Summer is finally here! In Canada, we cherish these long-awaited months as they seem to go by faster and faster each year. We can’t wait to spend time outdoors, on the water, or just plain relaxing – or all three! No matter what part of the country you live in, we Canadians love these dog days of summer. And let’s admit it Deacons; you’re also hoping to take a bit of a break right about now.
And yet! Many still have to go to work every day and don’t get us started on the work around the house that needs to get done! Unfortunately (or fortunately!), the church is no different. There are still ministries to run and for Deacons, offerings still need to be collected and counted each week, benevolence work still needs to continue, and planning ahead for the Fall isn’t going to happen on its own!
So, how can your diaconate (and church!) get the rest you need AND stay motivated during these sweet summertime months?
Here are 6 ways:
- Stay Plugged In! With routines and schedules turned upside down, it’s easy to spend less time with God. In the summer months, make it a priority to spend even MORE time with Him. Read your Bible, pray and worship God in a rich variety of ways over these next couple months. To some this may sound like more work, or one more thing to do in a season when we are desperate for rest. But remember: “You gain a new excitement for life and your purpose when you are plugged in to Christ.” (Matt Brown) This must be any ministry leader’s first priority. Why not use the online Today devotional to keep you on track!
“You gain a new excitement for life and your purpose when you are plugged in to Christ.”Matt Brown
- Take this new season to do some strategic thinking: Summer can be a great time to evaluate your ministry and mission. Does your Diaconate have a vision? How is it going? What goals have you set and reached? Which ones still need to happen? Does your Vision still line up with your church’s? Are the ministries and programs you run still effective and sustainable? Why not spend one evening as a team of deacons to do some reflection and sharing. Here’s one tool to get you started!
- Learn Something New! Summer time is a great time to focus on leadership development. While attending a conference isn’t always possible, have each deacon read one non-fiction, ministry-related book this summer and share what you learned with your diaconate and church. Sound boring? Do it with your feet up under a big shady tree with a tall glass of ice cold lemonade. Here’s a great one hot off the press, or ask us if you need any other suggestions!
- Take Your Meetings Outside! Move your deacon’s meetings outdoors or to a different location than the church building. Some churches have even met at a local organization that they support, like their local food bank or a youth drop-in centre. This will not only breathe some life into your meetings but it can be a great way to stay connected to the agencies you support.
- Catch Up on Your Visits: While many would argue that church members want to be left alone in the summer or that they are too busy for a visit, we guarantee there are many in your church who AREN’T busy and who are even lonelier in the summer. This article from Huffington Post (UK) is quite interesting and eye-opening! Want a more “local” opinion? Here is another one.
- Plan a Fun Summer Outreach Event! Here in Canada, summer is the IDEAL time to show and share the love of Christ with our neighbours and remind them that God (and His Church) doesn’t take a vacation. Movie nights, free car washes, ice cream socials, and community picnics are all tried and true events that will bring people together and offer gospel moments. And don’t forget to encourage your individual members/families to reach out. Here are some great (non-threatening!) ideas: invite a neighbour or shut-in over for a backyard BBQ, go clean up a neighbourhood park, offer to cut an elderly neighbour’s lawn, water plants for your vacationing neighbours, or offer to babysit for a mom or dad who needs to run a few errands kid-free! And why not have members share about their experiences in September during a morning worship gathering?
So how did we do? Which one are you going to try this week or this month? Let us know in the comments below, share on our Facebook page, or send us a direct message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story could inspire and encourage other deacons and churches.