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Honor Fruitfulness

We will increase the number of growing and fruitful Free Methodist churches by encouraging and aiding successful leaders and their ministries. We will tell the story of these ministries to the rest of the denomination.


By Matthew Thomas Bishop, FMCUSA

Church Growth

The church is a wonder to those who are part of it, a sometimes invisible blessing to the world and the lifeline for our deepest connection with God. Jesus forecasted its growth. The apostle Paul spoke lovingly about it as Christ’s bride. The apostle John regarded it as a family – truly the most intimate of all families. The Spirit gave gifts for its edification. Serious warnings are given to those who might harm it. And, God’s plan for the world’s restoration involves it through and through. The church is God’s creation and key participant with him in the salvation of humankind. Truly glorious!

The church is God’s creation and key participant with him in the salvation of humankind.

Make no mistake about it. God wants the church to be healthy and growing. Two familiar quotes of Jesus (one a command, the other a prayer) make it clear that he is concerned about its health and its growth. Or to use other words, he is interested in the church’s depth and breadth. The first, is the great commission. In it, he commanded his disciples to make disciples, obedient ones to everything he commands, and to make them of all nations. In other words, better disciples and more disciples. He neither commanded us to make converts, people who merely believe nor narrowly in a small region of the earth. Instead, his command involved disciples, people who follow and learn to obey everything he commanded and broadly everywhere. That is depth and breadth.

Make no mistake about it. God wants the church to be healthy and growing.

The second, is the prayer that he taught us to pray. In it, we pray a prayer of depth, for a heart of forgiveness and for the achievement of God’s complete will for lives. And, we pray for breadth, that his kingdom would replicate on earth what is in heaven. The Scriptures say many things about heaven. Perhaps one of the most telling is that it includes people of every race, language, nation and tribe. The prayer, like the command, is for depth and breadth. Or another way to put it is for health and growth.

In reality, if we make committed disciples, the churches we serve will grow.

As Free Methodists, we believe in advocating, teaching and encouraging holiness (health and depth). And, we urge every ministry to be one of community and world-wide impact (growth and breadth). It is falsely assumed by some that we must choose one over the other or emphasize one over the other. In reality, if we make committed disciples, the churches we serve will grow. In fact, the impact will be uncontainable. One of our important foci is to do all within our power to help large, growing and fruitful churches become more effective and spread their influence throughout the church to help others who understand the need to reach broadly and effectively. The large, growing and fruitful churches are a blessing to the Free Methodist Church and the global ministry. We celebrate them and seek to facilitate their effectiveness and resource their efforts. We hope to see more and more churches that experience growth and encourage it to continue for years to come. May this be the case for thousands of Free Methodist Churches in our global work.

Videos:

Vision Cast

Free Methodist bishops discussed three of their Uniquely Free Methodist strategies — Cultivate Health, Go Global and Honor Fruitfulness — during their latest Vision Cast, which debuted Jan. 5 at fmcusa.org/live. Thomas said the importance of fruitfulness dates back to Creation when God said, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22, 28 NKJV). The theme continues throughout the Old Testament and into the New Testament. “Jesus talks a lot about rewarding and honoring fruitfulness, and we want to do that,” Thomas said. Watch the full Vision Cast …

GC15 Honors Fruitfulness

One of the ways Free Methodists honor fruitfulness is preparing for a harvest. To partner with God in producing fruit, churches must develop disciples and leaders who fervently desire the pursuit of Christ. This ambition is difficult when implemented alone. However, when leaders and church members are equipped and readied for the labor to which they’ve been called, fruitfulness increases. GC15 has been redesigned with the goal in mind of becoming a resourcing event like never before. One of it’s primary aims is to equip and inspire Free Methodist leaders to abound in much fruit. Learn more and watch the video …

Discussion: Can you remember the most fruitful outreach your church has ever done?

Prayer both on the street in front of our church. All types of people stop for prayer. Many have come back to church on Sundays. Some have surrendered to Christ.

– Brian Warth

I don’t know if it was the most fruitful, but the act of our sewing ministry of dresses shirts and shorts too Africa is pretty darn cool..

– Jeff Melchior

Our Church Freedom Church, has reached out to bikers for years because we are so close to Sturgis. Feeding, letting them stay in the church for the rally and just being friends. We were blessed this year by Roger White a biker who stays at our church during Sturgis. He sent a check for $6,500. to be used for more biker ministry! God is good all the time. We plan to reach out to more bikers this year!

– Deborah Muller

What do you think? Join the conversation.

Resources:

New Fruit in River City

Four years ago, Peter Hough traded Southern California for Southern Illinois to become Emmanuel FMC’s associate pastor. At a staff retreat that year, church employees prayed for God’s direction. “We felt very clearly God tell us: Go shine a light into dark places,” Hough said.

Bishops Share Vision of Fruitfulness

Free Methodist bishops speak to the issue honoring fruitfulness as they discussed three of their Uniquely Free Methodist strategies — Cultivate Health, Go Global and Honor Fruitfulness — during their latest Vision Cast, which debuted Jan. 5 at fmcusa.org/live.

Finding and Growing Fruitful Leaders

Excellent leaders and fruitful servants abound. The Father endowed everyone with gifts, passions, abilities and experiences that Christ purposes to use for bringing ripe spiritual fruit everywhere. But these gifted, fruitful leaders often start out hidden.

Fruitfulness around the World

The story of how one church, over almost a century, has purposefully partnered with God to honor fruitfulness all over the globe. Their efforts have been rewarded by amazing stories of life change, a healthy congregation, and legacy of fruitfulness in building the Kingdom for his glory.

Fruit Matters

Pastors and church leaders react in interesting ways when the subject of fruitful ministry comes up. Some immediately rattle off numbers, implying spiritual fruit is primarily measured in quantitative terms. Others insist it is a qualitative thing, pointing out that Scripture teaches that all fruit is not equal.

Tasty Church

Life and fruitfulness have an essential connection. If one generation exists without fruitfulness, life would be extinguished — except for maybe rhubarb, which seems to have survived unchanged and unimproved since the age of dinosaurs.

Called to Fruitfulness and Growth

Fruitfulness comes from God. It is something to celebrate and something for which God always gets the ultimate glory. That being said, there are several distinct factors that are part of our experiences of fruitfulness in the Church


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