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The day Michelle told me she was pregnant with our first child I was overjoyed, and a little nervous. We had no idea how to care for an infant or what our lives would be like once the little bundle arrived. Thankfully, we didn’t have to know on that day. By the grace of God there is a time of preparation built into having children. You find out a child is coming and then you have months to prepare.

We started reading books, buying baby products, and talking to trusted friends who had already begun on the road of parenthood. Of course there’s no amount of preparation that could have equipped us for all the challenges and joys we’d face once our son arrived, but the time of preparation was a gift nonetheless.

A few weeks ago I shared why Trailhead has a future worth fighting for. I laid out some convictions and practical activities that will shape this future. We could be tempted to quickly ask, “Where is this new future? Why aren’t things changing?” But we have intentionally built in a period of preparation before launching into our new season together.

We have set a date, September 10, for the visible beginning of our next season of shared life. But this date is much like my son’s birthday–it is the day when what will happen finds tangible expression, but it is the fruit of preparation and development before that day.

The next four months are a season of preparation for Trailhead. It is a time for us to pray that God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done in and through us. It is a time to discuss things so we are aligned in our vision and passion for God’s work with Trailhead. It is a time to make plans that will provide the needed structure for the things we’ll do.

So I invite you to offer yourself and your gifts to this season of preparation. Deepen your friendships with each other. Look outside our community to what God is doing around us. Lend your voice to the questions that we’ll ask in the coming months. And work to clear whatever obstacles would keep you from freely offering yourself to our next season of life together.