Arnold & Bernard with cows

Controversial opinion: I’m a penguin but I love summer. I love the beach, I love BBQs. I love days out. I love camping and travelling and walking and exploring. I love warm evenings. I love the reduced traffic thanks to no school drop offs. I love the sun. I love water fights. I love eating outside.

The summer holidays give us a wonderful opportunity to rest and relax. Whether your time is governed by school holidays or not, most other groups and clubs also break over summer because everyone goes on holiday anyway. So how can you best use this extra time to grow your faith and your relationship with God?

Here are my ideas for ways to grow your faith this summer, a bucket list of sorts.

Visit somewhere new

We live in a wonderful, mind-blowing creation. Why not explore a part of it you haven’t visited before? This is a wonderful way to reflect anew upon God’s power, creativity and majesty. This could be somewhere just down the road or half way across the world – just find somewhere new! Some of my favourite places to visit have been the Lake District (UK), Cheddar Gorge (UK), Adelboden (Switzerland), Lake Annecy (France), Ludlow (UK), the Ardeche (France), Gower Peninsula (UK) and Abereiddy (UK).

Start a gratitude journal

Saying thank you to God is so important (read why I think so here). A way to be super intentional is to write down something you are grateful for every single day!

Get creative with your worship

There are so many ways to worship! Why not step out of your comfort zone? Try worshipping through poetry, song writing, painting, sculpting, wood-carving, drawing, moulding or collage.

Try a new Bible translation

It’s easy to keep just using the same Bible and never read any others. Why not try reading from a different translation. Explore the differences and see how it changes your understanding! A few you could try are New International Version (NIV), New Living Translation (NLT), Contemporary English Version (CEV) or the Amplified Bible. Note: I don’t really include The Message as a translation, it is important to remember that it is an interpretation of the Bible rather than a direct translation – but still interesting to read!

Make a prayer jar

A prayer jar is a wonderful way to remind yourself to pray for lots of different issues or people, even when you only have a few seconds to spare. Find out how to make a prayer jar here.

Memorise Scripture

Memorising scripture is a great way to ensure that God’s word stays with us, even when we don’t have access to our Bible. In some countries this is the only way that they can access the Bible. Some great verses to start with could include: Proverbs 3:5-6, Mark 14:36, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 or Matthew 5:44.

Start volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, serve others and even learn new skills. This could involve taking on a role at your local church, joining a project in your local community (a foodbank, a group helping the homeless), volunteering with a charity (check out this blog to see some of my favourite charities) or even travelling abroad for a volunteering trip.

Join a Bible study group

Having a Christian community to support you, encourage you, help you in your doubts, pray for you, give you advice and to call you out when you’re heading astray, is so important at any stage of faith. Find yourself a group of other Christians and start exploring the Bible together.

Have a regular time of sabbath

Sabbath rest is a time spent resting and focused upon God and was given to the Israelites as one of the 10 commandments. This summer, set yourself a whole day each week (or fortnight); several evenings or a whole weekend if you can; to simply spend time with God. Remove yourself from worldly distractions, worship, pray and rest in God’s presence.

Learn a new language

Being able to speak another language is a fantastic skill that allows you to engage with a whole new group of people. Taking the time and effort to learn someone else’s language rather than expecting them to know yours is a great example of hospitality! You could pick a language you studied at school, a totally new language or even Sign Language (BSL or equivalent).

Read a book about faith

Books are a great way to learn more about faith and Christian life. Whilst I think it’s important to examine the biblical understanding behind what is written, there are some great books to inspire you, encourage you and grow your faith. Check out the 6 books I wanted to read in 2018 here. Right now, I am reading God on Mute by Pete Greig (I know this wasn’t on the list but shhh!).

Complete a devotional plan with friends

The YouVersion Bible App has recently released a new feature that allows you to complete devotional plans with your friends. This is a great way to make yourself accountable to other people as well as giving you the chance to discuss what you’ve explored.

Try fasting

Fasting is a spiritual discipline where we fast from food for a certain length of time in order to spend focused time in prayer. When trying this over summer, make sure that you stay hydrated and keep yourself safe.

Complete a service project

Is there something that needs doing in your community? Could you complete a litter pick in a local park? Offer to mow a neighbour’s lawn? Raise money for a local charity? Wash cars in your church car park (ask their permission first)? This is a great way to serve the people in your community!

Go to the zoo

Whilst a day out at the zoo may not grow your faith, you should definitely do it anyway! Go, see the penguins, take a picnic, enjoy the summer!

How many of these ways to grow your faith will you try this summer? Let me know if you have any other ideas that should be added to this list!

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5 Comments

  1. Wow! I’m doing so many of these already! I normally lead a Messianic Bible Study year round, but decided to break for July and August. I will complete a Scripture Journaling class I teach next week. I’m learning (and occasionally helping to teach) Hebrew. My husband is a Christian Jew so we practice Messianic Christianity and always take the Sabbath off. I’m reading several new Christian books, too. But mostly I’m learning to focus my blog specifically on Christ’s light and sharing it with others. I can Really relate to this post! Awesome ideas!

    1. That sounds fantastic! I think these are great ideas to try anytime of year but summer gives us a great excuse to try something new! Thank you 🙂

  2. Great ideas! Thank you!

  3. First I have to say is I love how you got the three cows in the back ground of the picture because every penguin needs a fan club 🙂 You have some really neat ideas to pass the the summer hours and I can’t wait to see what you get up to next!

    1. They definitely do!! Thank you very much 🙂

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