This is more of a post for pastors, church planters or itinerant ministries. Yet, it still could apply to us as individuals. With the seasons changing, God gives us a visual picture about change. Unless you live in tropical south or another part of the country, you can see it all around us. The leaves change color, the wind begins to pick up a bit, the temperature drops, (or is supposed to anyway.) But its key within the life of the church to understand the times and seasons we are in. We must be aware of both the season of change that comes into our lives that is initiated by God and we also must be aware of the season of stability and growth. The season you are in will deter main a lot of things such as what type of clothes you wear, how you prepare for the elements, or even the frame of mind you get into. Don’t get caught in a particular season unprepared or underdressed. I wanted to post this question to pastors and church planters today, do you know the season you’re in?
Most church plants start in a season of spring time. The ground is fertile, the air is fresh and excitement is in the air for newness of life. You can tell a church is in a spring season when there is lots of new birth, new Christians are brought into the flock and there is a great need for spiritual parenting, oversight and feeding off of the word of God. Church planters can sometimes get caught up within the programming of church, yet they need to keep in mind the season they are in. New believers need close discipleship. In a season of spring it may not be appropriate to lock yourself away for much study of the word or theological training. You might just need to let the spring wind carry you in this season. Spring season is a time of excitement, buzz and relationships forming.
Could it be that you are in a summer season of spiritual life? Could it be time to shed the layers that might have kept you warm all winter or spring long? Summer is a season where the church might have to thin out the programs that aren’t bearing fruit. We might need to shed unnecessary weight, loose a few pounds of the way we do things or patterns that aren’t working well. Summer can be a time of re-evaluating our mission, ministry and time. We all know how hot Summer can be so it can also be a time of testing, a time where we are put under the heat of the finger of God’s Spirit wooing us to come up to a higher level. In order to come up higher, we must first shed that which we have to leave behind.
Our current season in the natural is fall or autumn. I tend to see this season as the most active out of them all for some reason. It could be because of the holiday’s approaching, or it could be because of the supernatural activity that seems to be in high levels in this season. Either way, a season of fall in your church can be an active season, a mature season and a time which we must stay on our guard. The more activity happening in your church, the more prophetic insight and prayer is required to cover the congregation. Activity is good, its a sign of life and that God is moving in the church. People are gathering together, hanging out more often, fellowshipping and growing in Christ. When all this happens, keep your spiritual antenna high and stay alert. It’s not the season to rest…just yet.
Winter is a season of rest. The church slows down its activities. People begin to hunker down for the cool months. Things begin to die, old ways of thinking. People wake up to the fact they need to change and really begin to put roots down. Winter seasons are for churches that have been in existence for a while now and have reached a place where they can raise up leadership and others to take the reign while some of the other leaders can rest, recreate and be refreshed for the next season.
Of course sometimes these seasons are all happening simultaneously in the life of a church, or a church may be in two out of the four seasons. But as sure as day turns to night, we will always have the seasons in our lives. They are a clear reminder and a visual picture of a spiritual reality that we must be aware of as leaders of our families, home and churches. Take time to evaluate which season of church you’re in. Are you in Spring? Are you prepared for this season? Do you have the proper clothing on? Do a check and take it to the Lord in prayer, you might find some great understanding and clarity to this season of ministry you are in.