Growth. A complex word, growth. It’s found everywhere. Personal growth plans. Business growth strategies. Income growth. Spiritual growth. Investment growth.
Everywhere you look the word “growth” creeps in.
In scripture, Jesus spoke of growth in terms of bearing fruit. A field full of stalks, Jesus had little regard for. Bearing fruit, Kingdom fruit, was the only way to measure growth.
In John 15, people that didn’t bear fruit should be pruned. Ouch!
Raised on a cotton farm, I have a personal understanding for growth and bearing fruit (a crop). The yield of the crop was the only determinate for success. What mattered was how many bales of cotton you took to the gin. You worked at increasing yield every year.
It didn’t matter if you were good at driving a tractor. It didn’t matter if your machinery was always kept in pristine condition. It didn’t even matter if you knew the vocabulary of farming. Production was the only measurement of success.
So that’s where I come from when I think of our church. Bearing fruit is how I evaluate our church. Is our yield increasing? Spiritually? Numerically?
Are we tending machinery or are we growing fruit? The difference is everything! Jesus said, “the fields are ripe for harvest”.
Are you growing? I hope so. I pray that I am, everyday.
(Original content written September 2009)