Seasons & Opportunity

12 ноябрь 2015

Seasons are ever-changing.

Sometimes it feels like just when you’ve found your stride, things change again.

Maybe you’ve been worship leading for years, and now you’re not.

Maybe you used to lead the team, and now someone else has taken that role.

Seasons, by definition, change over time.

I’ve had the privilege of serving in our Creative team for the past 12 years. I love what I do and still pinch myself that I get to be a part of it.

When it comes to ministry and life on team, we all have different seasons of opportunity. Usually, how that looks is out of our control. One thing I have been determined to grow in over the years is navigating my change of seasons well.

Over the last six years I’ve had a lot of opportunities to really put this into practice. For example, I’ve had three children and taken maternity leave at three different times. Practically, that has looked like:

  • Taking leave from my job and semi-disappearing to immerse myself in motherhood and then resurfacing to go back to work
  • I’ve gone from working full-time to part-time
  • My role has changed… and then changed again
  • I have traveled the world with our team then stopped traveling to be with my family
  • At certain times, I’ve had every opportunity possible in our team, and at other times I’ve totally stopped doing those things.

I’m not saying that I am a hero for adapting to change (or that change is always easy for me), but rather that I have chosen that I don’t want who I am to be defined by what I do. What I do will always change, and if my identity is built around the things I do, then who am I if I stop doing them?

I think this is something that can often trip us up. Let’s take worship leading for example…

You love it.  It’s what you feel called to do. You lead worship for a while (maybe a lot of it)…

Suddenly, other people around you start getting these opportunities and you feel like there’s not as much for you to do as there once was. Here come the internal questions:

Am I still a worship leader?

Did God call me to lead worship?

Do I fit anymore?

Perhaps all of these things are still true, and it’s more of a changing of assignment rather than the ending of a season.

Maybe it’s a new opportunity to come alongside someone and champion them by investing and developing the gifts inside them. This is just as valuable a way to serve, if not a more valuable way to serve God and others in your team.

Sure, it looks different, but it’s just as important. If we are too hung up on what we do and don’t do, we can miss what God wants to do next, including opportunities to mature and lead in new ways.

I believe as leaders we’ve got to become good at changing positions.

Sometimes we’re at the front, paving the way; sometimes we’re coming alongside and cheering someone on; sometimes it’s getting behind people to push them forward into serving.

Every position is equally valuable; each one has a job to do.

Too many times I have seen people bow out because they couldn’t handle the change of position. In the bigger picture though, there was actually another great space for them to step into.

My goal is to be indispensable to our team, not because I’m the best at something, but because I’m happy to do whatever is needed.

I pray that in whatever way we serve God in our teams, we will always do so with an open hand. Sometimes the lines get blurred, and opportunities can become more about ourselves than others or even God. It can become about our gifts and our entitlements. Before we know it, we are holding on to ‘our position’ too tightly.

Change can be uncomfortable, but it’s healthy, and the more we are open to God positioning us where He wants us, the more valuable we will be in building His Church.

Sometimes opportunities in my own life look ‘big’. They might even look ‘important’ (whatever that means…) and be in full view of people.

More often though, they will be hidden — they will be made up of choices that no one sees:

Choices to pull back, or to be present.

To follow.

To lead.

To change positions.

To stay planted.

To encourage, to champion, and to love others (including having hard conversations.)

My opportunities might look like: coffees with people, dropping off meals, stopping and asking the important questions, or just being a safe person for others to talk to.

Every opportunity is equally valuable. Everyone has a job to do.

All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT)

Sometimes we can feel like the most noticeable opportunities are the prize, but I’ve found it’s usually the ones that only God and I know about that are the most fulfilling.

Every season has a purpose. I don’t know about you, but I want to make the most of mine and find joy in each one.

You can spend your time wishing a season away, or trying to rush through it to get to the next one, but I believe if you commit whole-heartedly to being fully present where you are, then one season will equip you for the next.

Trust that God will position you where He wants you and where you best fit. He knows you better than you know yourself, so lean into Him and enjoy the journey.

Annie