Summer is coming to an end. Vacations have been taken, school shopping is in full swing, and family schedules are getting back to normal. Summer can be a double-edged sword. On one hand you have students who are excited to be free and are thinking only of having fun. On the other hand you have parents stressing over how to keep their kids occupied for three months. It can be tricky for families to juggle the summer. Summer can be a tricky time around the church as well. Family schedules are different. Attendance patterns shift. For this reason churches operate under an unpublished principle during the summer: don’t start anything new. Well, we violated that principle this year.
With the reality of families scattering during the summer, we asked ourselves a question, “Why does it have to be this way?” So, we decided to give our families an opportunity to spend some of their free time together in kingdom work. On June 3rd we began 80 Days of Summer; a family ministry challenge that would continue through August 22nd. The concept is simple. 80 Days centers around a very specific goal: to see families serving their community together. Over the course of 80 days, 17 ministry opportunities in 9 different community locations were scheduled. We challenged our families to choose a ministry event and work together. It pleases me to be able to say that we have accomplished our goal. We have seen families, some for the first time, give up their free time and serve the kingdom through their local church.
Getting all caught up in numbers is not a good thing. With that being said, numbers do reflect a certain reality. As of this past Friday, 15 ministry opportunities have taken place with two remaining. Over the course of these opportunities, 48 different people have been involved and have contributed 902 volunteer hours to our community. My heart has been blessed this summer to know that we were committed both to our families and to our community.