Though summer doesn’t officially end until the end of September, the activities of summer are drawing to a close. My eldest son Aaron has moved to Richmond, where he will live with my in-laws while he attends VCU in the fall. Schools are back in session, and many families (including mine) are slipping back into regular routines. Summer vacations have come to an end. Work, babysitting, after-school events, and visits with the grandkids will become more routine. This is the season when we all settle back into predictable schedules. It’s also a time when we re-evaluate the kinds of activities that worked for us last year, and the kinds of things we might like to try this year.
It’s much the same at church as it is in the rest of your life. Summer activities like VBS and youth camp are behind us, and life is settling into a regular pattern. In many churches, recently elected Sunday school teachers, officers, and deacons will be looking forward to a new church year. I’ll be re-evaluating what’ been working, and what needs some revising in my own schedule, just as I’m sure you will too.
As things get back to normal, I hope that you will settle back into a regular routine at church. Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) says, “…Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” It’s good to get away for vacation, but it’s even better to return to God’s house, to worship together, to support each other, and to live God’s way. When Acts 2:42 (NLT) tells the hallmarks of healthy Christians, it says, “All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.”
This past Sunday at my church, we had a high attendance and many visitors. After over twenty years of ministry, I can predict the high and low attendance Sundays. Pastors know that Christmas and Easter will be high, and the Sundays on either side of those holidays will be low. Mother’s Day will be high, and ironically, Father’s Day will be low. Predictably, last Sunday’s boost in church participation was due to it being the first Sunday after public schools started in our county. This is because people are traveling less, and looking more toward regaining routine in their lives. They’re coming back to church. I pray that the same pattern will hold true for you—that as your schedule normalizes after summer, you’ll make church a priority for your family. I pray that you’ll devote yourself to spiritual teaching, to fellowship, to the activities of your church, and to prayer.