The summer give us a wonderful opportunity to rest and relax. Whether your time is governed by school holidays or not, most other groups and clubs also break over summer because everyone goes on holiday anyway. Read about our Summer Hiatus So how can you best use this extra time to grow your faith and your relationship with God? Here are some ideas for ways to grow your faith this summer, a bucket list of sorts.
#1 Visit Somewhere New
We live in a wonderful, mind-blowing creation. Why not explore a part of it you haven’t visited before? This is a wonderful way to reflect anew upon God’s power, creativity and majesty. This could be somewhere just down the road or half way across the world – just find somewhere new!
#2 Start a Gratitude Journal
Saying thank you to God is so important. A way to be super intentional is to write down something you are grateful for every single day!
#3 Get Creative with your Prayers or Time of Meditation with God!
There are so many ways to pray or meditate with God! Why not step out of your comfort zone? Try prayer or meditating through poetry, songwriting, painting, sculpting, wood-carving, drawing, molding, or collage.
#4 Try a New Bible Translation
It’s easy to keep just using the same Bible and never read any others. Why not try reading from a different translation. Explore the differences and see how it changes your understanding! A few you could try are New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), Contemporary English Version (CEV) or the Amplified Bible. Note: I don’t really include The Message as a translation, it is important to remember that it is an interpretation of the Bible rather than a direct translation – but still interesting to read!
#5 Memorize Scripture
Memorizing scripture is a great way to ensure that God’s word stays with us, even when we don’t have access to our Bible. ISome great verses to start with could include: Proverbs 3:5-6, Mark 14:36, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 or Matthew 5:44.
#6 Begin Volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, serve others and even learn new skills. This could involve joining a project in your local community (a foodbank, a group helping people experiencing homelessness)
#7 Have a Regular Time of Sabbath
Sabbath rest is a time spent resting and focused upon God and was given to the Israelites as one of the 10 commandments. This summer, set yourself a whole day each week (or fortnight); several evenings or a whole weekend if you can; to simply spend time with God. Remove yourself from worldly distractions, worship, pray and rest in God’s presence.
#8 Learn a New Language
Being able to speak another language is a fantastic skill that allows you to engage with a whole new group of people. Taking the time and effort to learn someone else’s language rather than expecting them to know yours is a great example of hospitality! You could pick a language you studied at school, a totally new language or even Sign Language (BSL or equivalent).
#9 Read a book about faith
Books are a great way to learn more about faith and Christian life. Obviously, the Bible should be at the top of your reading list, however, that’s not to say that the Bible is the only thing that you should be reading.. Consider these books. "Change Your World" We are actually reading it as a Church Family! Others... “The Answer to Bad Religion Is Not No Religion”, “Holy Disunity”, “What are Christians For?”, “The Art of Gathering”, “PreachersNSneakers”, “If you Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to get out of the boat.”
#10 Complete a Devotional Plan with Friends
The YouVersion Bible App has recently released a new feature that allows you to complete devotional plans with your friends. This is a great way to make yourself accountable to other people as well as give you the chance to discuss what you’ve explored.
#11 Try Fasting
Fasting is a spiritual discipline where we fast from food for a certain length of time in order to spend focused time in prayer. When trying this over summer, make sure that you stay hydrated and keep yourself safe.
#12 Go to the Beach and Invite your Church Friends and Neighbors.
A day at the beach might not immediately grow your faith, however, you should definitely do it anyway! Go, see what God created for you!