Is it time for a new season of ministry for you?
Is it time for a new season of ministry for you?

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at

Over the years, I’ve said a lot about the seasonal nature of the church and the seasonal nature of the Christian life.

What is true for the church and for the individual Christian is also true for spiritual service or ministry. It too passes through different seasons.

God built seasons into His creation for many reasons, one of which is to teach us spiritual lessons. “First the natural, then the spiritual.” “Does not nature teach you?”

Take Paul of Tarsus, for example. Paul’s ministry was centered on preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ and establishing churches upon that revelation. But Paul didn’t always do that.

After his first church-planting trip, Paul spent a lengthy period of time with the church in Antioch, a church he didn’t plant. Following his third church-planting trip, he spent time with the church in Jerusalem, another church he didn’t plant.

There were also seasons where God sovereignly limited Paul, allowing him to undergo imprisonment for a period of years.

Interestingly, it was during those times of spiritual limitation that Paul produced his most remarkable letters—Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians.

If you are serving the Lord in some capacity, it’s important that you have a nose to discern the season you are in. There will be seasons for rest, re-centering and refreshment.

There may also be seasons where you will change your focus of service for a time.

Last May, I went on a blog sabbatical to complete a mammoth writing project. I also reduced the number of speaking invitations I accepted considerably, only accepting a handful and declining the rest.

My ministry contains two aspects: the deeper Christian life (Andrew Murray’s term) and working in the trenches with organic missional churches.

In the present season of my ministry, I’m focusing exclusively on the deeper Christian life (which includes Jesus studies) as well as helping the poor and developing relationships with nonbelievers.

The deeper Christian life is a much broader ministry than that of organic missional church. It appeals to all Christians in all denominations and church forms, including pastors.

During this new season, my co-workers have been serving the churches we relate to and work with. They will also be planting new churches and speaking at various organic missional church conferences in my stead.

In turn, I’ve been focusing on writing on the deeper Christian life (this blog is a part of that ministry).

And I have two book projects slated to release this year—Beyond Evangelical and Jesus: A Theography—both of which fall into “the deeper Christian life/Jesus studies” category. (Add to the mix God’s Favorite Place on Earth, released May 2013.)

In addition, all of my future travels will be geared toward that aspect as well. I’m also forging relationships with pastors and seminary professors.

(Incidentally, my recent and most favored books—Epic Jesus, Revise Us Again, Jesus Manifesto, From Eternity to Here, and God’s Favorite Place on Earth—are all on my broader ministry to the body of Christ.)

The analogy of crop rotation works well here. Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of similar kinds of crops in the same area during different seasons.

When that season is over, they’ll turn the soil over in the field and plant another kind of crop in its place. One crop per season; one laser focus at a time.

I’m unsure how long this particular season will last and when I’ll resume working with organic missional churches. This particular season could end in 2014, 2015 or later. The Lord hasn’t revealed it yet.

But as with all stewards of the Lord, our chief calling is to be faithful to that which God has called us (1 Cor. 4:2). And we should always be keen to discern the season.

Has the Lord ever brought you into a new season of ministry? What season is your ministry in now?

For the original article, visit

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Discouragement can be a serious struggle.

    Guard Your Spirit Against These 4 Crippling Attacks

    Are you struggling this Valentine's Day with one of these discouraging issues?

  • Worship leaders, keep your team's attitude in check.

    This Can Quickly Erode a Worship Team's Culture

    God has given us talent and He calls for excellence, but excellence with this is not honoring ...

  • A 'What's in it for me?' mentality could bring your church down.

    The Mentality That May Be Killing Your Church

    And we wonder why so many congregations are stagnated, plateaued or declining.

  • Why Many Christians Misunderstand This Crucial Leadership Trait

    Great leadership doesn't start with a great education, although that is incredibly valuable. ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • What reasons can you think of that leaders might not choose to delegate authority?

    7 Reasons Some Leaders Dump Delegation

    These could have a lot to do with stalled growth and low team morale.

  • Your Source of Unlimited Kingdom Energy and Power

    Jesus said that we can do greater works than He did and that He will do whatever we ask in His Name.

  • Don't bring your sermons in for a crash landing.

    4 Terrible Ways to Close a Sermon

    People need an opportunity to respond to the Word of God.

  • These seven responses can get you on the right track.

    Responding Like Jesus When Your Church Kicks You Out

    It's a pain that many in the ministry have felt at least once and maybe more.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders