In many ways, this makes sense. People are often away during the summer months and time of rest from the busyness of ministry can maintain a necessary level of sanity (!!!) in the annual life of congregational programming. And practically speaking, when many other aspects of culture break for the summer months, it makes sense for churches to shift gears as well.
I’m generally okay with this situation - I like my rest and relaxation!
But I wonder, generally speaking, in our acceptance of seasonal church ministry do we risk unintentionally accepting a seasonal faith?
Have you ever asked this question: Do we make following Jesus a seasonal activity?
And these words from Christopher Wright only sharpen the challenge:
“We are called to role of the prophet, not just of the chaplain. That is, the church’s role is not simply to put a veneer of uncritical blessing on whatever social or economic (or military) enterprises take place in the public arena.” (The Mission of God's People)This should include our calendars.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many valid reasons to shift gears for a few months - rest is healthy and necessary, for individuals and churches. But let’s know why. And if necessary, let’s be ready to model a different way. After all, following Jesus doesn’t happen at the whim of popular culture or at a pace that suits our personal convenience. It may be obvious, but it’s a healthy reminder: we follow Jesus in all seasons.
The blessedness of the Christian life is that it’s about our whole life, all of the time.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
(Dt. 6:5, Mt. 22:37).