Summertime is here! Between the warm weather, and sudden influx of free time, you may be wondering what to do with yourself. Well, fear not! Bible College Online is here to help you discover eight exciting, faith-centric, summer activities that will fill your schedule, and increase your faith simultaneously!
- Church Youth Camps: Many people hear “youth camp” and think of arts & crafts, story time, and maybe even a dedicated period for naps. We’re here to remind you that youth camps are so much more than just daycare and can range in size, scope, and age range depending on the church presenting the camp. Many churches organize summer camps for older youth and young adults, with specific programs that are geared toward fellowship and community building. These types of camps often include a combination of recreational activities, Bible study, worship, and community service projects. If you haven’t looked at a youth camp lately…look again!
- Mission Trips: Many religious organizations and churches offer mission trips during the summer. While the scope of these trips can vary, including location, purpose, and length of time, more often than not a mission trip involves some time away from home. Signing up for a mission trip is a great way to travel on a budget this summer, while also participating in evangelization, fellowship, and of course, charity! Whether you’re staying domestic, or headed somewhere exotic, joining a group for a mission trip is a truly life-changing endeavor that will foster your spiritual growth.
- Retreats and Conferences: Religious retreats and conferences are a summertime staple in the greater Christian community. From mega-conferences like the Steubenville Youth Conference, to day-long retreats at your local church, you’re invited to participate in a myriad of religious retreats and conferences this summer. When we say “You’re invited,” we’re not kidding. Chances are, that conference you’ve been eyeing is open to everyone. In fact, most Christian conferences and retreats welcome attendees from all walks of life, regardless of faith background. These events focus on spiritual development, worship, teaching, and fellowship, and all you have to do is pick the best one for your age, demographic, and spiritual goals!
- Leadership Development Programs: While there are certainly individuals who can be described as “born leaders,” true leadership is a skill that is learned, practiced, and refined, just like any other charism. If you’re someone interested in leadership, then a faith-based leadership development program may be the perfect fit for you. Many churches and religious groups offer leadership seminars, courses, and programs aimed to equip individuals with the leadership skills they need to thrive in religious, and secular, settings. These faith-centric programs work to provide people with a deeper understanding of their faith, and how to confidently apply that same faith to any situation requiring a leader.
- Music and Arts Programs: St. Augustine once wrote “he who sings prays twice!” Music and the arts are such an integral part of how we worship as Christians, that it would only make sense for religious communities to offer some sort of summer program dedicated to this foundational aspect of our faith. Faith-based music and art camps are designed to nurture artistic talents within a religious context, reminding us that artistic talent truly is a God-given gift. Many of these camps offer training, workshops, and performance opportunities, blending creativity and faith expression for a summer experience that is as mentally and emotionally stimulating as it is spiritually rewarding.
- Bible Camps: Take a more immersive approach to scripture by attending a Bible camp this summer! Whether you’re a Bible bookworm, or a New Testament neophyte, taking time to devote yourself to the study of scripture is a great way to develop a deeper, more personal relationship with God. There’s a reason that scripture is so foundational to the Christian faith; it fortifies, strengthens, and renews our soul, while filling us with wisdom and peace about how God moves in our lives. Bible camp is a great way to renew your love for the Word of God and enjoy a communal summer experience all in one.
- Organized Sports: Summer is the ultimate outdoor season, which of course lends itself to a vast array of physical activities. Many organized sports, especially those preparing for fall seasons, get their start in the summer. Check and see if your church or another church nearby has any leagues or teams that are available to join. Remember, sports programs aren’t just for kids…there are plenty of adult sports leagues too! If you are new to an area, or looking to expand your social circle, adult, faith-based, sports leagues can be a great way to meet new people and make new friends!
- Jobs and Internships: Getting a summer job is a tried and true method for fending off boredom, while also positively impacting your personal finances. However, there are some summer jobs that offer an additional benefit…faith formation! Getting a faith-based summer job with a religious group, or Christian organization, is a great way to build faith while also building your professional resume. There are even faith-based job websites that can help you combine your desire for a summer job with your love of God and faith. Check out ChristianJobs.com to discover the need for faith-based employees in your area!
Summertime is a great season for stepping out of your comfort zone and into some new faith-based extracurriculars.
Remember, not all faith-based activities are about studying scripture or participating in social outreach…some are just for fun! For example, while everything on this list is rooted in living out the Christian faith, a Bible camp is going to be a lot more informative than playing on a Christian sports team.
Nevertheless, participating in any faith-based activity, regardless of what it is, will help your faith to blossom and flourish this summer. Explore more faith-based activities at Bible College Online to see what Christian Colleges near you might be offering summer programs!
Have a great summer, and whatever you choose to spend your time doing, we hope it bears much fruit.