• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

community: part 3 of 3

Community_titleBill (WT Canada) has been writing some exceptionally good stuff on community and I couldn’t resist sharing his final installment:

“I want to end this three part series by talking about fruit. I like fruit; apples, oranges, grapes, I like them all. Fruit is the result of a larger process. Planting, cultivating, pruning, pollination, flowering and finally the fruit, the enjoyment, the end result. But fruit is not a guarantee. Some trees look good, look healthy, but they fail to produce.

Our Christian community should be that of fruit producing. The sweetness of the fruit, the way the vine and the branches are interconnected and together produce the fruit. Jesus himself says in John 15:4-5; “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches”.  There is an interconnectedness of the vine (Jesus), the branches (you and I) and the fruit that results from this relationship.

However, the real secret of the fruit are the seeds. The ability to reproduce “in like kind” and thus continue to bear fruit each season is something that we also need to have within our Christian community. We must become reproducers of good fruit. We must allow, even look for at times, the necessary pruning in our lives that make “abundant fruit” possible.

It’s easy to just look good, to have the appearance of community, maybe even some perception of fruit. But the real test is in the seeds, the ability to reproduce. Our Christian community needs to be multiplicative by nature, inviting, discipling, training, nurturing and sending out that the seeds of our community self-propagate, grow and produce new fruit wherever they fall.

Are we willing to allow ourselves to be pruned by the master vine-dresser so that our fruit extends beyond our community and reproduces itself in other areas?”

Bill’s last question is a challenge for each of us to consider. Join us as well on ‘the Hub’ at the Global Conversation Café for an ongoing discussion of community.

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