I miss my Bible Study buddies. During the school year, our Bible Study Network holds a Bible study during the fall and spring seasons. We usually study a book or topic where each lesson builds on a common theme. Winter weather in Western Illinois likes to be unpredictable so during January and February, we hold a shortened study of stand-alone lessons. If we must cancel or if some gals have trouble driving in from the country due to slippery or snow packed roads, they won’t miss too much from lesson to lesson.
The summer is a different matter. Between summer programs, VBS, the county fair, harvest in early September, and vacations, it’s too hard to get everyone together. We’re all ready for a break anyway. Some of our lessons have been pretty deep and I admit, I’m ready to ease the schedule a bit.
It’s easy to let my reading of God’s Word and my fellowship with my sisters in Christ slip all together during the summer months. I’ve found it doesn’t have to be that way. We can use the time in the summer to do different things. Here’s some ideas:
Read a Christian book that’s in your stack. Right now, I’m rereading Kate Breslin’s “For Such A Time.” I want to get started on Phillip Yancey’s “The Jesus I Never Knew.”
Read through the Psalms. You could read two Psalms a day during June, July, and August and still have days left over. Okay, stretch it out and divide up Psalm 119.
Schedule once a month events with your Bible study group. Go out to lunch together, visit a new craft store. One gal in our group is hoping to host a tea party complete with cloth napkins and china. Events and outings provide a great chance to invite prospects for the fall study to your gathering.
Keep in touch. Keep praying for each other. Our Bible study network has a Facebook page where I post prompts, announcements, and my Bible study notes. During the summer, we still keep up with each other by posting prayer requests and praises.
Do a service project together. What a wonderful way to live out what you have learned during your formal Bible study time. Serve at a homeless shelter or a food pantry. Offer as a group to do last minute preparations for your church’s Vacation Bible School. Distribute flyers at your town’s festival, homecoming or county fair about church programs. I’ve found I get closer to my sisters in Christ when we work together than any other time.
Keep up with your daily quiet time. Use the summer months to go a little deeper than you usually do. Use the skills you’ve learned in group Bible study in your personal study. Pick several verses to memorize, outline a chapter, or ask yourself: “If I were the group leader, what discussion questions would I ask?”
The important thing is this: keep connected. Look at your garden. If you didn’t water and weed, what would happen? You’d have a dismal harvest. If you want a beautiful garden, full of fresh veggies and succulent fruit, you have to work at it every day and keep it nourished. In the same way, we need to keep our souls watered and fed during the summer months. As we dare to do different things, I think we’ll find that variety can be downright refreshing.