The doldrums. The fear of every sailor. In some ways even worse than a storm. In a storm at least you get blown somewhere. The doldrums is the absence of wind, and ships sometimes sit motionless for days waiting for the right wind to pick up. A skilful sailor learns how to tack out of the doldrums. It doesn't matter if the wind isn't blowing in the right direction. Any wind will do. Tacking is the ability to take a cross wind and zig-zag gradually in the desired direction.
Life is sometimes like that, isn't it? Leading a church can sometimes be like that too, although you'd swear from some of my pastor friends' twitter and facebook posts, every Sunday in their church may as well be Pentecost! In all honesty though, not every season in our lives, or the life of our churches is a season where the wind is blowing strongly at our backs. At times like these you have to learn to tack. Be faithful with the wind that is blowing even if it is less powerful and more inconsistent.
We've come out of a season of intensity and momentum as a church, with the launch of two services, and our Urban Renewal gathering. We have run hard and God has been good. We have seen salvations, baptisms, some healings,the launch of some great new ministries, and many new people engage with our community. We have felt the fresh wind of the Spirit blow upon us.
Now we find ourselves in a slightly different season, with the spaciousness of summer upon us, as well the sadness of saying good-bye to some families headed to go and help some partner churches in other cities and states. It is easy to slump into the doldrums at these times, but God is a God of seasons, and he supplies us with the strength to bear fruit in and out of season. In fact, although there are slightly less people around, there continues to be a fresh wind of repentance and prophecy blowing on our community.
We begin the first redemption story of our 'Red Thread' series this Sunday. It's the story of someone that Jesus has redeemed out of a life of same-sex attraction. It's a story worth telling, and one well-worth hearing. We also have our 5 missional initiatives that we are calling every person in the community to engage in.
So let's not let down our sails in this season. Let's be all hands on deck, learning to tack, trusting God for the fresh wind of His Spirit, and for the cargo of the Gospel to be carried to new people and new shores.