Ministry: Seasonally Defective?

Something I’ve learned from the speaking side of the pulpit is that you have to let go of your message.  Hopefully you have a planned, prepared message, but inevitably someone will take some part of it off in his or her own direction.

That is what I am presenting here. Listening to a Bible Study this morning at PSYM, presented by Kwasi Kane, the Director of Evangelism Minsitries of  the General Board of Discipleship, got me started and sent my soul wandering.

Speaking on Isaiah 6, Kwasi referred to seasons of life, and suggested that “some of you might be considering that you are changing seasons; perhaps from a season of youth ministry into another season of your life.”

Not to take issue with this, but my first thought in regards to this was the notion that youth ministry is “entry-level” ministry.  I recall more than a few people asking me, “When are you going to be able to get a church of your own?” when I was an associate pastor/youth minister.

Again, I don’t know if that is the kind of thing to which Kwasi was referring, but I got stuck on the idea of seasons.

Seasons are not a good analogy at all for “phase of life one moves into or out of” except in the context of the phase happening again.

That’s the thing about seasons; they come and go, but they come and go again. And again.  What’s more, we all know that, with the seasons of the year, the next one will come around before long, and this season (whichever one it is) will end, but it will happen again.

We Westerners tend to put so much of our stock in progress and linearity that I wonder if we have a hard time (except with the actual seasons) learning to live seasonally with our lives.

Thus, seeing one’s time in youth ministry as a “season,” strictly speaking, includes recognizing that one will move out of it, and then, sometime, back into it.

Now, looking and thinking beyond youth ministry, what are other “seasons” of life that we move into and out of?  Which of these ought we remind ourselves will, as seasons, come to closure?  Which of these ought we expect, as seasons, to revisit?

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