Discerning what season you, and your ministry, are in right now is one of our most important leadership tasks. Scripture teaches us there is a time or season for everything under heaven: There is “a time to plant and a time to uproot … a time to weep and a time to laugh … a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Eccl. 3:1–8).
Discerning properly the season we are in determines our priorities, decisions and pace. Failing to do so results in all kinds of internal anguish for ourselves and unnecessary pressure on those we lead.[Each of] the seasons of Fall (transitions), Winter (death), Spring (fruitfulness), and Summer (abundance), holds its own gift from God—if we cooperate with it.
A number of questions, hopefully, will emerge for you out of this [idea]. For example:
• What does it mean for you to create sufficient space with God for this?
• Is this a season in your ministry of great fruit bearing or, perhaps, of pruning for something greater God wants to do in the future?
• Are you in a season of parenting with small children? Are you caring for an aging or disabled child or parent at this season? Might God be calling you back from certain activities to be more present and involved with them?
• Are you in a season of great physical health, or one where you find your body cannot do what it used to? How is God coming to you through that? What doors might he be opening and closing as a result?
• What issues from your past might be hindering you from maturing in God? There were seasons I canceled speaking engagements, said no to writing—everything that was getting in the way of being a healthy and effective leader—and signed up for a round of intensive counseling to sort through my own beneath-the-iceberg blockages.
Among David’s fighting men were the “men of Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron. 12:32). May God make you and I like them!
Pete Scazzero is the founder of New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, New York, and the author of two best-selling books: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and The Emotionally Healthy Church. This article was originally posted on Scazzero’s blog at EmotionallyHealthy.org.