By Joe Slater
Some schools are out and others will be out soon. Summer is just around the corner; it’s vacation time! (NOTE: A vacation is what you take if you can’t take what you’ve been taking.) One particularly hectic day, Jesus said to His disciples, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile” (Mark 6:31). He recognized the need to “get away from it all,” if only for a short break.
Concerned Christians dread the “Summer Slump” that many churches experience. Decreases in attendance, contribution, and enthusiasm are typical during vacation season. But it doesn’t have to be that way. More to the point, it ought not to be that way! Here are a few suggestions for vacationers:
Assemble with the saints wherever you are (Hebrews 10:25). Being away from home doesn’t mean you are away from God. “Where can I go from Your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7). King David knew that whether he climbed the highest peak or descended to the lowest depth, God would still be there. When you vacation out of town, out of the state, or even out of the nation, God is still there!
Aren’t you encouraged when visitors attend our services? I am! You can encourage God’s people in other communities by worshiping with them when you are in their vicinity.
Take your Bible with you. You won’t stop eating while on vacation. In fact, if you’re like most of us, you’ll eat entirely too much! Your soul needs nourishment while you’re vacationing, too. God’s word is the original soul food (1 Peter 2:2). Bon appetit!
Leave your contribution with the home congregation, or make it up when you return. You will not neglect other obligations while you are away (house payment, car payment, utilities, etc.). Why should your obligation to God be any different? The expenses of the local church go on even while you are away.
Come back from vacation with a renewed zeal and dedication for the Lord’s work. Sometimes vacationing wears us out so that we need another vacation! Let your vacation be a time of rest and relaxation so you can return refreshed and revitalized!
Have a great vacation!
- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://justinchurchofchrist.com