Thankful for Seasons of Growth

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I have always disliked the statement that ‘all healthy things grow’.  I typically hear this statement in churches that are struggling to grow.  People who say this usually mean well, but it puts undo pressure on staff.  My belief is that when a leader says this it means we need to do something to grow or ….else.  I think I dislike it because of the condemnation and guilt behind the saying when I’ve heard it.  If your ministry/church isn’t growing then you are unhealthy and you’d better fix that now.

Maybe there is a better way to look at church, life, and ministries.

It is freezing here in Cincinnati and all of the plant life is dying for the season.  Those same plants will bloom in the spring and thrive during the summer.  Many will die during the fall and all will be gone by winter.

Those plants are going through seasons.  In some seasons they will be beautiful.  In other seasons they will struggle.  In some seasons they will need more help than others.

There is no perfect quote or illustration, but I think it is better said that healthy things have seasons.  People go through seasons of pain, depression, happiness, transition, etc.  Churches go through seasons of loss, growth, decrease, etc.  The season you are in doesn’t last forever.  Many times it leads to a better season.

Right now our ministry and church is seeing a tremendous season of growth so it is easy to write this.  I am very thankful to be a part of such a wonderful church and growing ministry.  I’ve been in just about every season you can imagine in ministry.  I’ve seen churches go through tremendous pain.  One time I told a church no on becoming their student pastor because I felt that they were not working toward healing.  A season of healing is vital if you want to have a season of growth.

This week of Thanksgiving I’m thankful for seasons in life.  I learn the most during the worst seasons.  I enjoy the seasons of growth.  The Lord uses all of them for His purposes in our lives.

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

 

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