There were times in church planting, friends/people would leave over the years. The frustration, pain, and tears that came with it were brutal. What did I do? So much fruit was poured into them. Why are they leaving? Then there were times, it seemed like people in the church were constantly taking, rather than giving back. A season we felt like we were pouring all of ourselves, and had nothing left.
I was reading a parent book the other day talking about fruit bearing trees. It talked about how fruit trees do not care what happens to their fruit. Whether it is picked by a good farmer, it drops to the ground and rots, or an animal carries it off. The fruit tree continually keeps bearing fruit every year faithfully. It doesn't decide one day, I don't see where this fruit is going, so I am going to call it quits.
John 15:8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples
I couldn't help but think this morning about us as leaders in the church bearing fruit. I think sometimes we are a little picky about who gets a bite. Will they cherish the time I put into the fruit? Will they savor it? Will they treat it like I think they should? If not, why waste bearing fruit on those who may not want it, or may not stay?
John 15:12-13 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Notice in both scriptures, what Christ says. Bear much fruit, and love as I have loved. Christ died before we ever loved Him. Naturally, we much rather plant fruit for the kind farmers in our lives. The people we know, and see our fruit is making a difference in. But, really like Christ we should bear fruit for the animals. The ones who don't really understand it. Because, animals take the fruit, eat it, then disperse its seeds in other locations, for new fruit trees to grow.
When people leave the church, we should no longer view it as loss. But send them out, because whether we realize it or they realize it, the fruit we sewed into them will bear more fruit. We just may never see it. Or maybe you have been pouring into someone continually, and see nothing good coming from it? Don't lose heart. What looks like rotten fruit on the ground, may just be fruit that is turning to fertilizer for you to bear more fruit. Let's stop being picky with who we bear fruit to, and bear much fruit regardless of what we think should happen to it. Let's love one another well, and lay down our lives for each other, no matter if we ever get it in return.
Fruit trees don't always know where their fruit is going. But they faithfully, and continually keep bearing fruit, because that is what they were made to do.
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor