Yesterday was the unofficial start of summer for people living in Michigan. Most of us have our vacation plans mapped out — we know where we are going and when — but how many have a spiritual plan for the summer? That’s what this blog is all about.
The truth is many folks treat their spiritual growth as optional when the weather is nice. Their spiritual temperature cools off as the temperature outside heats up. Live differently this summer!
Right now I am reading Built to Last by Jim Collins and in it he talks about the need for BHAG’s: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Businesses need them and you and I need them as well. So here are some BHAG’s you may want to consider, to keep your spiritual temperature “hot” all summer long.
Note: By definition, a BHAG is NOT a small, simple, bite-sized goal. So your first reaction to the suggestions below will probably be “there is no way.” That’s why these are Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals! So pray through this list and give some of these BHAG’s a try. If you do, I bet you’ll reach new heights on your spiritual journey by Labor Day.
- Memorization — Dallas Willard believes if you only engage in one spiritual discipline you should focus on Scripture memorization. So make a goal between now and Labor Day to memorize not just a handful of verses but a dozen or more. Maybe memorize an entire passage like Colossians 3:1-17 and/or John 15:1-17.
- Serve — Carve out time on your calendar to be a blessing to the poor and those in need. “Schedule” a serving opportunity twice a month at a soup kitchen or clothes closet but find ways to show God’s love in practical ways — big ways and small ways — every day. “God, give me eyes to see how I can show Your love TODAY…”
- Church — Make it a non-negotiable to go to church every single Sunday. Invite your friends and neighbors to join you. If you head up north on a particular weekend, find a church to attend up there.
- Give — Be radically generous with your giving this summer. When it comes to giving, you may choose to give to your local church, the single mom down the street, or any of the dozens of amazing charities that exist (like Love146) – giving to any of the above advances the Kingdom of God on earth and that is what matters most. Here’s a “giving” BHAG: calculate how much money you have budgeted to spend on yourselves for your summer vacation and do a “match” where you give the same amount to things that advance the Kingdom of God.
- Fast — Fast from all food one day a week. Maybe fast from watching TV for a month straight. Fast from Facebook all summer long. Fast from video games. Fast from surfing the internet.
In 1961, John F. Kennedy didn’t just say, “Let’s beef up our space program.” He committed to putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That was a BHAG! In the early 1900’s, Henry Ford didn’t just talk about building an affordable automobile. He dreamed of the Model T. That was a BHAG! The point is the need to aim high while being specific.
Take some time today to map out your spiritual BHAG’s for the summer. And may God used them to keep your spiritual temperature “hot” all summer long.
***Join us this Sunday at The Eastside Vineyard Church. We’ll be continuing our verse-by-verse look at the gospel of Matthew. This week is all about the Parable of the Sower, a familiar parable that we are going to dig deep into. June 3. 10:30am. More info at tevchurch.org***