Guide to a Faith-Filled Summer
Our three-month plan for living your faith:
- Commit to reading one Christian novel during the month. Either read it alone or find a friend or two to read it along with you.
- At the beginning of the month, place an empty jar on your dresser. At the end of each day, toss the change from your pocket into the jar. At the end of the summer, put the change in your checking account and then write a check (or make a debit card payment) for this amount to a charity or mission organization of your choice.
- Read the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15:11-32. Rewrite the parable with a modern setting and told from the perspective of the lost son—imagine that you are the lost son or daughter. Rewrite it again, this time imagining that you are the son/daughter who never left.
- Put prayer requests in your online calendar or cell phone calendar. Set the alarm to go off each day at a different time for each request. Say a quick prayer each time the alarm goes off. Use this prayer method throughout the summer.
- Find out when your church plans to hold its Vacation Bible School. Volunteer to teach or help out.
- Read one psalm each day of the month. Highlight one verse in each psalm that's especially meaningful to you. After reading 30 psalms, go back and reread each verse you highlighted. Pick one verse to memorize.
- Sit down close to the water on a sandy beach and read Matthew 7:24-27 several times. Then write verse 26 in the sand and try to memorize it before the waves wash it away. Keep writing the verse until you've memorized it. Ask yourself: What can I do to make sure I am building my life on solid rock?
- While riding in the car, on your summer mission trip or during downtime at home, play 20 Questions—using characters taken from the Bible.
- Read the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Ask yourself: How can I be a Good Samaritan to someone in need—and someone I wouldn't normally help? Before the month ends, do something to show God's love to this person.
- Ask your youth pastor, pastor or church secretary for a list of missionaries in your church. Spend time online reading about the places where these missionaries serve. If available, read the web pages or current blogs written by these missionaries. Say a prayer for each missionary, focusing on a specific need.
- With friends or your family, brainstorm a group volunteer project you could do together before school starts.
- Dig deeply into Philippians by using a study Bible with background material and commentary notes. (Some study Bibles to check out: The Student Bible, NLT Student Life Application Study Bible, NKJV Study Bible.)
- Commit to reading the Gospel of Mark this month. When you complete a chapter, ask yourself: What does this chapter show me about Jesus? What can I learn from this chapter? What have I read that I can apply?
- Spend time thinking about last school year. Who is one person you need to forgive? Who is one person you need to pray for? Who is one person you could share Christ with this year?
- Over a period of 10 days, pray daily for two or three non-Christian friends, asking God to show you how you can reach out to them in the coming school year.
- With some youth group friends, have a film fest to watch or re-watch the redemptive winners of our Golden Nacho Awards (see Ignite's print edition). After each, talk about what makes the movie redemptive. (Get your parents' permission before watching any of these movies.)
- Read these passages (one passage a day), looking for character qualities you'd like to develop in your own life: Proverbs 24, Psalm 1, Matthew 25:31-36 and Ephesians 5:1-7. Write down two or three practical steps you can take to work on a quality found in the passage you read.
Go outside with a candle, matches and your Bible. Read Matthew 5:14-16 three times. Light the candle. Watch as the flame bounces in the breeze. If there isn't a breeze, blow gently on the candle. Ask yourself: What should I be doing to let my light shine? How can I keep my flame from blowing out or wavering this coming school year?