What Season Are You In?
Summer is considered playtime for many in this part of the nation as winter tends to keep us close to home and cabin fever is our shared ailment. When summer arrives we desire to run and play. While playtime is important and needed the temptation is to marginalize church life during the summer. We tend to connect when we can squeeze it in. However, our need for Christ centered community does not change. Our need to be anchored in the Kingdom should increase as the temptation to marginalize it speaks louder.
As a person who grew up in church, the most identifiable pattern of summer church life was absence. During the sunshine season churches often struggle financially, hanging by a thread and miraculous provision. They often put forth “a” costly effort in the form of sort of children’s program and that is usually about it. But what if there was a different way for us to think about our individual roles in seasons as part of the Kingdom of God? What if there was a different way for us to think about our individual roles in seasons as vital builders of our church?
The Bible teaches us about cycles in the Kingdom. There truly is such a thing as seedtime and harvest. The trouble is that many of us have never thought about ourselves as agents of the Kingdom tasked to operate in seasons much in the same way farmers do. So what if this season is the season of watering what we have planted? What if this season is your season of planting? What if this season is your season of harvest, etc. Whatever season you find yourself in the catalyst for all that we should be doing as Christ followers and members of His Kingdom should be about the harvest. We serve the God of the harvest. We do not bring seasons about but we can certainly maximize our productivity in each of those seasons! The closer we get to Christ the more transformed our heart and mind should be into His heart and mind. In other words we should be thinking like Jesus more and more. What matters to Him should matter to us in an ever-increasing fashion. We should be taking stock of what our responsibilities in specific seasons should be.
22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
When it is time to prepare the soil for planting and seeding are we actually cultivating relationships through conversation and invitation? This season is about creating patterns of intentionality with our efforts cooperating with God’s heart. We pray in faith, we act, we pray some more, and repeat.
In times where we should be seeding, watering, and weeding what we have planted are we taking the time to let people into community that comes from Christ by extending friendship and sharing more of our journey with people? This kind of effort paves the way for discipleship as people begin to acquire a sense of belonging and can see that we want them to be a real part of community. This is the period where others can begin to observe the deeper things of Christ at work in you. Jesus becomes real in a way that causes people to want more.
When the season shifts to harvest time are we working like farmers do to bring in the harvest and see it through? Remember my friends that the God of the harvest loves us and daily empowers us to see each part of the process through. In seasons of harvest we bring people into the Kingdom by leading them to Christ and introducing them through a discipleship process and/or connecting them to others who will walk with them through it. In each season we learn about ourselves and the God of the Seasons at least as much as we do about the process itself.
Winter seasons are often when it appears that not much is happening. The fields seem like they are not producing anything anytime soon. Like an orchard in winter the trees are growing deeper roots. In these seasons we need to go deeper with Jesus. Growing our roots deeper is an adventure in and of itself. These seasons should be given to feasting on God’s faithfulness by recalibrating on digging into the Word, inviting the Holy Spirit to examine our hearts for course correction and a renewed sense of personal holiness, and pursuing a fresh encounter with the Lord. As we do these things recognize the activity of the Holy Spirit and His gifts in each of us that He wants to develop. By growing deeper when seasons shift we will be renewed, strengthened, and ready to go!