Live Second

Simple Tips for Making the Best of Your Summer

Doug Bender

June 09, 2022 | 2 minute read

School is out. The sun is up. And the calendar wiggles free of some of the usual busy constraints. Welcome to summer! But how do you make the most of these precious summer months? Follow these simple tips and you’ll be spiritually refreshed for whatever life throws at you come fall .

Give Back

It’s true that summer is the time when people tend to take time off for themselves to relax, vacation and read that book they’ve been trying to get to. But the human psyche is built to give, not just take. We are mentally, emotionally and spiritually happier when we are helping others. So take some time for yourself this summer, but also schedule a time to volunteer or help someone in need. Jesus taught people that it is “better to give than receive.” You’ll find that giving some of your energy to others can really recharge your batteries.

Schedule a Spiritual Retreat Day

Save one of your personal days this summer to renew the spiritual side of you. You don’t need to find an official retreat to sign into. Just design your own. Camp out at a coffee shop, a park or even your backyard with your Bible, a prayer journal and a book. Use the time to focus on God. To really amp up this time you can do a liquid-only lunch (the Bible calls this fasting) to help you focus on the non-material part of you. 

Plan a Bible Discussion Night

Invite a few friends over for dinner. Make something special, order pizza or do a potluck – whatever works for you and your crowd. Let them know you want the evening to include a discussion time on a spiritual topic and/or Bible passage. We’ve designed a number of free discussion guides just for this purpose. They pair with your favorite I Am Second film and give you guided questions that walk you through a related Bible passage. 

Start a Thankfulness Group Text

Invite a couple of friends to join you for a thankfulness group text. Each day (or as often as you think about it) text what you’re thankful for that day. Big or small, share what you are grateful for. You’ll see how easy cheer can spread when everyone focuses on the good things in life. (Funny tip: A friend of mine does this and occasionally will send a random text that says “Happy New Year” because iPhone users then receive a flurry of fireworks across their screens.) 

If you are an official member of the I Am Second community (it’s free and awesome, by the way), you also have access to the I Am Second Forum. We have a thread for people to share their victories, those good things you’ve seen God do through you. It’s another great place to share some of that thankfulness.  

Connect with Friends and Nature

This one is a bit more general, but I’ll give it to you anyway because it is super important. Dedicate a part of your schedule this summer to getting some extra friend & sun time outside. Life gets busy, and it’s easy to just shuffle back and forth from one obligation to the next. But let the summer be a time where you reconnect with friends and nature. It’s good for the soul.


Take these few tips and make the most of your summer. And if you find something useful, share it with a friend.

Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

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