If you read Greg St. Cyr’s letter in this issue, hopefully you were encouraged not to take the summer off spiritually. The warmer months are a great time to not only invest in your walk with Jesus, but also in those around you. From Grace Bombs to yard sales, there are countless ways to live on mission this summer both at home and on vacation.
1. Meet Your Neighbors. If there are 440,000 people in Anne Arundel County and 29,000 people in Talbot County who don’t yet know Jesus, then the odds are good that about 80 percent of your neighbors need to hear the gospel. Do something intentional this summer to get to know them: set a playdate for your kids and spend time with the parents, invite a family over for dinner, or better yet, invite the whole neighborhood to join you for a barbecue.
2. Drop A Grace Bomb. Random acts of kindness and generosity are a simple yet effective way to love people. When you cross the Bay Bridge to head to the beach, pay the toll for the guy behind you. While you’re outside cutting your grass, cut your neighbor’s grass too. Leave big tips. Bring a friend lunch. Change someone’s tire.
3. Support A Missionary. It may be too late to join a summer short term mission team, but it’s not too late to join in the work they’ll be doing over the next few months. Serve the nations this summer by financially supporting someone you know who is going on a mission trip, and commit to praying for their team as they prepare and take the gospel to the nations.
4. Broaden Your Circle. In the context of sharing the gospel, we often talk about people of peace – individuals who are friendly toward us and are open to having spiritual conversations with us. If you can’t think of at least a handful of persons of peace in your life, then commit to finding some this summer by broadening your social circles. You can meet new people by joining a rec sports team, taking a class at community college, starting a golfing foursome or taking up a new hobby like paddleboarding.
5. Bring Up The J Word. The most important thing you can ever do for a person is tell them about Jesus. Don’t be afraid to start a spiritual conversation with the person sitting next to you at the pool, a parent on your kid’s team, or a stranger at a baseball game that has dragged into 14 innings. Remember, you’re only responsible for sharing the good news; the results are up to God. Don’t feel equipped? Download our Share the Gospel resource at bayareacc.org/share.
6. Make Some Money – And Then Give It Away. Summer offers plenty of ways to make a little cash – declutter your house with a yard sale, help your kids develop an entrepreneurial spirit with a lemonade stand, or make your teen get off the sofa to cut grass around the neighborhood. Extra income provides a great opportunity to teach your family to grow in generosity. Once you’ve made a few bucks, give it away as a family to a local nonprofit, your church or someone you know who’s in need.
7. Help Your Kids Understand The Ball Field Is A Mission Field. Many of our kids will go places this summer that take them outside of their usual friend circles, whether it’s a little one at soccer camp or a teen working a first job. Teach your kids that they can be ambassadors of Jesus wherever they go this summer through good sportsmanship, praying for people they meet, telling new friends about Jesus, and putting others first.
8. Keep Serving Others. It can be easy to focus on ourselves during the summer as we center our calendars on catching some R&R and feeding our passions and interests. This might mean we have to be even more intentional about serving others than we are during the school year. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of opportunities to invest time in other people over the summer: you can coach a little league team, volunteer at a camp or summer program, or even serve in Children’s Ministry at church.
9. Be A Spiritual Initiator. Don’t let your personal enjoyment of summer quench the Holy Spirit’s direction in your life; keep your eyes open to the opportunities around you. Take time to stop and pray with a struggling coworker. Provide a friend with accountability. Be careful not to breeze past someone in need. Start a Bible study with your family that gets everyone into the Word regularly (I’m looking at you in particular, dads).
10. Prioritize Your Spiritual Health. One of the best things you can do for the people around you is ensure that you’re in a right relationship with God. Personal time in the Word and prayer are critical to becoming more like Jesus. Commit to reading a chapter of the Bible every day (for more on that, see page 5) – even when you’re on vacation – and set a daily prayer rhythm. Continue to worship and sit under the Word every Sunday, and keep meeting with your Missional Community throughout the summer.