Summertime!! And the Livin's Easy?!

Summer 2023 is in full swing! Our family has been in summer mode for several weeks (our kids get out of school earlier than most). For most families though, summer just began. Summer is my favorite season by a long shot. But summer has presented some new challenges as our kids have grown and entered school. How do you keep twin 7-year-old boys busy all day without school?! We’re still figuring that out in our house. But in the midst of the fun and the challenge of summer schedules, there are some great opportunities for discipleship with our kids that are easy to do and will fit into some activities you’re already doing.

A couple of weeks ago, we sent out our monthly parent email (if you’re not getting that you can sign up HERE). In that email, we talked about the importance of discipleship in the summer and suggested using trips to the library for the purposes of discipleship. The basic idea is to choose a day and time to regularly visit the library. During each visit, get to know the librarians who are working. Get to know their names and a bit about their lives. Have your kids serve them through acts of kindness and generosity. If your family is anything like mine, this is fairly easy to do since we are at the library 2-3 times a week. Since I suggested this idea in our email I figured we should give it a try in our own family. I sat down with my kids and explained that we were going to do something kind for the librarians every Friday when we go to the library. I asked if they would like to make some thank you cards for the first week. I was surprised by how excited they were! We spent some time making the cards and last Friday we dropped them off and said thank you to all of the librarians working in the Galloway library. They were all so excited to get the cards! I was not sure what to expect from the idea but it worked out very well and my kids have already been asking what we are going to do this week. These conversations have offered the opportunity to talk about why we are being kind to the librarians. We have been able to talk about showing love to others because Jesus loved us first, what it means to serve others because Jesus served us, and how we can use acts of kindness to tell others about Jesus. It’s been a fun, easy, and natural way to be kind and talk to our kids about Jesus.
I am not telling you that story to brag. Believe me, staying focused on something like this in the summer is tough for us. I am sharing this story in the hopes it is an example of how simple family discipleship can be. Frankly, I was surprised at how easy and effective the library idea was! There are plenty of other great opportunities like this. If you live in a neighborhood, you could set up a lemonade stand on a hot day and give out drinks for free. Use this as an opportunity to meet your neighbors or get to know them better. You could go for a walk around your town with your kids and pray for the houses you see or for the public workers (police, fire, EMS, public works, local government, etc). This is a great opportunity to talk about the service that these folks offer your family and how important it is to cover them in prayer. You could go for a bike ride around your neighborhood or over at Forsythe. Use this time to talk about God’s creation and the beauty he has placed here for his glory and our enjoyment. This would be a great opportunity to talk more about Pastor Dan’s sermon from this past Sunday if you have older kids. You could invite the family of one of your kid's friends to join you at the beach or pool for the day. This is an awesome opportunity to get to know your kid's friends and to build relationships that can lead to sharing the gospel. Each of these ideas are ways to use activities that you are likely already involved in for the purposes of discipleship.

What I am hoping to highlight today is that family discipleship doesn’t have to be an intimidating, intensely serious Bible study out of your ESV bible. Discipleship is teaching our kids what it means to follow Jesus and showing them ways to do that. It is about setting an example of right action and repentance when we do wrong. Showing our kids how our faith applies to our day-to-day life is how we begin to show them that God isn’t a far away God, he is present with us in our lives. This type of discipleship is how we teach our children to evangelize and share Jesus with others through showing love and kindness to those around them. Our call as parents is to teach our kids who Jesus is and what it looks like to follow him. Join us this summer as we do our best to utilize our day-to-day activities to fulfill that call.

Josh Cervone