SUMMER 2013 THE VISION FOR LIFE GROUPS Meet as a Life Group at least three times (once a month) during the summer to stay purposefully connected. Have no official agendas or formal lessons…just relationships. Plan at least one guys/girls night out…just for good, clean fun. THE VISION FOR YOU PERSONALLY Summer is a natural time of rest that a wise believer (in any context) takes to be refreshed not only physically but spiritually as well. Spiritual refreshment and renewal is not necessarily the absence of activity, but rather a deeper drawing into the presence of God. It is a season of deliberate focus on hearing and receiving from the Lord, a process of regaining and recapturing true Sabbath rest. You can take a breather from the craziness of life and still miss spiritual revival. Ways to be spiritually refreshed may include: Visiting a place of outdoor, natural beauty that displays the glory of God. Taking a personal retreat day (without technology) to simply be in the presence of God, to listen and worship. Finding a place to be both alone and silent before the Lord for a few minutes during a busy day. Taking time to journal, writing as if you were talking face-to-face with God. Practicing various spiritual disciplines: fasting, confession, studying or meditating on scripture, pursuing simplicity, celebration, etc. (see Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster). Reading a good fictional book. MAKE IT PERSONAL 1. What are some simple yet fun things your group can do together this summer to stay intentionally connected? Who might be willing to organize or coordinate these things? What dates realistically work best for your group? 2. On the issue of spiritual refreshment, how would you rate your need for rest and renewal as you head into the summer season? What are one or two things you might be willing to commit to in order to purposefully pursue that needed refreshment? PRACTICE IT NOW As a group, take time to make at least a tentative summer plan. Talk about how often you would like to gather and what kinds of activities you can enjoy together as you maintain a measure of connectedness. Take the necessary step of designating a person or couple to organize and communicate regarding a specific activity that is discussed. Remember: the focus is on building relationships, on having fun while encouraging each other and staying in contact.