The Dog Days Challenge

There are good days and bad days, and then there are the dog days! Dog days are that sliver of summer that begins in early July. Humidity wraps its muggy blanket around us. People retreat for some much-needed vacation, and life takes its foot off the accelerator. Other than weeds in the lawn, everything seems to slow down.

Dog days can be a tough time for churches. There is not a lot of momentum built during the dog days of summer. That's why this weekend we are throwing down the Dog Days Challenge! We are encouraging our families to press the pause button where it is needed, but not to forget the family of God. To keep our intensity hot while we are all trying to cool down, we are asking Spanish River Church to do three things: memorize, pray, and meet.

Memorize Mark 9:23. The inactivity of summer is a great time to remember the inexhaustible power of God. When a frustrated daddy used the word if with respect to Jesus' ability, our Lord was quick to correct:  And Jesus said to him, 'if you can!' All things are possible for one who believes(Mark 9:23 ESV). Like that father, my faith can falter when things get a little sluggish. I appreciate William Lane's thoughts:

"In its struggle with temptation, faith must always free itself from the disastrous presumption of doubt, in the certainty that with God nothing is impossible (Mark 10:27), and that his majesty becomes most visible when human resources have become exhausted."

Memorizing Mark 9:23 is one way to keep my eyes focused on the One who knows no slumps!

Take A Prayer Walk. We are asking our church family to take a walk around our church campus once a week during the month of July. Pray for our church and the launch of The Avenue Church, SRC's latest church plant in Delray Beach, Florida. This fall we will be looking at how we can use the best of our time, talents, and treasures to serve God locally and globally (glocally).  Ask God to prepare you and your group for the part he wants you to play.

Meet At Least Once With Your Group. The writer of Hebrews said, And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV). If there is ever a time when when we must not forget to meet, it is during the summer. So we are asking our church family to carve out some special time -- at least once in the month of July -- for a relaxed small group gathering. This might be a picnic, pool party and barbecue, or some special time to pray for and encourage one another. It is too easy to say, "Let's just reconvene in August or September." Meet together.

And if you're not a part of Spanish River Church, take on the Dog Days Challenge for your own church. Memorize Mark 9:23, take a prayer walk around your church once-a-week, and gather together with some friends from church. We all need to rest, just not from God or his people.

MY PRAYER: Lord, help me get the rest I need. But keep my intensity hot for you and for your church during the dog days of summer.