A few weeks ago I shared the story of God affirming his call on my life to be a pastor (GOD’S CALLING on your life). Part of God’s message to me at the time was that I was called to “bear fruit that remains”. Ever since that day I frequently pray that God woud show me how to be more fruitful and how to bear fruit that lasts the test of time.
Recently, I have spent time in Los Angeles and in Marietta with some of the people that attended churches I pastored.
Soon after we arrived back in the US, we ran into a man who got saved in our very first church 32 years ago. His life had been miraculously transformed. Just seeing his face brought back all the joy we had when he first came to Christ. As we got reconnected, he introduced us to his son, who now leads an outreach to teenagers in a local park. What a testimony of fruit that had lasted!
A few weeks later we were visiting with one of the elders from another one of the churches we pastored. Unfortunately, he shared about a number of close friends who were no longer attending church.
AS A PASTOR, I OFTEN WONDER, “IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO DIFFERENTLY SO THAT MORE OF THE FRUIT REMAINS?”
First of all, let me say that it doesn’t do any good to get bogged down in regret. I am convinced that we all have regrets, but it doesn’t do any good to dwell on what might have happened if . . .
Furthermore, there are many indicators in scripture that there will always be those that start off well, but fall away over time. In the parable of the sower for example three out of four seeds result in fruit that is stolen, burned up or choked out.
However, I do believe we are responsible to ask ourselves (and the Lord), “What can I learn from the results I am seeing?”
IS THERE A BETTER WAY TO DO THINGS THAT MIGHT RESULT IN MORE FRUIT LASTING?
What are your thoughts?
I would love to hear some of the ideas you have for helping the people who come to our churches to keep following Jesus their whole lifetime.