We live in an instant gratification culture! Yet, so much of what God does, He does over time. Consider the following…
1. Jesus spoke about life change in terms of producing fruit ~ Fruit isn’t produced over night. It takes seasons, storms and time for fruit to grow and ripen.
Everyone loves stories of immediate life change. We even speak about how many “lives were changed” as a result of our ministry events. But the fact is, only time will tell. The fruit of our ministry will take time to ripen. If you’ve been in your leadership position for at least three years, then all around you is your fruit!
Only artificial fruit can be mass produced and manufactured. God’s fruit will happen slowly over time. Like it or not!
2. Jesus spoke about Kingdom advancement in farming terms ~ Farmers are in no hurry. There’s one trait that marks every farmer – patience. Farmers do their part (plough, plant and wait), and trust God to do His part (rain and photosynthesis).
One of the greatest problems in ministry is leadership obsession with immediate success, numeric growth, and short term measurements. Yet Jesus clearly said that God does not advance His Kingdom like that. The light of the gospel is not a flash in the pan, but more like sunlight that slowly dawns into the full light of day.
As a leader, here are the questions I’m wrestling over…
- What has God called me to produce over the long haul? For me, I want to reproduce disciplers, raise up leaders, and stimulate missional community.
- What seeds should I be sowing today? In order for my leadership to produce the fruit God desires, I must sow seeds of relationships, conversations, vision casting and life coaching.
- What season has God brought? Leadership has its seasons. Seasons are extended times of God conditioning my growth. Sometimes God wants me to wait. Other times He wants to plough up my heart.
As a leader, I cannot let the immediate obscure the ultimate. What if my personal leadership scorecard reflected God’s ultimate agenda, rather than our culture’s immediate measurements of success?
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith” – Galatians 6:9, MSG
Mike Breen: "The transformation in your heart will bring the transformation in the place where you live."
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