Well Connected and Fruitful
Well Connected and Fruitful
Christian leadership requires that we remain well connected to Christ as a branch is connected to the vine, and that we lead others to the same. Local churches too are to be well connected to the Lord receiving newness of life and bearing fruit in Him, and remaining well connected to others who also belong to Him.
A regrettable but glaring symptom of illness in the church is our sense of independence. We too often prefer to go it alone. As individuals we might emphasize our personal faith but deemphasize the community of faith. But healthy, fruit bearing trees always have more than one branch, and orchards always have more than one tree.
The Lord does not intend for any of us to be solo Christians. Yet only a small percentage of those who profess Jesus Christ are genuinely involved in a local body of believers. Local congregations may carry this same malaise by focusing primarily on ourselves and failing to see our part in or responsibility to the broader community around us, or our need for and connection to the wider Body of Christ so that we might bear fruit for Him together.
In John 15 Jesus used the image of an orchard or vineyard to tell us it is God’s will for all of us to be fruit-bearing branches, and that like a gardener our Heavenly Father will prune us to make us more fruitful. This compels us to pray that we will be well connected, and to invite the Lord to prune us. Toward that end let us reflect on the following Scriptures, asking God to show the condition of our connections in these areas:
1. Connected to God – (John 15:1-8; Romans 11:17). How precious to be connected to God through the Lord Jesus Christ! We are now as branches grafted onto a vine, receiving our life from Him, and producing good fruit for Him.
Are you living your life as blessed, dependent, alive, and fruit-bearing because of your connection to God through Jesus Christ? Let us live and lead connection to God.
2. Connected to One another in Local Churches – (I Corinthians 12:20-27; Hebrews 10:24-25). How wonderful that we are not solo Christians, that we do have each other, and that in local churches we can serve the Lord and one another and demonstrate together the truth and character of Christ.
Are you treasuring your local church? Are you involved? Let us live and lead connection with others in a local church.
3. Connected to a Needy World – (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:14-16). We have been commissioned as lighthouses and stars, shining for God in our communities. Local churches are called together to be as the mouth, hands, feet and heart of God! The world needs us to do so!
Are you connected to your world? Do you see the needs around you? Are you strategizing for intentional outreach in your communities? Let us live and lead connection to this needy world.
4. Connected to the wider Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:1-6, 16; Revelation 7:9-10). How amazing that God sees His Church as one; and a day is soon coming when we will all be together before His glorious throne in worship. Since this is already in God’s design, surely He intends for every local church to be connected now through prayer and witness with the wider Church of which we are part!
Are you fully enjoying the privileges and responsibilities of connections to the wider Body of Christ? Let us live and lead connection to the wider body of Christ.
If God reveals to you a personal or corporate condition of spiritual disconnection, He is pruning you so you may bear more fruit. Your part is to allow His pruning of your life by repentance and obedience (Rev.3:2-3). In this way you can be well connected and fruitful in Christ!