Colorado Parks and Wildlife – Blue Mesa Reservoir
Every fall as the water temperature drops and the hours of daylight shorten, thousands of four-year old kokanee salmon move out of Colorado reservoirs into streams to spawn and die. It happens every year and is a yearly cycle that draws fishermen to the streams seeking to catch these beautiful red fish.
Just like the kokanee salmon yearly spawning cycle, so too in Kingdom work we have ministry cycles that repeat year after year. The fall is usually a time of new ministry launches for the ministry year which coincides with the beginning of the academic school year. Summer vacations have ended and new initiatives begin.
The fall ends and winter begins (for those of us in the northern hemisphere) with packed schedules celebrating holidays and family gatherings. Winter ends and the promise of spring comes with Easter as a milestone and then we hold on to the end of school and the warm days of summer with its usually slower pace. Then it’s time to prepare for the fall again and so the cycle repeats.
The longer one is in Kingdom work and experiences these cycles it can become a bit routine, if you are not careful. New leaders with little experience are truly excited with the newness of it all. But for those who have ‘been there and done that’ so many times before, we can become a bit dull to it all. This should never be so for we are serving the King of kings and Lord of lords!
Howard Hendricks former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary was once asked how he stayed motivated and energized as he repeatedly taught the same classes year after year. He replied, “I remind myself how impactful these courses were for me when I first experienced them.” He took his eyes off of himself and fixed them on his audience.
Ministry cycles are not inherently bad. It’s how we respond to them that makes all the difference. If we make it about us, then we will certainly get bored and in a worse case, even cynical. But if we take our eyes off of ourselves and keep the focus on those we lead and influence, then it stays fresh and challenging.
So, where’s your gaze? Is it fixed upon you or others?