What is it about the summer season that seems to affect people’s commitment to Christ and the church? It happens every year. It happens in every area of the country. It happens in every denomination, even non-denominational denominations. People disappear during the summer months, then magically reappear in September.
Why does that happen? No one really knows. Some say it has to do with school being out. Since the kids are taking a break, people take a break from Christ and the church. Others say it has to do with vacations. People take a vacation from work, so they take a vacation from church as well. But if that were really the case, wouldn’t people just take a two-week break from church? I’m talking about people who disappear for the entire summer and do it every summer, over and over again, year after year.
Paul told Timothy preachers need to “be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). But what about church members? Do they get summers off when it comes to being committed to Christ and the church? Nope. None of us do.
Yet virtually every church in America suffers the same scenario every summer: Attendance goes down and offerings go down. Why? Because people are taking a break – a summer break. Those same churches enjoy a September scenario that comes with a wonderful surge in attendance and an equally wonderful surge in giving. Why? Break’s over. The people are back.
What would happen if somehow we could reverse the curse that has plagued preachers and crippled churches for centuries? That dreaded summer slump when some saints simply disappear. What would happen in your church if, instead, every single saint were a faithful follower all summer long, every year?
Can you imagine a summer surge? In every Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church in every part of the country? Imagine church members finding a church FIRST, before they book a flight or a hotel for their vacation destination or line up their rental car. Imagine church members making arrangements AHEAD OF TIME (like they do for their mail, newspaper and pets) to MAKE SURE their tithes and offerings get to the church while they’re gone. Imagine church members bringing their friends and relatives, who are in town visiting, to church instead of staying home with them. It’s absolutely possible. But only if we decide to be faithful, even during the summer months.
There’s not a verse in the Bible that says FULL SURRENDER is only necessary in the FALL SEASON. Or that worship is only important in the WINTER months. Or that serving is only required in the SPRING. What the Bible does say is: we are not to “give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Paul said, “those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2). And Jesus said, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10). And there’s more ... lot’s more.
Your church should see you in SEPTEMBER, for sure. But they ought to see you in JUNE, JULY and AUGUST, too!
The question is: WILL WE?
© 2014. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Today, more than 8,000 people call Crossroads their church home. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.