Hi friends, church leaders, and TBC members:
Here are some quick thoughts/tips around the fast approaching summer and how you can have an enjoyable, restful, and strong summer season —
First and foremost, I am so excited to get some much needed rest this summer season. Lauren and I are missing church back-to-back for the first time since we started The Block Church in the fall of 2014. This wasn’t a request from our elders, rather a loving mandate. So, we are taking some time in July and getting out of dodge. We have some exciting things happening in our church over the summer, but especially in the fall as we prepare to launch our 3rd location in Philly. I know the stretch of a 3rd site, so I am taking very seriously the need to press for more health emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I’m pumped for our staff, Location Pastors, and Elders to lead well for a few weeks without me too. And let’s be honest, they’ll have more fun while I’m gone. 🙂
So, I wanted to write this article and shoot some tips around having a great summer for you personally and for our churches. In our church (The Block Church), we have been declaring 2018 as the YEAR OF OVERFLOW and that means the summer too, not just the high times of church or business. This past Sunday we baptized 50 people in our church on Memorial Day Weekend, it was so special for us. This begs the question, why can’t we grow and increase even in the midst of a traditional “slump time?” It’s the year of overflow, so let’s treat it and believe for it as such!
Let me touch base on CHURCH first and some PERSONAL second.
For The Block, we are preparing for some mighty things in the fall, but it will take a strong final quarter of our year to accomplish these goals. We’ve asked and are still asking our church to do three things this summer, here they are:
- Take a GENEROUS step. If you don’t currently give, consider practicing generosity through your local church during these 90 days of summer (June/July/August) and see what God will do in and through you. IF you are a 1%, 2%, 5% giver, consider taking it up a notch and moving a percentage or moving towards complete Biblical obedience of tithing (10%). Try it for 90 days and give God a chance to prove Himself. If you’re a tither, why not try “above and beyond” giving during this season? Pray about it. We notice that most people can’t afford to give until they do. And as they start to give, they realize they can’t afford NOT to give. We ascribe to what I believe is the best teaching on generosity, watch here: The Blessed Life.
- AUTOMATE your GIVING. While the summer is a great time to enjoy the shore, the pool, and important vacations, the KINGDOM work and the church you love still goes on. We’re asking our church, I’m asking you to consider automating your giving so that when you’re not here, the church you love doesn’t suffer. Automating your giving simply means setting up recurring giving online through your ACH or personal card. Thank you for considering this so that bills are paid, staff is covered, ministry is executed, and lives continue to transform. Here’s our giving page: GIVE.
- PREPARE to Launch the Northeast and market DFW. On September 30th, our 4 year anniversary, we will take a special offering that day and attempt to pay for our new locations first year of rent as well as market our DFW community through advertising and getting the word out. This offering is an “above and beyond” sacrificial gift to reach more people for Jesus. People will give their life to Christ as we give a sacrificial offering to God. Personally, I’m skipping going to one of the Eagles game this year and giving that money in exchange (on top of my normal tithes, which Lauren and I will be giving 16% of our income away starting on our 6th wedding anniversary) as my sacrificial gift. We hope to raise $30k that day. God will do it!
If you go to The Block Church, would you consider joining us in these 90 days of OVERFLOW?! The summer can be a time of natural concern or anxiousness as a church leader, but we want to be proactive in avoiding unnecessary stress while also trusting God for all He desires to do through us. If you’re a church leader and are looking for a way to stay financially strong during the summer, leverage these ideas to reach MORE people for Jesus by having a strong financial summer.
Personally — Here are a few things you can do to have a summer of OVERFLOW in your life:
- Slow down. Your family and your spirit need a recalibration. The summer is the perfect time to shut down, refocus, and rest. Give yourself a couple weeks off from your current project if possible and give yourself room to get the creative juices flowing again. Slowing down means many different things to many different people, so define what it means to you and use the summer to fill up the gas tank. You’re going to need it soon.
- Reevaluate. June and July marks month 6 and 7 of the year. If you created some goals in January, the summer is a great time to evaluate and reevaluate as to where you’re at with these goals. Do you need to adjust, make new goals, plan to catch up, get some accountability to meet these goals, or throw out your goals and start over? The summer is a great time to reevaluate.
- Play Ball. We know the summer is typically the meat of baseball season. While you may not be a baseball fan, all teams and families can benefit from some healthy competition and fun. I think the summer is a great time to play, to get out of your normal routine, and spark some synergy at home or at work. Take your team to a baseball game, go bowling with your staff, take the team to the beach for the day, or simply be spontaneous! I think the same goes with your family or in dating your spouse. You don’t have to spend money to have fun, but get out of your normal routine and laugh.
- Investment Season. The summer is one of the best times to build relational equity with your staff, clients, direct reports, or team. I highly recommend leveraging the weather to work outside or throw work to the side and strive to build relationships as things are slower. For us, in our church, we are doing “after parties” for 8 weeks in the summer after our last Sunday night service of the day to intentionally build relationships. If you’re a parent, get to the games and practices you wouldn’t normally go to, do ice cream or water ice, and simply be present relationally. It’s the best season to build deeper relationships.
- Plan. While it takes some work to plan, it takes much more work to execute. The summer is a great time to get ahead on planning your fall and winter. Each summer, I like to start listening to God for what our WORD for the year will be in January. I’m even starting to listen to God about what kind of financial sacrifices or investments I can make as the fall is approaching. Many days I’m taking notes, I’m scratching ideas, and I’m jotting thoughts for the next season all throughout the summer. I’m doing this with Lauren as we plan our getaway in December, with our staff as we plan our fall, and even personally as I evaluate Joey Furjanic Ministries outside writing and preaching opportunities.
- Stay committed and show honor. The summer is an easy time to hide and hope you fade into oblivion with some of your current responsibilities. I would encourage you and remind you that every season is a seed (including the summer) and you will reap what you sow. While it’s necessary to get away and might be part of your routine, it’s still important to communicate and occasionally tend to your commitments. If you give, don’t stop just because it’s summer and you’re not around. If you serve, but are away, communicate early on and give your leaders time to cover your area. Help them do it too. Even when gone, stay engaged with friends and life. We have the internet, use it.
So there you have it. Some great ways to experience a summer of overflow. I’m sure I missed a few, so if you have some, comment below and let me know!