Beginning on Memorial Day and stretching to Labor Day, many churches close down programs due to the summer season. What few congregation participation events are left active is limited to “cliff note” presentations. The reasoning to these “summer recesses” is predicated on the theory that people need time off to enjoy nature’s invitation. Sadly, during this compulsory time of church exodus, many Bibles are also given a reprieve from open exposure. The people that seem to experience the greatest negative impact during “forced recess” are the young people. I have always believed, and will continue to believe, that the future of our Country will be determined by the moral and ethical standards of our younger generation. It is imperative that our children be instructed in Biblical principles. It is essential that they are taught how Jesus was able to face societal temptations. They need to learn the importance of living a Christian life. Our youth must see life through the pages of the greatest writings ever assembled. They must see how many Biblical personalities tripped, stumbled, and fell, and yet through the forgiveness of God, recovered. Our children must learn to travel through the Epistles seeing how people learned to trust God even in spite of life challenging situations. There should be no break in these teachings just because it is summer.
Some of the reasons given for limiting church activities during the summer are that it is difficult to find temporary teachers or to generate continuing interest from the people. I guess this shows not only a lack of “serious faith,” but a naivety to the signs of our time. Satan’s priority is to defeat anything that can be attributed to God. If he can get the Believer to “blink” he has gained the upper hand. Satan does not take summer off! In fact, it is one of his most active times of the year. If there is ever a time to “buff” up our spiritual lives, it is during the summer months. There is nothing wrong with taking vacations, but it must never be at the expense of our spiritual vocation.
It has been the policy of a number of churches to move their Sunday services to a new starting time during the summer. The reason is so people will be able to enjoy more recreational experiences. More and more churches are offering Saturday evening services so their Sundays will be free of church “obligations.” Why is it so difficult to give the Lord a day void of carnal activities? Sunday has turned into just another ordinary day. Sundays used to be a day of rest and reflection. It was a day to give our Bibles an extra workout. It was a time to carry on a more in-depth conversation with God. (Always remember that prayer is a two-way street that is not divided by a double yellow line.) Sunday was a time of visitation, especially with the shut-ins and those in need. The Lord’s Day was the time to catch our second wind. When we fail to give the Lord a certain day, we will be unprepared to face the trials that will surely confront us.
I like to look at summer as a time for extensive training for the Believer, a time to sharpen up the skills God has given us. As I observe the status of the Church, I see so many out of shape Christians playing games instead of engaging in spiritual warfare. Satan knows the weakness in every Believer and he will exploit it to his advantage. Instead of cutting back on church programs during the summer months, let us enhance what we already have. If the Christian is not serious about his faith, maybe he should hoist the white flag of surrender and let the Remnant show what real faith is all about.