Bearing Fruit Update.
Jesus tells us, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” - John 15: 16
As a church, we have dedicated this year as “The Year of Bearing Fruit.” During the strange year of 2020, we were given a pause to examine ourselves as individuals and as a church. It was much like the chance a gardener has to assess the fruitfulness and practices of the previous season during the winter months. The gardener tills, prunes, and makes plans for a better garden during this time.
During 2020, we initiated various changes to till, prune, and improve the grounds for the type of fruit bearing we are called to do.
Recognizing the need to be able to reach people at home, setting up for live streaming involved a number of things. The stage was cleared and cleaned to better emphasize the simple and important aspects of worship: communion, songs, and Scripture. The lighting on the stage and above the pews makes the whole environment brighter and more awake, and the very ability to stream the services makes it an option that if you can’t make it to church, you can still be a part of it. We pray the fruit of worship increases with less clutter and more light.
The kitchen and fellowship hall have been completely renovated, painted and updated. The stove can hold six big pots of soup, double oven keep up to eight casseroles warm - all while cooking three dozen eggs on the built in griddle! We have always been a church that thrives around the table, and now we have a kitchen and dining room that reflects it. We are prepared to bear the fruit of fellowship as we are better set up for Sunday breakfast, Fellowship suppers, senior game days, the bazaar, fundraisers, and other celebrations (graduations, showers, receptions, etc.).
Class rooms have been cleaned and cleared for continued bearing fruit in the active classes, and we are “tilling the soil” for a new bed of growing a children’s ministry. The playground area is being cleared and made safe for future plans of fellowship and play. And this summer, a team is being formed to germinate a vision for the kids.
To top it all off, we have planted two fig trees (that are already bearing fruit!) and six grape vines to commemorate this year of intentional effort to answer our call to bear fruit, fruit that will last. Let us not forget the second part of Jesus’ words amids all this, though! God is FOR us bearing fruit in His name and for His purposes. He says whatever we ask toward that purpose will be given. So let us close with this prayer:
Gracious God, we desire to bear fruit as individuals and as a church in this community. We ask for the wisdom, encouragement, finances, and patience it will take to bear YOUR fruit through us. We ask for your Spirit’s stirring in volunteers and leaders to do YOUR will in this work. Let it never be OUR work. And let us bear fruit that lasts. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
See you at the garden. SK
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.