Non-young people, read this article. This certainly can also be applied to Mr. and Mrs., Mens, Ladies Societies, Bible Classes and Discussion Groups. The summer should never be a vacation from studying God’s Word. Let us be careful that our fleshly lusts and pleasures don’t shove out Bible study. Ed.
Why is it that our Young People’s Societies discontinue during the summer months? One reason given was: “We’ve always done it that way, and all the other societies in the church have, too.” I think this is a worthless tradition and should be thrown out because if tradition says to quit studying the Bible for any period of time, then it is wrong. Is the Bible less important for us in the summer? Another reason given is, “Young People’s is boring enough as it is; give us a break!” If Young People’s is distasteful, it’s not because there’s something wrong with the Word of God, but there’s something wrong with us, or our attitude toward Scripture. I’ll admit that YP’s has sometimes been dull, but then let’s improve it, not look eagerly for a chance to get away from it.
Young People’s can become wearisome to an individual when he doesn’t participate in the discussion, but just sits back and lets others do the talking. And, of course, YP’s is always a pain to those who come only because their parents make them. Our reason for attending YP’s should be because we want to and because we love God’s Word and love to discuss it with fellow saints. If this is why we come, then we won’t quit meeting during the summer months.
It’s quite inconsistent to meet for only seven months of the year and then stop for no reason at all. When my Christian friends outside of the Protestant Reformed Churches ask me why my youth group dies out in the summer, I can find no sufficient or even reasonable answer to give them. There are plenty of churches that continue all their activities all year round — they put us to shame. If we have the best manifestation of the Truth, why don’t we get excited about it? Since Arminians believe the lie and are enthusiastic about that, why aren’t we excited about the Truth — excited enough to dig into it all year through? Bible study isn’t something we should get sick of, nor is it something from which we need a vacation.
The psalmist said in Psalm 119:97, “Oh, how love I Thy Law! It is my meditation all the day.” He doesn’t say, “It is my meditation all the day, except for some time off in the summer.” Notice the exclamation mark — this is no indifferent or mediocre attitude. If we really love God’s Word, we won’t take a vacation from it. Everyone is familiar with II Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God….” Are we showing ourselves less approved to God when we cut down on our Bible study?
Well, you say, these verses only apply to personal Bible study and meditation, not to group study. Consider Psalm 133:1, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Since it’s good and pleasant, let’s do it more often! Sure, personal Bible study is important, very important, but we must not neglect Christian fellowship which is also so essential to our spiritual welfare. After all, this is the purpose of Young People’s Society. Every Sunday we confess that part of the Apostles’ Creed which says, “I believe in the communion of saints.” While we confess this in our hearts, let’s confess it in our actions too, by encouraging it and looking for every opportunity to experience it. And if we don’t find that sweet communion in YP’s, then let’s pray for it and work toward it.
Most of our church members take a few weeks of vacation from work during the summer, but in a large society, this would not severely decrease attendance. (For example, our particular society has about 40 members — willing and unwilling — and if 20 go away with their families, there are still plenty left to carry on a decent discussion.) Sure, the leader needs a break (especially if he is a pastor), but why can’t a temporary substitute be found? Or even a society member could be qualified to lead the discussion.
Young People’s Society is often formal and official with roll calls, dues, minutes, etc., and possibly it would be better to have an informal meeting for the summer. Maybe what we really need is a break from the formality itself. A group Bible study which is made up of people who come on a strictly voluntary basis will be more enjoyable and beneficial than the “regular season” meetings. I am sure.
If we still have the God-given freedom to meet publicly where and when we want for searching the Scriptures together, let’s take advantage of it! How I wish all of us would get excited over delving into God’s Word with our Christian brothers and sisters! May God so fill us with His Spirit to give us year-round enthusiasm in this day of apostate apathy!