Ecclesiastes says that everything has a season (If the Byrd’s song is now running through your head, you are not alone). Solomon may have been talking about an overview of life circumstances, but as we shift into a brand new season of the year we may be able to take the metaphor a bit more literally.
At my house, the entire rhythm of the house shifts for summer—work, school, time with friends, neighbors. They days get longer, and the weather invites you to be outside more. It’s time to start packing for the trips you’ve been thinking about. We get pretty specific at this time and pull out a calendar at dinner and number the weekends in our summer to make sure we use them wisely.
As the seasons change in your home, they also are changing in your FX. Summer is a different experience for all families. What are you doing to adjust your schedule and take advantage of the season at hand? Some churches shut down their FX for the summer. This can be necessary because the volunteers and the audience you usually depend on are traveling and focused on a wide variety of other activities. The time off can also help rebuild the anticipation and enthusiasm for that very first FX in the fall.
Or, maybe you are using the summer to plan for fall. You have time for longer creative meetings. You have time to build set pieces you’ve been imagining. You may have more time to get out into your community and recruit new volunteers. Summer is a perfect opportunity to form new relationships with organizations that you may not have time to cultivate during the other seasons. What community theatres or college summer shows are going on? Go see where audiences are gathering in county fairs, and bouncy houses, and baseball fields. Talk with families. Watch what kids are responding to around your neighborhood.
If you are continuing to produce an FX through the summer, maybe it’s time to change the rhythm. What can you change about the environment to make it feel like a different experience for your audience? How can you use the event to reach families you wouldn’t ordinarily contact? Maybe you could change the location to a local pool, or change the meeting time to a nearby park. Some churches have contacted local papers or news organizations to cover an event. This kind of publicity can capture the eyes and ears of families who may not know what you are doing to partner with families.
Or maybe your change of seasons is more personal. Maybe in the rush of a weekly or monthly FX you are finding yourself running out of fresh ideas. What recharges you? Go to a museum, or travel, or change your schedule to give yourself some new inspiration. Take time to evaluate your personal ministry and your relationships. Make sure you invest in yourself so you can have enough reserve to serve others.
Celebrate this change of seasons. Whether it’s a new way to do what you are already doing, or taking time to reevaluate how your ministry is focused and implemented, take some time to adjust and enjoy.