After years of leading, I have learned there are four seasons of leadership. There could be more, but I’ve been able to clearly identify these four.
Misunderstanding this can lead to frustration. You may think you are doing something wrong. Yet you’re only in a different season.
Some plant – Many leaders sow seeds. They are used to start something new. As a church planter in two churches, we planted a lot of seeds. I love knowing both of those churches are still thriving today. God allowed me to be there in the beginning, but others are leading them now.
Some water – Other leaders are used to create systems that allow progress to continue. They build healthy teams, create good structure and help things continue to grow.
Some pull weeds – Still other leaders identify problems and provide solutions to address them. They make the hard changes, restructure and clear the path to progress. This was my primary role in church revitalization and in my current role.
Some harvest – Finally, other leaders get to see the fruition of the harvest. There is a skill to capitalizing on the foundation of planning and working others have invested. These leaders know how to celebrate well and continually fuel new momentum.
Granted we do some of these within every season. And we must spend considerable and concentrated energies in the middle two seasons if we hope to sustain a healthy, long-term harvest.
It’s great when you get to do all of these in one position of leadership. It hasn’t always happened for me. Also, in my experience, we only get to enjoy one or maybe a couple at any particular time. Sometimes they run concurrently, back-to-back to each other, but it seems rare – and difficult – to lead all four of these seasons at one time.
Don’t be afraid of your season. All our necessary.