Last week, I was freed up from my responsibilities at home (thanks, Meg 🙂 to get away and consider life, ministry, and long-term direction. I know it comes as a surprise to some of you, but making plans for an organization like a local church doesn’t come by simple planning or simply getting strategic goals lined up with direction. For me, I need lots of time unhurried to pray, think, reflect, and seek God. While I’m perfectly happy to chart a course for a local church, this overestimates my ability to my (and the church’s) peril.
Jesus, in John 15, said that He’s the vine, we are the branches. If we abide in Him and He abides in us, we will bear much fruit, for apart from Him, WE CAN DO NOTHING. Get that? It’s not about me, the Elders, or even what our local body believes we can do. Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. And, His plans for the church comes as we abide in Him. His plans for the church emerge as we consistently abide in Him.
So, I’ve been blessed with this time to plan. What emerged out this? Well, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I need to preaching on and what book I need to spend time preaching. I considered where we are as a church and how that lines up with the Master’s plan for His church. I’m stirred to action to see what needs to happen before the end of the year or even in the coming year. And, in light of all this, I realized that apart from Him I can do nothing.
I say all this to encourage you. Are you abiding in Jesus? This is where fruitfulness begins. Whether you’re a pastor or someone charting a course for this next season of your life and work, begin with abiding in Jesus. Fruitfulness and enablement will happen through this season — at least that’s what Jesus says.