Yesterday we had our first snowfall of the season & it was glorious, just beautiful… I wait all year for this time & it was worth it. As some of you know, I'm not a fan of Spring or Summer but I appreciate those seasons & I endure them, waiting for Fall & the coolness in the air, the crunch of the leaves... then Winter & the gentle blankets of snow, the often-used fireplace, etc… it's just what I love & what I wait for. The thing about seasons is that they have their time & they always come back around.
Usually there's a season for a devoted ministry, then it's over and/or you rest for a while and/or you're moved to another ministry that has nothing to do w/ your previous one. Sometimes there's a season for you to be connected w/ a certain fellowship & then the Lord moves you on another one & back again. Like bees, who cross-pollinate, some people are very open to moving around where the Lord leads them, ie; “the wind blows where it chooses”. I greatly respect those people who are sensitive & obedient to the Spirit.
I spent 23 years in one fellowship until the Lord moved me. I then spent 2 years doing nothing, just resting. Then the Lord called me to another fellowship where I spent exactly 2 years, learning some things in the process (what to do & what not to do), then He moved me from that one & now I feel He's called me back to my former fellowship.
I've know some people that God has placed them in their fellowship for years, for decades & that's fine if that's where God called them. I've known others who have been “faithful” [in attendance] to one fellowship for decades & would never move on, even if God called them somewhere else for a season. Where they are now is all they've known, they know of nothing else & no other way of doing things; all they've known is their season & no other.
There are people that I've talked to who have sat w/ their pastors about ministry but have made it clear they will be obedient when/if God moves them on & the pastors have replied, “I need people who are here for the long haul, who will be faithful” & these people are crushed.
I understand where pastors are coming from but nowhere in Scripture does it state or even imply faithfulness to a fellowship, it emphasizes faithfulness to Jesus & obedience to the Spirit leading.
People who have had experience, people who have cross-pollinated, who have cross-trained, people who have been through several seasons are invaluable to me, I cherish those people & I learn from them. I want those people around me; people who come & go & come back again, people who are free & obedient.
Let me say this though: there are good church hoppers & bad church hoppers & they hop for different reasons. The bad ones are usually unhappy or unsatisfied, so they find something wrong & move on. The good ones are those that move when God tells them to, sometimes they'll be in several different fellowships in a 10 year period, taking everything in, learning different styles/flavors of ministry yet both are usually looked at w/ disdain & skepticism by pastors.
Look at Jesus, known as:
- Jesus of Nazareth
- Jesus of Galilee
He was all over the place, a season here, a season there, cross-pollinating before He went to the Cross.
There's something to be said for people who have stayed in one fellowship doing the same ministry over & over for years & years, you can also learn from them but people who are stuck in Summer will never know how to build a snowman...