One theme has been constantly directing my thoughts lately, growth. I am certain that if we are growing we will produce fruit. Fruit is first produced internally then externally. In order for a tree or plant to bear it must first mature. This rolls over into the ministry in that I believe that if someone comes in and sits in one of our services week after week my prayer is that they would grow. Their personal life would begin to reflect the personal change that takes place within them.
I could go on and on about how I have heard and personally seen cases where good well meaning people have sat for years under good teaching, even sacrificed their time and resources for the church but have never grown past the point of conversion. They have changed a whole lot of externals but the internal has not grown one bit. Outwardly they have the appearance but inwardly they have the same attitude about everything, just dressed a little differently.
With that said, I want to make it my personal aim in ministry, as a pastor to make sure I am giving the congregation God has called me to watch over the necessary tools and insight in order to grow. It is my desire to see their personal walk with Christ develop so that what is taking place on the outside is only a reflection of the growth that is taking place on the inside.
As I read, the theme of growth, or better stated, maturity is being brought out. For instance here are a few from a passage I have read from Colossians 1.
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.
So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me. -(Colossians 1:6, 8-10, 23, 28, 29 NLT)