Tuesday, July 26, 2011

5 Summer Strategies for Success

My wife joking tells me that there are two kinds of people in the world. “Those who have headaches – and those who cause headaches. Those who have high blood pressure – and those who cause high blood pressure.” I’ll add a couple more of my own. Those who are night people – and those who are morning people. And this, those who hate summer and love winter – and those who love summer and hate winter. I’m in the latter category. I admit that I hate winter, but I love summer. I love the sunshine, the growth and the life of nature, and I love being outside in the summer. 

Here are some personal pieces of practical advice for making the most of your summer – if you are a summer person or not.
  1. Be disciplined with your time and schedule. Summer is ideal to spend some time with your spouse and kids – it’s also easy to drift away from a life of order and discipline in the summer. So, be sure to come home from work on time and save some weekends for your family. And don’t forget to schedule some “date nights” with your spouse as well.
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  3. Take a vacation. You know the old saying, “the devil never takes a vacation.” As Howard Hendricks used to say, “Since when is the devil your model?” Youth workers, be sure to carve out time for a vacation! By the way, youth missions trips do not count.
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  5. Do extra reading. Each year I save a pile of books to read during the summer. Most of the TV schedule is reruns, NBA and NFL seasons are over. It’s a good time to read – and read some things that will challenge your thinking and equip you in ministry. 
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  7. Spend time with students. Your students’ schedule is different in the summers, so be sure to take advantage of their time out of school. Sure, most of your students will get summer jobs, but their schedules are likely to be much more flexible now. Be a good steward of their extra time.
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  9. Enjoy God’s creation. Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy God’s handiwork in creation. Take your group to camp or on a wilderness trip. Go on a hike or a camping trip. Go on a walk with your spouse. Nature has a unique way of clearing your head and it can help your heart grow closer to the Creator!
 Why not make the most out of summer?