"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 TNIV).
John 15 gives us a picture of what Spirit-filled ministry looks like—a growing vine with branches full of ripe, juicy fruit! But it also warns against taking our walk with Christ lightly.
“If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (15:6-8).
It’s easy to be caught up in the busy details of ministry and lose track of our own faith life. And it’s tempting to think that our personality, training, and skills are enough to help kids grow. But the message is clear: we can’t help others grow if we aren’t growing ourselves! Shriveled up branches simply don’t produce grapes.
Growth happens as we stay connected with Jesus, and his love, grace, and peace flow through us to the kids and families we serve.
Take some time today to nurture your relationships with Christ. Try one of these ideas:
- Read a familiar passage in a different translation or a paraphrase like The Message.
- Take a walk alone to pray and reflect on the way God has been working in your life lately.
- Call a friend and share prayer requests.
- Flip on the Christian radio station and spend some time praising God.
- Find a way to serve Christ by serving someone else.
- Get away to a quiet place to talk to God about fears, worries, disappointments, or joys. Ask for what you need, and rest in God’s presence.
- Read a psalm and draw or paint an image to express it without words.
- Make a chart or timeline of important moments along your faith journey—how have you grown over time? How are you growing now?
© 2009, Faith Alive Christian Resources. Permission granted to photocopy this page for church use.