College students…you did it! You made it through another year of school. Congratulations. Summer break is an exciting time. Many students are investing in summer missions projects while others are making back the money they spent last semester. Regardless of what your summer plans are, I wanted to provide you with specific ways you can stay connected and stay missional over the summer.
1. Plug into a Gospel-centered church:
Taking a break for the summer should never mean taking a break from church. The writer of Hebrews warns, “And 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” (10:25 – NLT). The Gospel Coalition provides a great list of churches across the country – you can check that out here.
2. Stream Sermons from Mercy Hill:
You might be on break…but we’re not. We just launched into a great new series entitled “Inside Out” and it will carry on through the summer. Paul says in Romans 12 that we are to “renew our minds”. Our hope is that by listening to gospel-centered preaching each week you can stay connected to Mercy Hill while also reminding yourself of the hope found in the gospel.
3. Get into the word:
Now that you don’t have papers and tests each week there are less excuses for not being in the Word. Summer is a great time to renew your love for Scripture and a great time to go on the offense to fight sin with the promises found in God’s Word. If you haven’t discovered the awesomeness of YouVersion yet…check it out…now. Also, Desiring God puts out a great resource for helping you memorize Scripture.
4. Develop a daily prayer time:
Paul Miller says, “We don’t pray because we think time, money and energy are all we need to live life.” Similar to the objections leveled against reading the Bible – summer offers more time to devote to key disciplines in the Christian life. One thing I have done personally to help in my prayer time is choose four categories that stay the same every day: Person, Pastor, Personal, and Place. Each day I pray for a different person in my life, a different pastor/friend, a personal request, and a place (like my home or Mercy Hill Church). Try using something like this over the summer to develop consistent time praying.
5. Make a book reading list and read:
What I’ve found is that God can use one book to transform your outlook or even what you believe your calling is in life. Many people have great intentions to read but that’s about all they have to show for it…good intentions. One way to combat the intention without action dilemma is to make a reading checklist. Choose a few different categories like theology, apologetics, or missions. And then find one book that fits each category. Word of wisdom: be reasonable…you’re probably not going to read 15 books this summer. But there’s no reason you can’t read 2-3.
A few suggestions to get you started…
Our City Project students are reading “Risk is Right” by John Piper; “Kings Cross” by Tim Keller; and “Follow Me” by David Platt.
Kevin DeYoung has wrote two phenomenal books lately called, “Crazy Busy” and “A Hole in our Holiness.”
6. Come back for a visit:
We have a lot of exciting things happening this summer at Mercy Hill. We would love for you to come back and spend a weekend with us. If that is something that interests you I would be more than happy to find you a place to stay and food to eat. I would encourage as many of you as possible to come back for our large scale community service weekend called Serve GSO (July 25th-26th). We’re going to spend the entire weekend serving our city…come be a part of this and stay around to worship with us on Sunday.
7. Spend time with family and friends:
Last but certainly not least – spend quality time with the people you love. This can often be an oversight. So put down the electronics and connect intentionally with people around you. God blesses us with friends and family and spending time with them can be very restorative for your soul.
Whatever you’re doing this summer or however you plan on spending your time – please know your church family is praying for you and I look forward to catching up with many of you and hearing how God used your summer to grow you in the knowledge of Him and your love for His gospel.