Fruitfulness: How long do you wait? (4 of 4)

February 28: John Wesley charters the Methodis...

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Last week, I had a series of posts about fruitfulness. As I have thought more about this topic, I wondered, How long do you wait?

How long do you wait:

  • before naming that you have been busy and not bearing fruit?
  • to make a change?
  • to celebrate fruit that is being born?
  • before checking something out with your District Superintendent?
  • when a stakeholder is disgruntled?
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Fruitfulness: Every Day Living (3 of 4)

Examples of bowls from boards

How do we help people live fruitfully in their day to day life?

Ultimately, the church is not about keeping a variety of interesting programs running and giving people something that to do that is segmented from the rest of their lives. We are about equipping people to live fruitfully in their every day life – at work, with their family, when grocery shopping or even when they show up to worship.

What are some practices that you have found that equip people for living daily the fruit of the spirit?

Fruitfulness: Distinguishing Busyness (2 of 4)

How do we separate busyness and fruitfulness?

Fruitfulness leads to the fruit of the spirit are evidenced among the people. Another way to consider this is to see lives changed, communities transformed and the church renewed.

Busyness does not lead to evidence of the fruit of the spirit. Busyness does not lead to changed lives, transformed communities or renewal within the church.

Fruitfulness: Ministry Audits (1 of 4)

Frosted tree outside my local church

Image by jcoterhals via Flickr

It may be common practice to have the financial books of a local church to be regularly audited.

Does the leadership of your congregation ever conduct ministry audits for fruitfulness?

What would it look like to determine the fruitfulness of a particular ministry area in the church – small groups, UMW, a worship service?

Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results – Review

I recently just finished Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results by Lovett H. Weems, Jr. and Tom Berlin. Along with other members of the senior staff, I read this in preparation for our semi-annual retreat today. I have been considering what it fruitful and effective ministry is like, especially in response to Kevin Watson’s post, Further Thoughts on Measuring Effective Ministry. I appreciated many of the principles put forth in this book. Here is a brief summary:

  1. Fruitfulness is part of the character of God and the story told throughout scripture.
  2. There is a clear difference between business and fruitfulness.
  3. Always be clear about why you are doing anything in the life of the church, i.e. We have worship each week, so that
  4. Alignment between God’s vision and the vision of the leadership is essential for fruitfulness.
  5. Capturing a creation story for an existing congregation can catalyze fruitfulness.
  6. The entirety of God sized visions aren’t always revealed at the outset.
  7. Fruitfulness is enhanced by the governing board, church staff and the congregation being on the same page about vision
  8. As a church leader, paying attention to how you care for yourself is of utmost importance.
  9. God gives the growth

Perhaps most helpful, I found a clear way to consider fruitful leadership:

“Fruitful leaders care about results because results are ways to go beyond merely filling a pastoral role to active participation in seeking results that we are convinced emerge from the gospel we preach.” (xvi, Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results)

In the words of LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow, “But you don’t have to take my word for it…”