Our family entered a new stage of life today: school. This morning, we all got up, got dressed to get Ava off for her first day of kindergarten. On the way home, Katie and I talked about something we knew was coming, a new way of doing life. Our life now will revolve around a more defined schedule because of school and activities, homework and the list of things I don’t even know about yet.
One thing we have noticed many couples and families not doing a good job of is knowing what stage they are in. Whether it is growing older, having kids, a busy season at work. Most couples and families live as if stages are not real and life is always the same. This leads to unmet expectations, frustration and ultimately, problems. Every job has a busy and a slow season. For me, busy seasons happen around Christmas, Easter, start of school, and January. Before each busy season, Katie and I talk about what the season and schedule will be like. When it slows down, we are very particular to make sure that we recharge and rest so that we are ready for the next season. Most people just keep running during the slow seasons, which leads to exhaustion.
Last week was a crazy week in our family and church. We had our day camp and we moved to a new location. It was an amazingly, awesome, exhausting week. This week, we were very particular to have only 1 evening commitment: our small group. To make it through seasons, you need to be aware of what season you are in, live in it and be ready for the next season. The next season could be busier or slower.
Churches are the same way. They have busy and slow times. I was talking with some church planters recently who were very discouraged by how the summer was going and how attendance was. One said they dropped by 50% and had not seen any new people in several weeks. He was really discouraged on July 4th (which is the lowest attended day of the year at a church). I told him our goal in the summer is to plateau. If you don’t lose momentum, just keep it steady, you are prepared to grow in the fall (which is a time of growth in many churches).
This summer though has been incredible at Revolution. Since last year, we have grown by 228%. In fact, this past Saturday we had our highest attendance ever. Even as I write that it is hard not to get emotional about that. I remember dreaming with 11 other people about what God could do with a church that was completely sold out to him and was willing to do anything to help people find their way back to God. To see it happening is overwhelming.
All this to say, in life, work, and church, know what stage you are in. What season are you in? Live in it to the fullest. If it is busy and you are pushing, get through it. When it is a slow time, rest and recharge for the next season.