Summer offers a different pace of life for most of us and life at church is no different. Even preachers need vacation, meaning that pulpits everywhere are filled with unfamiliar faces.
In many such churches, summer relief comes from associate staff, offering an excellent opportunity for youth pastors, worship pastors, and other such leaders to have their voice heard by the congregation. Many such leaders prefer not to preach, for reasons of giftedness, but the benefits related to the congregation hearing from their staff members might be enough to outweigh any such concerns. Hearing associates preach is a good way build confidence in the ministries of these under-appreciated co-laborers. Given that many churches have only one main preaching opportunity each week, summer is a good time to be able to utilize people who would not normally have an opportunity. It may also provide opportunity for younger, emerging leaders to get an opportunity to test their gifts.
With smaller crowds in the summer it is tempting to throttle back and lower expectations, but we need to remember that the people who come are as interested in hearing from God in July as they are in January. In addition, the presence of visiting family members (many of whom don’t know the Lord) and worshipers from other locales, is further motivation for giving of our best.
It may be possible that the more relaxed approach to worship afforded by the summer could provide the preacher with opportunities to explore a wider preaching palate. Might this be a time to try a new narrative technique or to experiment with note-less preaching? You might learn some things you will want to carry over into the fall.
Summer also provides an opportunity for preachers to plan, read, and get ahead on their preparation for their preaching in the fall. Wise preachers use the time well.
So here’s to some great preaching in your church this summer, whether done by you or someone else. May many be blessed by the Word of God in these weeks to come.