What Did You Do This Summer?
For many people tonight is the eve of their return to class. For some it’s Middle School or High School and for others, the ever daunting College. This day probably comes with mixed emotions around how you will dress/begin classes to how you might climb the social ladder a few more rungs than in previous years. School is hard, even before the class work is considered and for young followers of Jesus it can be nearly impossible to find ways in public settings to talk about God without getting labeled an idiot, or worse.
One reflection you might consider this year is framing your early interactions with friends by reconsidering your answer to some variation of a common question; “What did you do this summer?” Many of us will respond as we have become accustomed to with a quick write off altogether or a pleasant, yet brief reply. However for many students that walk with the Lord this summer has been far more than, ‘fine,’ it has been incredible! Many students at Westminster Chapel have gone on mission, some to remote and impoverished places, participated in life-changing community at camps and retreats while others have made initial decisions for Christ that will change their eternity.
So when someone asks you what you did this summer I would encourage you to consider the following paradigm introduced to me by one of our elders and missions leaders at Westminster, Rich Rice. Have in your mind and heart a way to gauge an appropriate 30 second, 3 minute and 30 minute response that shares what God did in your life this summer and a way to share the Gospel with that person through your story. Sometimes you’ll misgauge the situation and go too long or short and that’s ok but having those three time lengths should remove lots of excuses we come up with in the moment and cause us to miss a chance for the start of a real conversation.
30 seconds | 3 minutes | 30 minutes
I hope you know my heart and that I’m not advocating you don’t listen to what they share about their summer or just railroad them with some scripted Gospel presentation. We should love God with everything we are and love our neighbor (ie. peers) as ourselves. Not only should you listen to what they’re saying but be open to extending your time if possible or setting up a connection time later in the day or week to keep talking. I believe that God has used many of you this summer in huge ways and He wants us to share that blessing with those around us for His glory.