Season of Life and Ministry at Christ Church Mansfield

Chris Gensheer   -  

Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. Seasons are God’s gifts to us to be engaged in the changing rhythms of life. Some seasons are times of resting; others times of reaping; some are for more working; some for more enjoying. Each season makes Old Testament’s own contribution to the year that makes up our lives. Each season brings its’ own beauty. God gives us seasons and provides a beautiful picture of how we experience life; Life comes to us in seasons. Listen to how Solomon wisely counsels us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace
.

Just as our personal lives experience this seasonality, so does our life together as a church. There are winter or pruning seasons in the church, where King Jesus cuts back the vine in order to produce more fruit. There are springtimes or harvest seasons, where Jesus invites us to pick the fruit from the once-pruned vine or hard plowed field. Just as it’s true in life, it’s also true in the life of the church to sense the season we are in, because there are times for planting and times for harvesting.

Harvest Season

I believe that we are in a season of preparation for a harvest season. We have been in and felt the reality of being in a pruning season for a while, and we are now refocusing our energy and attention in order to seek God more fully and share Christ more faithfully. And I believe that as we continue to move forward together in Christ we will see us coming into a harvest season.

In the life of a church, you don’t get harvest seasons often. They’re special. They’re gifts. God doesn’t owe them to us. A friend of mine, Pastor Rodney Hobbs down in Midlothian says, “They’re like windows normally closed that Jesus supernaturally opens. We can’t plan them because they are providentially bestowed by God, but we can plead with God for them. We can ready ourselves to receive them.”

Christ Church, my prayer for us in this season of preparation for a harvest is that God would give us a heart of awed-responsibility and joyful-dependency in Christ, both personally and corporately.

 

How We Steward This Season Together

Let me share three simple ways we can be faithful and fruitful stewards in this season of life as a church.

 

 

Enjoy Jesus

We can never emphasize this enough. Before we are called to do anything for Jesus, we are first and foremost called to be with Jesus. Our lives are meant to be full of joy and delight because of who He is and all that He has done and is doing for us, in us, and through us. And our life is continually energized and empowered by our ongoing delight in Jesus. Christ is worth all we have. If we gaze at and enjoy Him long enough, we just might find ourselves stoking a fiery passion for Him that the rest of the world notices and finds irresistible. So spend time with Jesus. Read the Bible daily and pray, journal your prayers, reflections, and things you are grateful for. Give Him your fears, doubts, and hesitations too! Give Him your everything and continually grow in delighting in the One who delights in you (Zephaniah 3:17).

 

Bless Others

 

As we enter into what will likely be a harvest season, it’s absolutely pivotal that every person who calls Christ Church Mansfield home gets into the fields: bearing one another’s burdens, using their gifts for the good of their church family, serving, praying for and sharing Jesus with neighbors and friends who need Jesus, and generally doing whatever needs to be done to steward faithfully all that God’s doing!

So who can you bless in your life each day? Each week? Who can you invite into your home for ordinary hospitality, or join you at Christ Church Mansfield? Ultimately, who can you bless by sharing your faith and helping bring people to a fuller, richer, more meaningful life in Christ?

How can you bless your fellow brothers and sisters in serving in ministry? We have several Ministry Teams in need of volunteers. Pray about and pick one you can serve in for the next few months (at least). If it isn’t a good fit, we can work on finding something that is; but for now, we need everyone who can serve to serve. (If you need a break for health or spiritual recovery reasons, we get it and want to provide you the space you need to heal and be restored – I sincerely and seriously mean that). For those who can, where can you serve in the church and be a blessing to others:

    • Hospitality Team: Greeters and Hosts.
    • CC Kids Ministry: Nursery, Preschool, or Gospel Journey Teachers.
    • Worship Team: musicians, singers.
    • Audio/Visual Team: soundboard on Sunday.
    • Setup/Tear Down: ownership of getting things set up before or put-up after the service.
    • Creative and Communications: social media, content creation.
    • Youth Group: Adult volunteers.
    • Community Group: Leaders, Hosts.

Where might God be leading you and calling you to serve in order to be a blessing to others? Email us and let us know where and how you can serve the church on a monthly basis: [email protected]

 

Work Together

Our immediate goal or focus is to grow as a church; specifically by 10 more families or individuals who join the church and seek to contribute to the life, health, and growth of the church (in worship, in community, and on mission), as well as financially, by $1,000/week (current shortfall from budget; not expenses).

For those of us who give faithfully, joyfully, and sacrificially, Thank you! We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you and your gifts in giving financially enable and allow the gospel to impact lives for this and the next generation. 

For those of us who don’t give financially, even if you give of your time and talents in service elsewhere in the church or in the community, we need you to start giving. Whether you can start at a “tithe” or 10% of your income, or somewhere else ($50/$100 per pay period), your contributions will greatly help us continue to share and spread the gospel in Mansfield and beyond. We have some resources we can share with you about how to think, pray, and implement the habit of giving of tithes and offerings in the church (email us at [email protected])

The bottom line is that we need everyone who calls Christ Church Mansfield home to commit to doing all they can to help us achieve our mission and reach our short and long-term goals.

We need your presence in gathered worship; to receive from God as well as be a blessing to God and one another. When you’re not there, we miss out (and so do you)!

We need your engagement in community groups to both encourage and be encouraged by your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 

We need your contribution to the needs of the church and wider community in giving of your time in service, your talents (or gifts) in ministry, as well as your financial giving to support the ongoing ministry of the church!

 

Words of Encouragement

Christ Church, I am continually amazed that Jesus invites us not only into a relationship with Him but into mission with Him. We get to be His hands, feet, and mouth-piece to the rest of the world He loves and ambassadors of His grace and kingdom within the world. Let’s get into the fields as He equips us with gifts, offers us parts to play, and work hard as faithful stewards during this next season of life and ministry together. I believe there is more in store for us than we have yet to even perceive, let alone see. Let’s get after it church!

Let’s trust Him, enjoy Him, and labor with Him, for the glory of God, our ultimate joy, and the good of our community.