You did not choose me, but I chose youand appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. ~ John 15:16
READING: John 15:1-16
The first command in Genesis is fruitfulness. Then Jesus taught his disciples to remain in his love in order to bear fruit. Before Jesus ascended, he commanded his disciples to make other disciples, that is, to bear fruit. Fruitfulness, not mere activity, is the goal.
What does it mean for leaders and churches to bear fruit?
All throughout Scripture, good leaders, at some point in their ministry, usually in the very beginning, focused their attention on disciple-making. The succession plan was the plan. We see this all the way from Abraham (Isaac) to the apostle Paul (Timothy, Barnabas). Fruit that remains must of necessity force our attention onto disciple-making.
The very definition of leadership can be understood as investing in other leaders. The job of every church planter is to turn their attention to, invest in, and raise up other leaders. If we are not doing this, then are we leading at all according to the Biblical understanding of leadership?
In the same vein, every church that is planted is at once called to exist and to perpetuate that existence by planting other churches. The very health of the church plant demands that it crank its missional, reproductive gears from the onset as a way to define and legitimize itself as a church.
Blessed to be a blessing; saved to be a leader; and planted to become a planting church. This is the way and heart of God’s kingdom.
Jesus, You are the first among many brothers and sisters. Your heart is not just for me and my world. I want to bear fruit. Help me to do so. Amen.
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) “Equips Leaders to Plant 5 Million Churches Worldwide.” Learn more