“Where’s the beef?” I’m sure many of you remember that famous line from a Wendy’s commercial in the early 80s. It’s part of our societal jargon now.
But…”where’s the fruit?” is my new slogan.
The other week I was sitting in an empty church. It was 10 at night, and hubby was wrapping up prep for the next morning’s meeting. I was complaining, internally, about how many hours we have put into ministry over the last 25+ years. I was tired, hormonal, and feeling a bit neglected. Selfish, really! I lay down in one of the pews and started praying. I could feel questions starting to bubble up inside.
“Where’s the fruit?”
“And how many have been saved because we volunteer endless hours?”
I had to take a long hard look at my heart. What fruit has there really been from my, albeit reluctant, volunteering over the decades? Burnout? Bitterness? Fatigue with all the religious rhetoric?
Is that what it really has been? A waste of time?
No…it hasn’t been a waste of time. But it has been a distraction. Many of us spend so much time and energy serving the church, and we don’t spend any time reaching the lost. We have support groups, small groups, prayer groups, meetings, and great music…all of them important. It’s vital to have a church that is equipped to help the lost. But who’s bringing them in?
I’m sorry to say that after decades of service, there hasn’t been any real fruit from me when it comes to salvations. The enemy has kept me really busy being busy. I haven’t had the time to spend time with the people that need Jesus. I have built them a place to come, but I haven’t brought them there. It’s easy to rely on the people that do “ministry” to bring in the lost. But, it isn’t fair to them. They are in need of help, support…and they shouldn’t be the only ones spreading the good news.
So, why am I a christian? Is it to secure myself a place in heaven? Is it so that I can serve other christians? We tithe, sing, weep, and praise our Lord. We volunteer…some of us for decades.
And for what?
Who on this earth has gotten to know Jesus because of me? And through my service?
The last words that Jesus gave before He left were...“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone…” (Mark 16:15 NLT)
This blog wasn’t written to incite any guilt. I don’t feel guilty, because for some reason this just feels like a new epiphany in my life. I can’t look back, only forward. I love the heart of Jesus. He gently reveals new insight, and lets us go with it. What we know, is then our responsibility to tell. The love that Jesus has for me, and for everyone, is so powerful…that if I don’t tell people about it, I am robbing them of something so wonderful, so pure, and redeeming.
I won’t stop serving the church, as it is a place for the lost to find a home.
But my new mandate is to also find those lost and bring them home…