You may not have noticed but we are well and truly into Winter. Temperatures have dropped days are shorter and most members of my family have the urge to rug up in front of the fire.
It would have to be one of my favourite seasons and each year I look forward to all that winter entails – warm coffee on cold mornings, watching ski cams preparing for that snow holiday and pulling out all those winter clothes to rug up – not only to keep warm but toalso cover up the extra meat pies consumed during Autumn.
Seasons are part of life, we cannot change them we can only prepare and make the most it. Seasons in your faith journey and ministry are also to be expected. As an Association, we have been through an incredible season of community, fellowship and togetherness. Our Annual Assembly, held in April, brought together many churches and delegates to discern the will of God and share in the responsibilities of Association. REVIVE, held in May, gave us an amazing time of where we met around out common passion for Jesus and His church and focused on the theme of ‘Seeing Locally and Globally’ the need for the Gospel.
All churches and all people move through seasons in their life that profoundly impact them – either positively or negatively. Seasons share a common theme in that they are finite and they force a change, often in our behaviour, our faith, our relationships or our health.
It is this changing that I believe Jesus desires to see as an outcome of the seasons we go through. Whether God brings the seasons upon us or simply uses them to mould us is a question for another time, but it is clear that your character is vastly more important to God than your comfort. Our response to the season we are journeying, how we change, through seasons of our life is more important than the season itself.
So how do we survive, flourish and transform in the seasons of our life? Let’s have a look at some thoughts on this.
1 Journey with others through them
Jesus modelled the best way to do life and ministry. He demonstrated this commitment by sending disciples into mission partnered with another. Jesus surrounds himself with disciples, sends the disciples out in groups of two and instigates the church as testimony to His attitude of doing life together.
All Christian ministry is better when partnered together with other followers of Jesus. Sometimes this reliance is critical to us surviving and at times it is our partnership that is critical to others but the interdependence is always of value.
As you journey through seasons, good or bad, don’t neglect to partner with others.
2 Reflect and learn from them
Seasons are an amazing opportunity to develop and grow in your faith. However often in the midst of a storm or while dealing with difficulties, our attention is held by the immediate and critical issues we face. The learning that Jesus wants us to take from them is missed with the tyranny of the urgent. Take time on a regular basis to reflect on the season you have been through. What was good, what was bad, what did you learn and what could you better next time.
3 Know that different seasons have different purposes
It is easy to go through each season of our life and never really understand what we were supposed to learn. However, it is just as easy to place the same learning to every season we encounter. Patience, faith, trust, importance of community are all common learnings but what aspect – Trust in finances, trust in sickness, trust in abundance …..each grows us as people of Christ.
What season are you in at the moment – Share them, learn from them and explore the diversity of Christs love for you in wanting to build you up as a person of faith.