June 13th, 2017
It’s every kid's favorite time of the year...summer time! The time with no school, vacation, and endless days of no plans (or tons of fun plans).
Also, usually a time when people end up attending church less (if they normally attend). People tend to go away on weekends (if they are working) or vacation or sleep in or just “aren't feeling it”.
Whatever their reasons, just because they aren't in the church building doesn't mean that they can’t have church.
On 1 particularly memorable mission trip, we had “van church”. Us teens wrote out a bulletin, picked songs to sing, and the “attendees” all talked about our week. I remember feeling really excited about van church for many reasons: it was somewhere totally different, I got to help put the service together (with little to no direction from the adults, our choice not theirs), it was a fun and interesting way to discuss all that had happened. Maybe (if not on a mission trip) that would be a good time to pick a favorite bible story or talk about how you see God where you are (or where you just came from). Let the kids put the whole thing together (with help as needed).
I really like being in nature. When I’m out there, I tend to notice God more (or maybe just listen better). If you/your family are camping/at the beach/hiking/whatever, maybe take some time just to listen. You might be surprised at how long your children can be quiet and see what's really around them. Then maybe talk about how God made us to care for all of this.
One of my favorite camp devotions takes place on my least favorite night, sleep out. Your group sleeps outside (on the ground), and it never fails that almost no one can sleep. So I often take that time to talk about how God made the earth. I quietly guide them through making their own planet. With their eyes closed, I ask them things like: What does it look like? Are there plants? Do they have days and nights? Do things live there? What do they look like? Do they have jobs? What kind? If no jobs, what do they do to pass time? Etc. If there are still kids awake after all of this, I ask them to quietly share about their planet they have created. Was it easy to create or hard? How did you decided about certain aspects? It’s really cool to see what they come up with.
Maybe, if your family is more into music, you just listen to (or sing) your favorite worship songs. Maybe you all talk about a time when you were 100% sure Jesus was with you, or a time when you were doubting and what helped you through that time of doubt. Maybe you draw/color out your prayers (draw what you would say), or make pictures (depending on where you are) out of the things around you (pine needles, sand, downed tree branches, whatever), of how you see God.
Visiting a church local to your vacation spot is always a good option too.
There are thousands of way that people not in church on a Sunday, during vacation times, can still worship using what's around them. Maybe none of these appeal to you. That’s fine,too. Find what works for where you are and who you are.