How do we bear faithful fruit in our ministries? This is the question we are all seeking to answer. We spend time in prayer asking for wisdom and guidance to be fruitful. We sit down with other leaders in our church and outside our church to plan how to be fruitful. This is the desire of our hearts as ministers and leaders in the church. So, how do we bear faithful fruit?
Practically, the answer may look different depending on our gifts and contexts, but Jesus is clear faithful fruit only flows out of a heart that abides, remains, and rests in Him and His love. When we focus solely on the outward practices of ministry and ignore the reality of who we are in Christ we cannot produce faithful fruit.
This is a foundational truth, but how often do we forget it? Ministry can be consumed with events, with planning and strategies and budgets. We want to reach out to our communities and take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. There are so many things we want to do, feel called to do, but we must remember lasting fruit doesn’t come from what we do, it comes as the overflow of our abiding in Jesus. John 15:1-11 tells us Jesus is the vine, we are the branches. Verse 5 tells us, “The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me.”
We can’t produce the fruit of the Spirit, the faithful fruit of the Gospel, on our own. It only overflows out of a heart abiding and remaining in Jesus.
This should be an encouragement for our ministries. If we are abiding and remaining in Jesus we will be faithful and we will be fruitful. You are not defined by what you do. Our ministries bear faithful fruit when they are motivated and flow out of hearts abiding in Jesus. The fruit God wants to produce in your ministry is not a burden you have to carry alone. Abide in Christ. Remain in His love. He will produce the fruit and you will be proven to be His disciple, verse 8.
Take the time in your own life to abide and remain in Jesus. This is your first work in ministry. Before the planning and the programs take the time to remain and rest in Jesus and His love for you. Your ministry is not fundamentally what you do. These last few months have shown us the frailty of trusting in our programs. Activities and events are great and they can be used by God to reveal spiritual fruit of transformation and sanctification, but they are not what produce this fruit.
Abide and remain in Jesus. Find your power, your hope, and your strength in Him. Jesus produces faithful fruit and He produces this fruit in hearts, in ministries, and in churches that abide in Him.