Episode 063: What Are Summers For? (Pt 1)

In Part 1 of What Are Summers For?, we talk about the personal side and the organizational side of summers and how to make the best use of them.

It’s important for pastors to plan to rest… if you don’t plan to rest, you won’t rest… so many pastors don’t take vacations… 

Summer is a time to show trust to your team… disappear and show them that you trust them and don’t call every other day to find out how they’re doing… 

Summer is a great time to play… there’s space for a restoration of childlikeness… for me, I get to reconnect with my kids… rediscovering them and finding out what God is doing in them…

This requires thinking about ministry as an ebb and flow… one of the traps we get into as leaders is thinking that we need to maintain “momentum”… summer is ordinary time… there’s a sense in which we’re trying to say that it’s okay to have seasons that aren’t epic and exciting… 

On the other hand, the fall will be here before you know it… if you have a bad summer, you will have an awful fall… you can dial back the activity, but not the planning… 

If you’re going to make changes on your staff, June and July are the two best months to do that because the activity is light… so you can make changes without creating a lot of disruption inside the church… 

Summer is a great time for self-evaluation as well… you can’t evaluate your team unless you evaluate yourself… in the summer we pastors need to evaluate how we’re doing, what our schedule looks like, and what we’re saying “yes” to… 

People talk about a “summer slump”, but we don’t see that too much around here… for a lot of families, the break in school-year activity means they have more time for church… just keep things vibrant and alive and excellent, and they’ll come… 

There are preachers in every church that just need opportunities… you need to take a chance on these people… summers are great for that… 

If you’re the young preacher holding the pulpit over the summer, tackle the topics that are in your sweet spot and aren’t going to cause problems for the senior pastor when he gets back… 

Another thing to think about for the summer is that there are other ways to do sermons than just having one person on the stage… maybe take three men or three women and put them on the stage and have someone interview them about a topic… tackle the pulpit as a team… 

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