I’ve planted a few fruit trees. Some have survived, most have not. Deer and my inconsistent care have resulted in their demise. Even the survivors are not yet fruitful. I expect and desire fruit, but there is a process.
Jesus expected His followers to be fruitful. Fruit does not just happen in the natural or spiritual. Consider the process regarding those you disciple.
- Fruitfulness comes with maturity. There is a root, then there is fruit. Prayer, the Word of God and applying Bible principles to life are part of the “rooting” process. The tree is maturing in an environment with much opposition. Growth to fruitfulness requires consistent care.
- Fruitfulness requires pollination. Some fruit trees need pollen from a similar but different tree. If the correct pollen does not reach the blooms on a pear tree, no pears are produced. A bloom is potential. The bloom is a possibility of things to come. Converts are possibilities, but they are unlikely to be consistent with tithe and offering and unlikely to use their God-given gifts for God’s purpose unless someone pollinates their possibility.
What does it look like to prepare a convert to be fruitful?
- Treat converts with care.
- Give them an environment in which to Take Root. These ten lessons teach some basic premises of prayer, Bible reading, Bible study and doctrine.
- Lead the “rooted” to understand their Christian responsibilities. Bear Fruit has 11 lessons with instructions on making a difference for God. The lessons include witnessing, tithing, offering and Godly living.
- People need to be involved in a meaningful role of ministry. Every person does not bear the same fruit. One person may be great at bringing people to church but terrible at teaching a What the Bible Says . . . Home Bible Study. One enjoys teaching a junior Sunday school class, while another would be a disaster as a teacher. A gifted teacher is not likely to be the best at cleaning the church. Help people bear the fruit God equipped them to produce. In our case, we do this with seven lessons on Motivational Gifts. The series is named Fitly Framed.
It is not necessary to use Take Root, Bear Fruit and Fitly Framed. It is important for you to care for converts with strategy and intent if you expect to see fruit. Look at the portfolio of disciple-making resources at CarltonCoonSr.com. At checkout, use Persp5 to claim a 5% discount.
Carlton L. Coon Sr. pastors SpringfieldCalvary.church (Springfield, Missouri). Past Director of North American Missions. Author of 23 books. For a conversation about revival e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog posts and resources are at carltoncoonsr.com.