Yeah, I know that’s a wide open question, but the New Testament says a lot about production. Of course, in their agrarian culture they used the word fruitfulness. And often.
In our performance-oriented, comparison-driven culture, this can be dangerous; it can creep into our understanding of grace and how relationship with Jesus is initiated and maintained.
But the Creator Father in whose image we’re made, loves output that glorifies beauty, love, truth, and transformation. Like any artist.
Since we are God’s poiema—his workmanship—it implies we do likewise, that we produce something of beauty and truth. And nothing is more beautiful than the recapturing and reproducing God’s visage in others.
If the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, etc.—and we’re all responsible for allowing him to produce that in us—then what is the fruit of a believer? In Paul’s poiema passage in Ephesians 2:10, he describes our fruit simply as good works. That is, anything that promotes the values and outcomes of the Kingdom of God—justice, mercy, transformation, and especially the replication of other believers who will spread the values, power, and outcomes of the Kingdom of God
It’s not uncommon for me to hear church mission statements that essentially say: “make disciples that make disciples.” Agreed. But it’s imperative that we define what a disciple actually is and does.
In the church I pastored, we realized that the first step in becoming a “disciple-making community” meant landing on a definition of a disciple. We finally agreed on: a surrendered and transformed person who loves God and others. In the simplicity of that description we wanted to capture the “outward-focus” aspect of followership that was critical to our organizational DNA.
We graphed that definition over the life-stages of discipleship:
Our goal was to move people into Quadrant 2 in their spiritual journey.
So what do you want to produce? Is it clearly defined? Can you imagine a car-manufacturing company that never really agreed on what their cars were to look like or do?
That might be Step Number One in re-orienting your church toward real production.
Question of the Day: Do your leaders have a clear picture of what your church is to produce?
Dave Workman | Elemental Churches
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)