When we talk about giving in the church, we talk about offerings. A free will offering in which we return some of what God gave us to show our gratitude.
God gave us our finances. We'll give some back.
God gave us our time. We'll give some back.
God gave us a truly beautiful summer. We'll give some...what?
What if we viewed the incredible summer we've had so far (slightly higher temperatures aside), as a gift from God, and determined to give some of it back to Him - for Him to use as He sees fit - as a sign of our gratitude and appreciation?
Take a look at the attached article from Lifeway Christian Resources to see how this premise might play out in your life.
10 Great Commission Ideas For Your Summer from Lifeway Christian Resources
Summer is at its sticky, sweltering peak. That means time for lemonade stands, pool parties, fireworks—and reaching out to your neighbors.
For much of the year, it can be difficult to deepen our relationships with neighbors after the garage doors hit the ground or the apartment doors swing shut. But as summer draws us outside, we have big opportunities to invest in relationships and share the gospel with the people who live closest to us.
In these remaining weeks of summer, how will you use this summer to connect with your neighbors and advance God's kingdom? Here are 10 practical suggestions for your summer:
1. Move to your front yard. Think about where you're more likely to see your neighbors, and then spend your free time there. Read a book or enjoy your dessert on your front step. Move the game of catch from the backyard to the front.
2. Take advantage of moving season to welcome newcomers.
3. Get a pass to the local pool.
4. Plan a barbecue or picnic. Organize a cook-out with your whole block to get conversations started. Or invite just one family over and spend an evening getting to know them. [Or go somewhere where someone has already arranged a community party/barbecue so all you have to do is show up and be your normal, charming, effervescent, hospitable self. Not sure where to find such an event? Ask around. I'm sure someone knows something. ; ) ]
5. Run a backyard Bible club.
6. Have a garden? Share your extra zucchini with the neighbors.
7. Wash your cars and offer to wash your neighbors' cars too. This is a great way to get your kids involved in serving your neighbors.
8. Start a book club. You don't even have to be reading a Christian book to start meaningful conversations about life and death or about values and beliefs.
9. Invite your neighbor along on adventures. Taking your restless kids to a museum or park? Invite a neighbor to come along.
10. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail or check on your plants while you're on vacation. That simple display of trust can deepen a relationship. When you get home, invite them over for dinner.
It's not complicated. Keep doing what you do, but do it with a little more intentionality.
Think about it.