Becoming a Fruitful Church – This past summer we examined together the nine qualities that the Spirit of God desires to grow in each of our lives, the fruits of the Spirit listed by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This Fall we are going to explore how to apply this idea of fruitfulness to our life together as congregation. How can we become a more fruitful congregation?
In a book that the Session and I have begun reading and studying, Bishop Robert Schnase describes Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations – Radical Hospitality. Passionate Worship. Intentional Faith Development. Risk-Taking Mission and Service. Extravagant Generosity. In coming weeks we will explore each of these fundamental practices in sermons and feedback sessions. Together we will seek to find new ways to grow in each of these practices to strengthen our ministry as a congregation.
Schnase warns that “These five practices are so critical to the fruitfulness of congregations that the failure to perform them in an exemplary way leads to the deterioration of the church’s mission. Ignore any one of these tasks or perform any of them in a mediocre, inconsistent, or poor manner, and the church will eventually decline, turn in on itself, and die away.” (p.163) But the opposite is also true. These practices show us what we can work on to flourish and be more fruitful. By God’s grace, I believe we will find ways to faithfully live out our calling to be a fruitful congregation in service to God and the world.
To listen to my message, click on Becoming a Fruitful Church