Of all the facets involved in living as a disciple of Jesus Christ, which is the greatest differentiator in terms of effectiveness? According to Dr. Lovett Weems and the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary it is fruitfulness. Dr. Weems and Tom Berlin of the Floris UMC in Virginia have written an engaging book appropriately entitled, “Bearing Fruit” that speaks to the reality that fruitfulness is an infinitely better metric marker than faithfulness. The rationale is that fruitfulness includes faithfulness but also captures the biblical mandate of multiplication when it comes to being disciples of Jesus Christ who are making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Throughout the Gospels Jesus emphasized the metric of fruitfulness and was redundant in his teaching that, “we will know a tree by the fruit it bears.” Disciples of Jesus are like trees or fruit bearing plants; we either live in fruitfulness or we don’t. Corporately, churches are charged with the same behavioral metric which means that a ministry of presence is good, as is a posture of faithfulness, but the Great Commandment and the Great Commission are measured behaviorally by the fruit born of the effort. Jesus did not go to the cross to grant us a license to live in apathy or ineffectiveness. In fact, Jesus went to the cross for the cause of maximum effectiveness as we live and love in His resurrection power and in Him through the Holy Spirit.
May God set our face towards fruitfulness! In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Lord, let it be so! Amen