UNDERSTANDING THE CHURCH SEASONS

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understanding the various seasons that your church must pass through during her life span

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Understanding The Church Seasons Pastor Oyewole O. Sarumi

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Introduction • There were many seasons in the church and I tried to grapple with them in the early days of ministry but with hindsight of experience I have come to fully understand them. • Knowing the season of your church the body of Christ that you’re in is important because God is doing a unique work in us in each season.

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• Each season is preparation for the next season to come and each season is a part of what needs to be accomplished in your life and the life of the church for the purpose of destiny and advancing the kingdom of God. • Often times we miss out on the promise that a new season brings because we don’t pay attention to what the spirit is saying or we don’t want to embrace the season even though it has been revealed to us by the spirit.

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• Not all seasons are peaceful or restful. We must not despise our season but we must embrace it regardless of how hard a particular season may be. • And since we know that God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for us we know that God would not do anything to harm us because there is no evil way in God.

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• We also know that no matter how we view the season we can claim Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose”. • Life and ministry is divided into seasons. There are phases in ministry and seasons in the church.

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• Unfortunately many leaders are not perceptive enough to know the seasons in their church the more reason they fail to handle things well and they are confused. • A key responsibility of the leader is to know what season the church is in and then communicate the implication of that season to - her followers and under-leaders. • The following are church seasons that I have experienced and how to handle them:

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MODERN CHURCH SEASONS

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1. Skeptical Season - Acts 1 • This is always the case with almost every church. People are skeptical of the pastor and church. • Characteristics of these seasons are: – Struggling with the call – Fear of rejection – Times of prayer and fasting – Serious efforts and work – Trying hard to create a good impression – Making effort to establish a base for growth.

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What to do • Preach Christ • Show love and concern to people • Build on Christ not on yourself • Dont cast aspersion on anyone • Seek Gods face for wisdom and guidance • Be confident of your call and vision • Be patient with people • Take time to seek Gods face for power of demonstration.

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2. Season of Growth • Everything is rosy attendance is swelling giving on the rise programmes are thriving and the future looks bright. Everything you touch turns to gold.

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• Responsibility: Know it fire it up work on it run from what will poison and destroy it because it won’t last forever. Work on systems and structures that can support the growth.

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Mushroom Growth - Acts 2:4 - Spring Season • This is always the following season in some situations they overlap with season one. In some instances this is season one with many. There is spontaneous beginning characteristics are: – Miracles signs and wonders – Much numerical growth – Financial and physical supporters – Everything is alive and enchanting – Great momentum enthusiasm and expansion.

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 Dont be carried away by your seeming success  Be aware that the crowd is not the church  Lay emphasis on relationship with God  Preach teach pray and stressed spiritual growth  Build on the word of God not on prophecy or miracles  Help them to stand on their feet for Christ  Choose carefully those who will work with you  Organise into small groups and cell fellowships. What to do - Act 2:42-47

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3. Season of Consolidation • Assimilate integrate disciple and support the people who came during growth season. Invest in your infrastructure and protect the gains of your recent growth. Effective consolidation earns you permission to enter yet another season of growth sometime in the future.

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• Responsibility: Be around to nurture teach train and solidify your leadership. Don’t be quick in putting people in position. Build the people on the word and in the Lord.

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Consolidation Season - Act. 6:8 Summer Season • This is the most important season in the church yet the most dangerous. Some never make it to this stage and others who make it didnt know what to do the reason churches dont grow. • This is the period to lay strong growth foundation for the church. The future growth of the church depends to a large degree on what we do during this most important season.

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What To Do • Be in control take initiative be on offensive • Choosing of reliable and trustworthy men. • Effective leadership training • Sharing of vision and choosing people by the vision. • Strong emphasis on stewardship and fruitfulness. • Strong teaching on authority and obedience • Mission policy and statement of purpose • Growth consciousness.

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4. Season of Transition • It is usually characterized by crisis losses of workers either by relocation jobs or offence. You will have to start all over again. Make adjustments learn lessons.

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• Responsibility: Know what is happening the reason for it and how to navigate through it. Make a SWOT analysis of your ministry and use it to formulate strategies to move the church forward.

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Season of Crisis - Acts 5 - Winter Season • This is a season of difficulty and problems. They come in various sizes and shapes. It is when crisis comes. No matter your level of prayer it will definitely come. So you better be prepared for it. Characteristics are: – •Murmuring and complaining – •Misrepresentation general unrest – •Rebellion and break away – •Bickering and character assassination – •Disunity fighting for position and control – •Strained relationships.

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What to do • Spend time in prayer and fasting • Rebuke the demonic spirit of fighting • Analyze the source of the crisis • Line up the problems one by one • Have courage to confront them wisely • Be matured and broad-minded • Take initiative and address the ring leaders • Focus on your God-given vision. • Apply the best solution • March on for greater growth

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• So many churches have passed through this season and are still passing through it. In this season the devil attacks with discouragement the tendency to quit will be very strong. • The church is not growing the crisis is taking alarming proportions. This shaking is becoming so violent. • Some dont pass through or avoid this season by compromising and lowering the standards by surrendering leadership to lower forces.

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5. Season of Stagnation • Things are stuck stale and unmoving. Attendance is dwindling and offerings are low. Everything seems stagnant and no life in services. Much prayers but little answers.

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• Responsibility: Rallying call to prayer strategy commitment and way out Repent from anything you need to repent and change from If it continues for long ministry will die.

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6. Season of Reinvention • Try to bring change to leadership and church. Putting every ministry of the church under the microscope and discern what needs a face-lift an overhaul or a funeral. A self-pruning exercise to make room for future growth.

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• Responsibility: Initiate research and consultancy. Welcome the need for change. Take steps to change things. • Every leader must know must know and discern the seasons in the church. If you don’t know them things will go haywire and the church will go under.

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The 2 Spirit that rule churches • Feminine spirit - This is the spirit of cooperation peace at all cost compromise celebration deep fellowship appeasing people and enjoyment in the church. • It is leading church with a woman spirit. Modality model. Eventually: demons will permeate the church. The pastor becomes the slave of women his wife and mother.

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• Masculine spirit - This is being pragmatic visionary decisive relevant change risk and progress oriented. Being firm blunt and task- oriented. Sodality model. • It is striking a balance but maturely cutting off what hinders progress and advancement. It is focus and inventive.

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Conclusion

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