Different Seasons of Serving – Part I

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)


My husband and I have made it a point that we, as a family, spend a lot of time together. Sometimes we’re just relaxing on the couch watching movies on a lazy afternoon, other times we’re taking trips to make bigger memories. Still other times we’re serving at church, serving in our community, or working together on home projects. More often than not, you’ll find our family doing something altogether.


We started serving in our church as a family approximately five years ago. We were blessed to get to serve in the kids’ section. It was something we all enjoyed and investing in the lives of little ones is an area where we are gifted.


Twenty years ago, when my husband and I were first married, there was a dream we talked about that God put on our hearts. We knew that wasn’t the time to pursue it, but we prayed eventually we would know if God was opening the door for us to walk into a specific ministry. Eighteen months ago, God reawakened that dream and we have since talked to our kids about it who are all in with us.


However, this dream requires some preparation ahead of time. And that is the stage we are in right now. At the same time, God made it clear that our focus wasn’t to be in serving at the church during this season but preparing our hearts and our home for another ministry opportunity instead.


Our family still serves at church when God issues the invitation, some of us more heavily involved than others. I have to admit, though, sometimes I feel guilty and like a failure because we aren’t as actively involved in church ministry as we were. The guilt was due to feeling like I wasn’t doing my part because churches always need willing servants. I was willing, but I didn’t feel like God was giving me the green light during this particular season.

Instead He had our family investing in ministry and pointing people to Him in a different capacity. Invitations would arise to serve in a different area, and sometimes I would accept them only to have them fall through, and other times I heard God say “no,” so the only answer I can give is “no.”


Come back next time and I will share with you how God showed me, as only He can in such a loving way, that not every season will have every person serving in a ministry at church. Sometimes He needs us to step back to prepare us for what He has in store, and those times are just as important as the times of serving with our church family.


© Cheri Swalwell 2019

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