Let’s face it; summers can pose a major challenge to our faith and life with Christ.

As good Canadians, we are committed to squeezing every second of time possible out of summer for camping, canoeing, cooking out, going to the cottage, travelling, hanging out, and of course, fishing. That also means we may not attend church during the summer as often as we should and involvement with a small group may be complicated.

But as Christians, we recognize the challenge and also know summer is prime time to learn and grow in our walk with God in some special ways.

Here are three essential elements that can help serve as a basic “Summer Spiritual Survival Guide.”

Essential #1:

Stay focused on the right things. “Summer time and the living is easy…” Summer time is the time to kick back and relax but it is no time to lose focus and become spiritually undisciplined. Staying focused on spiritual things prepares the way for God to work in our life in a new way.

What would we like God do in our life this summer?

To be a faithful disciple of Jesus requires that we develop personal discipline. And that means we have to make good choices about what is important and what we are going to invest our time in.

It means saying “yes” to habits and activities that will help us grow spiritually and saying “no” to the habits and activities that could potentially drag us down.

Essential #2:

Hang out with the right people.

Summer is a great time to hang out with old friends and make new ones. But who we hang out with will have a big impact on what happens this summer.

If we spend time with the right people, we may experience significant personal and spiritual growth. Spending too much time with the wrong people can have disastrous consequences on our faith and even the rest of our life.

God created us with a need for people in our life but people will influence for good or for bad. We were not meant to be “Lone Ranger” Christians so we need the right people in our life to keep us spiritually sharp.

Essential #3:

Spend time with God.

Summer time may be time to relax and have fun but that doesn’t mean it isn’t busy. So we have to make sure spending time with God is a priority.

That will happen primarily through reading God’s Word and prayer but camps, retreats and other special times can provide opportunities for accelerated growth with God.

His Word is the spiritual food that nourishes our soul. The strength of our faith and the work of the Holy Spirit in our life depends upon regular time in The Word.

His grace is sufficient and He gives us the adequate resources to meet each day’s challenge as we depend on Him and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.