“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” - Jeremiah 17:7-8
We are just a couple of weeks away from September. I'm sorry if that has shocked you! Historically September is when things begin again in our churches. People and pastors are back from holidays. We enter into the rhythm of programs, meetings and more formalized activities.
Often our councils will have also taken a bit of a reprieve. With the activities of the church often reduced during the summer, the leadership too is usually given a little space to rest. This time away can allow us to reflect and ponder what has been, while dream for what is ahead. However, that depends on what your experience has been. It could be that summer arrived JUST IN TIME because you were about to LOSE YOUR MIND. So with September looming, I wonder how you are feeling as you look ahead to the months to come. Are you excited? Overwhelmed? Eager? Anxious? Hopeful? Resentful? Ready? Apathetic? Joyful? Or maybe you are a mix of different emotions.
It can be hard to return to the "work" of church leadership, but in your role you truly do serve the people of your congregation. If they haven't thanked you, let me thank you now. On top of the pressures of your regular routines, you add this additional responsibility of setting direction and vision, making decisions, offering support and meeting with people. It is no small task! Thank you.
So - knowing that September is ahead, are you prepared? Do you have in place what you need to accomplish the work that is ahead of you? Do you have an idea of where you are going?
For months my bike has been sidelined due to an issue with the tire. I've been trying to get to the bike shop, but the timing hasn't worked out, and so, rather than enjoy riding it this summer it's been sitting in storage. This past weekend I finally had the time to go and get it fixed. It actually made me really excited because the bike shop is within walking distance of my home, and after getting the tire fixed I was going to bike the rest of my errands. I made my to-do list, gathered my items, and got ready to go. When I went to get my helmet and bike lock I hit a snag. I could not find my bike lock. I looked everywhere I thought it could be, and everywhere I thought it wouldn't be, but my search was fruitless. Without my bike lock, I couldn't bike my errands. Without my bike lock, I couldn't do what I had hoped to do.
Over these next two weeks I encourage to find time to prepare yourself for what is to come. It may be impossible for you to predict what is to come, but you can still make sure you have your "bike lock". We are not called into leadership and left alone. God is our source and our strength. As we head into the fall rhythm we need to ensure that our God rhythm is in place. Prayer, scripture reading, quiet - times to dwell with God will be what nourishes you and sustains you as the tides come in and the waters get deeper. Whatever emotions you are feeling - share them with him. Whatever plans you have (or lack thereof) - bring them to him. Trust Him. Have confidence in him. Allow him to shape your heart and your mind so that in this coming year you will not fear storms or drought, but you will be a tree planted by water - never failing to bear fruit.