In Season and Out of Season

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t believe the pastors who always say everything is great. You’ve seen their tweets, read their blogs, or watched their youtube videos. These are the guys who are always promoting THE MOST INCREDIBLE SUNDAY MORNING EXPERIENCE EVER. IN THE HISTORY OF CREATION. LITERALLY. Do you know the guys I’m talking about? How can next Sunday’s message always be the best ever. How is it possible that this Sunday’s attendance is always double the attendance of the week before…even in the Summer, on Labor Day Weekend, and the week after Christmas?

I came to a conclusion. It has to be one of two things. Either I’m the worst pastor ever (which I understand is totally possible), or these guys aren’t being completely honest. Because I don’t know how every Sunday can always be the best Sunday since Adam and Eve were created. Here’s how I know I’m right. Paul gives some advice to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:2. He says, “be instant in season, out of season.”

This teaches me a couple of things. First of all, there are “seasons” in ministry. You may have a Sunday that you think is the BEST EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. And then you may have a Sunday where you think it couldn’t get any worse. Don’t freak out. There are seasons to this thing.

It also teaches me that through the ups and downs of ministry, we need to be consistent. That’s what the word “instant” means here – to be ready, prepared, and consistent no matter what. So, here are two thoughts for the “ins and outs” or “ups and downs” of ministry. 

1. When you’re “in season” be grateful. There are times when God blesses in amazing and incredible ways. Be grateful. Never act like you deserve it and never think that you can’t lose it. God is the one who decides what “season” it is. And when you’re “in season” remember to give Him the credit.

2. When you’re “out of season” be faithful. There are times when you don’t know what to do. It seems like every sermon you preach is flat and every invitation you give is dead. What should you do? You should be faithful. Be consistent. Be “instant.” Even in the difficult times.

Maybe I should have titled this blog, “Confessions of a Real Pastor.” I kind of get tired of all the fluff and hype. I just want to be faithful. I just want to be grateful. I want to be “instant” no matter what season I’m in.