How Not To Have a Winter this Summer
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Intro: In this verse, we see that God instituted seasons. Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that to everything there is a season and a time to ever purpose under the heaven.
Tonight, I want to point out an observation from 28 years of ministry.
Our church is experiencing revival, growth and I thank God for it.
The last thing I want to see is for our church to enter into a season of winter during this summer.
Too many times, the literal seasons of the year determine the spiritual seasons of a church.
We are coming into the summer season. School is out, summer has arrived!
Summer is typically a time of:
As a pastor, I dread summer. Baptists are so predictable.
I cringe when I think about the momentum coming to a halt during the summer.
There’s nothing more ironic than for a church to get cold during the hottest season of the year.
The momentum that has built up over the first part of the year seems to hit a slump.
The change in people’s schedule seems to be directly connected to their spiritual life.
As if there were not enough distractions, there seems to be even more during the summer.
Vacations, family reunions, ballgames, sports, trips out of town to visit the grandparents, etc.
The days are longer with it not getting dark until 9 PM.
The weather is nicer, and people seem to put God and the church on the back burner.
During the summer, it seems every ministry take a hit.
- Bus kids that we’ve been working on for months decide to take a break from church.
- Attendance on Sunday nights and Wednesday night takes a hit.
- With all the extra traveling and expenses, the offerings drop.
- Involvement in ministry falls off.
- The overall spirituality of the church starts to ebb.
- The youth group goes into vacation mode.
To keep this loss in spiritual growth to a minimum during the summer:
- We will have a Summer Revival.
- We take our teens to Teen Camp.
- We take our Juniors to Junior Camp.
- We will take a Missions Trip to Navajo Nation.
- We will have Vacation Bible School.
- We will kick off the school year with a School Revival.
In spite of all this, some will get carnal and complacent during the summer.
Ironically, they will have a winter during the summer.
In spite of the heat, they will get cold, indifferent and let their fire go out.
How do you keep from having a winter this summer?
I. Keep Worshipping
The secret to staying spiritual anytime – summer or not, is to spend time with Jesus.
If you will determine to do these three things, I guarantee it will protect your worship:
A. Stay in the Word of God – give God opportunity to speak to you through His Word.
- 11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
- 12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].
B. Stay at the Altar of God – pray without ceasing!
Praying will do more to build you up spiritually than anything else.
- Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
C. Stay in the House of God – be faithful to attend the services
Going on vacation? Go to church! Don’t miss church, even when out of town.
The church family will help keep the fire stoked!
- 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
- 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
II. Keep Working
Stay busy in the work of God. Don’t take a 3-month vacation from ministry!
Twice, Solomon pointed us to the ants for an example of working hard during the summer.
They provide during the summer.
- Proverbs 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
They prepare during the summer.
- Proverbs 30:25 The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer;
Don’t get lazy during the summer.
What you plant in the summer will come up in the fall!
- 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
- 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
- 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
III. Keep Witnessing
Let me say this – witnessing isn’t a sign of spirituality.
But I will say this – NOT witnessing is a sign of carnality.
Witnessing in and of itself doesn’t make you spiritual.
But – witnessing is obedience, and “mine eye affecteth my heart.”
Witnessing will keep you in remembrance of the main thing.
It’s hard to forget about the Lord if you’re talking about Him all the time.
It’s hard to get cold on God when you’re telling everybody you know about how good He’s been!
Keep the fire stoked by getting involved during the summer.
Don’t take a vacation from evangelism!
NOTE: Summer is referred to in Genesis 8 as “seedtime.”
- Genesis 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
- John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.