School’s done, temperatures are creeping up, the sun is out later in the evening, and the neighbors are finally emerging from hibernation. It must be summer!

For many, summer means swimming, vacations, baseball, yard work, outdoor activities, and hopefully some relaxation. But summer also means having a different schedule.

Rather than just let this season slip by or allow it to be just another regular summer, I want to encourage you to make the most of your summer. With a little bit of prep work, you can actually make this a very rewarding three months. Here are some ideas:

  1. Use Friday Nights for Relationships
    There are 12 Fridays between the start of June and the start of next school year. Why not use at least 8 of them to invite a neighbor or two, or perhaps some co-workers, or even some Riverwood friends over to grill out with the purpose of investing in relationships? Get to know others better. Practice generosity by feeding them. Play some games. Just hang out, creating opportunities for God to do something in you and through you.
  2. Plan some Family Time
    If you have school-aged kids, use this time that they have off from school to invest in them. It could be a week-long vacation, but it can also be simple things. Go fishing. Take your kids to a Bucks game. Grab some ice cream at Duos. Go hiking at Cedar Bend. Go on a bike ride. Read a book together this summer. Make some memories together.Along with this, if you are married, plan some dates with your spouse. (And to help you out, check out 13:4 Dating!)
  3. Make a Spiritual Investment
    The unstructured schedule that summer brings often makes it difficult for many people to begin or continue to stick to spiritual disciplines. Make plans now for how you will grow spiritually and find ways to hold yourself accountable.[list type=unordered extra=]
    [list_item]Maybe start a new Bible reading plan.[/list_item]
    [list_item]Maybe plan a spiritual retreat day.[/list_item]
    [list_item]Maybe read a book like Radical or Crazy Love designed to help you grow spiritually.[/list_item]
    [list_item]Maybe start listening to sermon podcasts from guys like Andy Stanley or Tim Keller.[/list_item]
    [list_item]Maybe engage in fasting – it could be food for a day, Facebook for a month, or TV for all summer – whatever will free you up to pursue Jesus.[/list_item]
    [list_item]Maybe you need to join the Wednesday night Growth Group (our summer plan is to do a video series on parenting).[/list_item]
    [/list]
  4. Invite someone to Riverwood
    I know, this fourth point sounds self-serving. But if God is using Riverwood to help you grow spiritually and become more like Jesus, why not invite someone you like, love, and care for to grow with you? By inviting someone to a Worship Gathering, or to a FirstServe, or to your Growth Group, you might just make this summer the most significant summer your friend has ever experienced.

Let’s make the most of this summer!