There are two statements of Jesus that ought to strike fear in every Christian leader. They are these: "Apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5), and "Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:4). The reason those are frightening words is that we are so used to doing things with the latest strategies, our fine education and great resources (in the west) and it is very easy to forget that eternal results only come from connection with the eternal God. That is the other side of the equation, "If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit" (John 15:5). The key is the closeness of our connection with Him.

What keeps Christian leaders from staying intimately connected with Jesus and dependent on Him in their ministries? I would suggest four common reasons:

  • Pride. We simply think that we can do great things by ourselves because we have an inflated view of our own abilities and we chase our agendas over God's agendas - of course with the appropriate spiritual language to give it legitimacy.
  • Busyness. We are too busy doing His work to really spend much time with Him. We begin to think that He will bless simply because we serving Him.
  • Resources. We have the training, education, money and personnel to get things done so we simply go for it.
  • Forgetfulness. We forget that the key to everything we do is our connection to Him.
We can indeed to much without God's help but we cannot do anything of eternal value without it. Fruit comes from Him alone and that is all about remaining in Him, in which case we will bear "much fruit." Ironically it is in doing less and abiding in Him that we actually see more because He is the the one who produces the fruit.

All of us would do well to regularly read and meditate on John 15. How are we doing in staying connected to the vine? How are we doing in "remaining in Him?" It is the leadership essential that we talk too little about as it is central to our success. 

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 discount on orders of ten or more.

  • Oct 20, 2014
  • Category: News
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