It’s “summertime, and the living is easy,” says a song. Certainly this time of year affords new opportunities for individuals and families. A new poll showed that “half of U.S. adults (50 percent) are likely to take at least one vacation this summer.”

For Christians, in addition to leisure plans, summertime means more daylight and often more opportunities in life. To that end, I will offer a few summer ideas you could consider, using the acronym G-O-A-L-S.

Go to church. As society emerges from the long-term effects of the pandemic, we need church attendance to pick back up. With summer vacations, ballgames and other plans, it’s easy to let church attendance slip in the summer. This summer of all summers, make church attendance a priority for you and your family.

Open a book. The old joke says that the three best parts of school are “June, July and August.” Yes, summer can be a time we let our learning slip. Choose this year instead to dive into a book this summer. It could be classics like C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” or Corrie Ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place,” or something else. Above all, keep your daily Bible readings going.

Activate yourself. The Bible says “bodily exercise is of some profit” and godliness is profitable in every way (1 Tim. 4:8). Whether it be a daily exercise routine or just taking outings to the park, find ways to stay active this summer. When we grow slothful in our bodies, we risk growing slothful in our spiritual lives as well.

Lift up prayers. Falls Creek, CrossTimbers, VBS, mission trips. These are just a few vital activities that are coming back, after the summer 2020 hiatus. The Bible tells us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) and to “make your petitions known to God” (Phil. 4:6). Take time each day to intercede for others. Pray for your pastor, your church, lost people, the sick and for those impacted by these unique seasonal ministries, believing God will hear and answer.

Share the Gospel. Paul gave these instructions to Timothy: “preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). This summer, be ready for those “in season” opportunities to share the Gospel with someone, such as during VBS at your church. Also, pray and look for those “out of season” opportunities to share Jesus, such as front porch conversations with your neighbors.

These are just a few goals, a few ideas for summer 2021. In the Amplified Bible, it says this of Eph. 5:16, “making the very most of your time (on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence), because the days are (filled with) evil.”

When this summer concludes, we want to have great vacation photos and great memories to show for it. But even more, we want to look back and see the great things God has taught us, the great things He has done. That way, it truly will have been a summertime when the living is pleasing… to God.