Friday, 27 November 2020

Can't see fruit for the tress

Sometimes we just can't see the fruit for the trees! God is doing something among us, but because we are in a certain fixed mindset we seem to be unable to fully go with it.

For example I heard someone share the other day, and they described how they are at a very small church (small in number, and very senior in age). A strength that they have is a building in a very good location in the centre of their town. The person was lamenting the fact that with so few of them they weren't sure that they would be able to host any event this Christmas (further complicated by all the restrictions, of course) - so the classic 'invitational event' like a carol service seemed out of reach for them.

Yet in the same sharing the person also told how one of the senior members had felt led to ensure the building was open for private prayer each day in recent weeks. Their prime location meant that passers-by were in fact popping in, leading to some good conversations. In fact, they said, one visitor even made their step of faith and commitment to Christ through one of these conversations!

So there is the fruit! There is activity of the Spirit of God right there among them, through the utility of their building, and through the openness & faithfulness of the person opening up and being available.

Why not make those open drop-in times the focus of the small fellowship for this season, and not worry so much about their inability to hold a 'church service'? After all, which of the two did Jesus actually call us to do? Wasn't the commission to 'make disciples', with no mention of 'maintain regular / traditional services at all costs'!

Our mindset of 'Christian faith = regular fixed service' can do us a dis-service and stop us from seeing (and rejoicing in and going with) the fruit of God's activity among us. Its not that none of us should hold services, or gather people for worship, or hold invitational events ... its down to a question of perspective and being clearer on what Jesus is (or isn't) actually calling us to do.

Rather than staring into a forest of things we can't do, why not concentrate on the fruit-bearing plant (however small it seems) that is right before us ...

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