Embracing the Season

In Ecclesiastes, God reminds us that there is a time for everything. But all too often we think that the time for everything is NOW.

Figuring out which season of ministry we are in can help us to seize the moments and opportunities that are passing but also to practice contentment in what God has called us to in the here and now.

With all it’s joys and struggles, this season will end and another will begin with new opportunities and challenges. So, let us invest intentionally, passionately, in whatever God has put before us in this season.

SPRING – Preparation
Characteristics:
⦁ Fast growth, lots of new experiences to put new faith lessons into action
⦁ Lots of energy put into learning
⦁ Tools for ministry are being developed, takes patience

Remember that:
⦁ We only become proficient with tools by USING THEM
⦁ God calls all believers to be invested in eternal things,
⦁ God honors humility – humility will yield fruit in season

Things to think about:
⦁ How am I putting myself in a place to develop the gifts God has given me and the tools to use them?
⦁ How am I investing in eternal things while I am learning?
⦁ How am I exhibiting humility and teachability? Have a sought out a mentor and what questions am I asking?

SUMMER – Bearing Fruit
Characteristics:
⦁ Higher demands in ministry
⦁ More opportunities for greater Kingdom impact
⦁ Opportunities often met with feelings of inadequacy

Remember that:
⦁ God uses everything in your past to prepare you for what He has for you in the present
⦁ God may give more opportunities than He intends us to take – simply to give us the privilege of making choices
⦁ God is the one who makes you adequate and will multiply the small gift you bring to do something great

Things to think about:
⦁ What things has God put in place in your life to help you discern which opportunities are best for you to take, barring a clear leading from the Lord? Who have you sought out to help you discern?
⦁ As you take inventory of your past, what things has God brought to mind that He may want to use that you hadn’t thought of?
⦁ Where does your identity lie? How do you know? What evidence supports this?

AUTUMN – Investing in the Future
Characteristics:
⦁ Need to back off of high demand responsibilities due to changing energy levels, responsibilities with parents, or other life changes
⦁ Increased ability to have a “birds eye view” of the cycles of ministry and life that enable you to speak wisdom into the lives of younger women
⦁ Temptation to believe that we are no longer having a Kingdom impact because we aren’t immersed in the details
Remember that:
⦁ You are among the greatest Kingdom cheerleaders because you see more than others see and can speak from experience. Your words have great weight.
⦁ The leaders in the center of the action aren’t necessarily the ones with the greatest impact. The leaders who are pouring into those leaders are the ones who wield the greatest influence.
⦁ Investing in a few strategic people can change the lives of thousands. God has a calling on your life until the moment He calls you home.
Things to think about:
⦁ Who are you cheerleading? How are you being intentional about pouring courage into them as they stand on the front line? Give me names and strategies 12
⦁ What do you see from your “birds eye view” that someone on the front line might benefit from knowing? How are you seeking God’s wisdom in how to handle that information?
⦁ When you feel tired and want to “retire” what truths do you remind yourself of?
⦁ How are you actively encouraging others in the “autumn” season to continue intentionally investing in ministry?

WINTER – Trusting In the God Behind the Scenes
Characteristics:
⦁ Doesn’t necessarily come in chronological order after Autumn and often is unanticipated
⦁ Can come from circumstances outside our control or sometimes from our choices
⦁ A time of being unable to see the fruit in our lives or ministries, either because something is preventing us from seeing it or because God is asking us to wait for it to be “in season” (Ps 1:3)
⦁ May feel like a time in the dessert because it is difficult to sense God’s presence and He seems distant
Remember that:
⦁ God uses this “Winter” or dessert experiences to accomplish His work in us. Sometimes He is refining through His discipline. Sometimes it is calling us into deeper dependence through pressing further into our relationship with Him. (Ps 86:3-7)
⦁ Just like trees in the winter, there is often movement and life processes happening under the surface where we can’t see them. Walking in faith means trusting that God will bring visible fruit in His timing (Phil 1:6)
⦁ God wastes nothing. Every difficult experience, pain or trial He will use to accomplish what He wants to do (Rom 8:28)
Things to think about:
⦁ Are there things that I have done or things that I am not doing that are contributing to the distance I feel between my Lord and I? What is Jesus calling me to be faithful to in this season? What would He call success?
⦁ Do I have someone in my life, whose walk with the Lord I respect and who is objective, to help me get a truer perspective?
⦁ Am I willing to walk through this winter season of little visible fruit if the Lord asks?
⦁ How regularly am I surrendering it to Him in prayer, inviting His presence into a situation that seems futile?

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Cor 15:58

About the Author:

I’m so glad you are here! I hope you’ll find our time together refreshing and invigorating. My name is Coletta Smith. I’ve been a Pastor’s wife for 23 years now – and I love it. I haven’t loved every moment of it – and that’s some of what has motivated me to create this blog – there are a lot of struggles that are unique to ministry and pastor’s families.

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