I live in Southern California so we don’t have seasons. Well, we do but I think we just skip the crappy ones. Just like how every year we have the seasons and they change, every ministry leader will go through seasons as well.

I am entering into a new season.

New dad.

Incomplete team.

Learning how to be a dad and husband in ministry.

Every ministry and pastor has season in which they ebb and flow from and they all look different but essentially they all fall into 3 same types of seasons. I think it is impossible to run at the same speed the entire time you are in your role. 1) You will die 2) the people who are with you will you will be tired or frustrated and 3) it’s just not wise.

A mature leader is able to self-evaluate which season mindset they need to be in.

If you can’t, you will be in rut, run yourself down or never be able to move past what is blocking you. You will go crazy if you don’t identify it. So what season are you in?

Taking new ground – I don’t know about you, but my personality is the type in which I do not like the status quo. I’m constantly looking to the future and working on things in order to get to the goals in which we have set. You know this season, things are rolling! Your team is full, your leaders are the right people and they get the vision and they are doing what you need them to do. Students are excited and inviting people and a bunch of new people are coming to your service.

You really are taking new ground.

This is a fun season and it is easy to know God is working.

Building – This one, not so much. During building seasons, it is not as easy to “see” God moving like in the taking ground seasons. But we do need to know and identify WHEN we need to be in a building season. Somethings that you would want to be in a building season with your group are:

  • If there is something in which you know you need to change.
  • When you know you need to rearrange your methodology or approach.
  • Casting new vision and direction in your ministry.
  • When you see something unhealthy going on and needing to change course and rearrange.

Just to name a few. Building seasons are tough but needed.

You can’t take new ground unless you build something to sustain the growth.

There is no way we can run at “take new ground” speed in a building season. You will run thin and run tired. Knowing that you need to be in a building season will help keep you sane. Knowing you won’t really see the things happening ¬†right away (but don’t be mistaken, God is moving even when we don’t see it) our human-side can get down in the building seasons.

Whether that is recruiting new leaders, re-training the ones you have so they do what you need them to do, going a new direction with groups or your service or adding new things, in building seasons you will need to lay down the foundation and be patient.

When you plant something, you might not see the effects for years. Same when it comes to ministry. Plant vision. Building it up and defend it and fight for culture and it will poke its head and you will see it’s so worth it.

Are you in a building season? Know it and keep going and build to sustain the “take new ground” seasons.

Maintain what you got – This season is a needed one sometimes. Maybe something is incomplete in your ministry. You don’t have the right people in the right place. A tragedy happened and you need to address it. Something happens where you can’t spend the time to build something up but you cannot take new ground yet. Sometimes you just need to maintain and focus on what you have.

This one is the hardest for me. Taking new ground and building have to do with movement and working towards something. I don’t maintain well. I have learned something about myself; I need movement. I get antsy. But right now, this is the season I am in right now. I have an open spot on my team (JH pastor). We have a solid group of leaders. There is momentum in ministry right now. So with an incomplete team, I need to maintain with what we have until we get this spot filled. I need to do all the things in which our junior high pastor was doing, taking care of the leaders, and students so building something and taking new ground is not an option. It would not be healthy.

Over the years I have been doing this full-time (next year will be 10 years, weird) here is what I discovered:

No matter what season you are in, God is living and active and moving. He is still working in the lives of your leaders and students. He is there. It’s our responsibility as the leader to establish what season we are in and then able to match our mindsets with it because we want long, lasting and healthy leaders leading our ministries. I promise just knowing what season you are in you will be able to get through it utilize it for the best.

What season are you in right now?