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Summer Slump! How pastors hate to hear those words! Normally they refer to the fact that during the summer months, due to vacations, a number of people are absent from the assembly each week. The decline in attendance normally results in a decrease in giving, as well as a deadening of enthusiasm, a dearth of workers, and a general depression of the ministry.
However, none of these things need to take place. Certainly, regular
attenders will (and should) go away for vacations. However, those of us who are still here should-be diligently working to bring others in who
will not only take the place of the traveller, but will add to the body
when vacation season is done. As far as giving is concerned, summer
vacations should never affect that, for I can always put my offering in before I go, or after I return. Do not allow the expense of vacation to cause your to rod God of His money, or rob yourself of the blessings of giving. Remember, the needs of the church, and the needs of
missionaries, continue whether you are on vacation or not!
As for the deadening of enthusiasm and the depression of the ministry, these conditions should never happen. Enthusiasm,
exhortation, comfort, edification, ministry, helps, etc. are all gifts of God and products of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It is normally easier to get excited about the church services when there is a big crowd present. However, our joy is, not to be based upon
external circumstances, but rather upon an internal relationship with Jesus Christ Because Christ is always with us, we can always look .forward to church services, with anticipation, and participate in them with zeal.
A lack of workers should never be a problem either. The Scriptures tell us that God has placed in the body what is necessary for it to function properly. Therefore, if one teacher is absent, God has placed in the church someone who can fill in. Let me ask this question: Are you serving in the capacity that God has called you to? Could it be that the problem is not the workers on a physical vacation, but rather the shirkers on a spiritual vacation? If everyone does what God has enabled them to do, the work of the ministry should carry on.
In conclusion, let me take a moment to praise God for what He has done for us this summer. We have had two adult men and a teenage girl saved in the past three weeks. An adult and three teens have surrendered to Believers Baptism . Thousands of John/Romans have been passed out through Operation Outreach and we have seen people in church as a result of this ministry. Others have called to ask questions about the materials received. God has has blessed in spite of our attendance slump. Let's each make sure that while we take our vacation from work
we never take a vacation from our relationship to our Heavenly Father, for He will never take a vacation from us.
Mark J. Montgomery