Summer… a time for beach trips, pools, lakes, vacations, spontaneous road trips, and SLEEP. In college, it’s easy to look at the summer as a vacation from everything. No school. No tests. No homework. No schedule. No studying. Did I say no school? Sure, vacations are needed. Rest is even biblical. However, many college students watch summer come and go and miss out on making a difference in God’s Kingdom.
James 4:14, Job 14:5, and Psalm 139:16 teach us that our days are numbered. We only have a certain number of days ordained by God on earth. We can talk about the theology of this later, but this means every day that goes by is one less day in our stack of days. Ephesians 5:15-16 says, 15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you live—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. A question you have to answer is: “How am I going to use the days God has given me?”
If you’re a typical college student, you have somewhere between 4 to 6 summers from the time you graduate high school to the time you graduate college and get a “real” job. Because of summer classes and internships, sometimes it’s more like 2 to 3 summers, which comes out to 270 days (give or take). This is a special time you will never get back and will never have again. So how you should you make the most of this time?
1) Recharge Biblically
Semesters in school can be exhausting. Because of this, it can be tempting to veg out all summer binge-watching Netflix, playing hours of Xbox, or sleeping the days away. This may amount to some form of rest, but these actions will not recharge you spiritually. When Jesus walked the earth, He often made a point to pull away from the crowds to spend time with the Father. We see this in Luke 5:16.
Use the summer as a time re-focus your heart and mind on your relationship with the Lord. Maybe the semester was so busy you neglected serious time in God’s word and in prayer. Use the summer to get back on track and recharge biblically.
2) Serve Generously
In Mark 10:35-45, we see Jesus’ heart for serving. Verse 45 says Jesus came to the earth to serve and to give His life away. Serving marked Jesus’ life, and it should mark your life as well.
How can you serve this summer? There are many Christian camps and mission organizations around the country designed for college students during the summer. But what if you’re just in your hometown working a normal summer job? How can you serve? Find ways at your local church. Talk to a pastor and tell them you want to help. This may mean showing up early on Sunday morning, leaving late, or helping the church staff during the week. The opportunities are out there. You just need to find them.
3) Fellowship Regularly
“Party on!” That’s not what we’re talking about. At the end of Acts 2, we see the early church’s commitment to several actions. Fellowship is one of those actions. The early Christians knew the importance of living the Christian life in community.
During the school semester it is easy to get out of the habit of attending ministry events, small groups, and having intentional spiritual conversations. Between class, homework, school events, work, and everything else, it’s easy to let priorities get out of whack. Use the summer to change that. Be intentional about biblical fellowship and community. This doesn’t mean you have to talk about the Bible at every conversation, but it does mean you should intentionally and consistently have those conversations. Use the summer to grow spiritually with other believers through regular times of fellowship. Be committed to gathering with your church. Be committed to a small group. Look for opportunities outside of the normal church gathering to have biblical fellowship.
There are many ways for you to make this summer count. We’ve just mentioned a few. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. However, it does mean you should think intentionally about how you use your time and money. Use it for the Kingdom! God wants to use you and grow you. Make your summer count!