The Summer Bible Challenge is here! Download the plan!
In the last evening service, Mick said he felt God saying that some people felt that they are leaving God behind over summer as they return home. This really related to me, as, although I love my home church, I’ve not really been a Christian for long and I’ve felt more and more at home at St. Tom’s this year. Leaving was a lot harder than I’d ever though it would be.
(Of course, giving that I’m not returning until 2012 doesn’t help either!)
What actually daunted me most was the summer ahead was, well, what on Earth do I do with myself?
If you fall into this category, it’s not really a case of not having anything to do, but more so a case of God has put you there for the summer for a reason.
”…He determined the times set for them and exact places where they should live. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:26-27. (Kudos to Nick Law for bringing that one to my attention!)
So, what you gonna do about it? We’re called to reach out to his people all year around, regardless of if we’re “on holiday” or not. This isn’t a holiday from working for God.
You may be daunted by all this time on your own, or feeling like you should be doing outreach in your home town, but you don’t know where to start? If this is you, let me encourage you, there are things you can do. His spirit lives in us, we have access to it, and is available for us to use, free of charge, Amazing.
I’m gonna draw from some experiences of mine to give you all some ideas, pray about it, see what God’s calling you to!
The summer before Uni, I worked full time in a Church-run coffee shop. Right now, I work at ASDA, which obviosuly isn’t that glamorous. Only in the last few days have I realised what a difference you can make to someone’s day, albeit doing your job, but doing it with a smile. Pray as you work! Go above and beyond what is expected of you.
This isn’t another desperate attempt of mine to recruit people, although you know where I am if you are interested…(!) The one I’m involved in has played such a massive part of my walk with God, teaching me how to trust God in a different environment, being able to spend time with people who I don’t particularly know very well, learning to understand Christians from different backgrounds, attempting a new language, and just having the time of your life! They needn’t be expensive, or at the other side of the world! There are plenty of things like this JUST ON YOUR DOORSTEP.
Help at soup kitchens, read poetry to the elderly, work in a charity shop, teach! There are loads of charities who are struggling at the moment with the economic climate and need volunteers! I was privileged enough to get to teach RE in a school on Monday with a Leeds Based charity, and it was one of the highlights of my year.
CHURCH & FELLOWSHIP
Get involved! Even if you don’t have a church, go! Try out new places, find churches online and email them to get involved! Meet Christians around where you are right now. Get together, do your own Homeless Outreach, or Agape, Love (Insert Town Here)! It is a lot simpler than you may think. Look for opportunities, big events, festivals, anything! God can use you and any environment to make things work out for his good!
When I first became a Christian and got involved in Mission around Leeds, this song was a massive reminder of why I was doing what I did. You probably know it, but just give it another listen.
God has made clear that our job as Christ followers is to make sure that those in need are taken care of (James 1:27, Matthew 25:35). It is so important for us to remember what God has called us to, and that is a LIFE dedicated to SERVICE to Him and people. I saw a bumper sticker that reads, “Love God, Love People.” And isn’t that true, that when we are filled with His love, we should be pouring it out unto others? Absolutely.
This was just my attempt to encourage you that whatever you’re doing this summer, God’s doing it with you. If you need any more ideas, encouragement, or prayer for anything this summer, I know I for one thing I am there for you, the team are, and so many other people are too.
Have a amazing summer guys!