and how we want to spend our days. But growing in Christ means continuing to serve those around us, and with school out, churches and communities have a lot of opportunities to serve kids, families and seniors in new ways.
You might volunteer to help with a summer VBS program, or use the extra hours of daylight to stop by a nursing home and visit with some elderly neighbors. Take a weekend and serve at a food pantry, or volunteer to help a family in your church by offering free childcare on a weeknight.
5.) Stay in Christian community.
While our schedules ebb and flow in the summer, one of the best ways to continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord is to get consistent time with others who know and love Him, too. Maybe your small group isn’t meeting officially this summer, but you can still gather the troops and share about life and pray for one another. As the Scripture reminds us: “… let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another …” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
No matter what we’re up to this summer, we can continue to grow spiritually if we’re intentional about knowing and loving God more. He’ll meet us right where we are if we’re seeking him—regardless of if we’re on a beach in the tropics or a cubicle in the office.