“So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.”-Matthew 7:17-18
How do you judge the health of a plant? If it is vibrant and healthy, it yields fruit which strengthens those who partake of what it produces. The same principle applies to a local congregation.
A church worried about its own survival has little time or energy to engage in Christian outreach. A group consumed by envy, pride, and bitterness is too busy biting and devouring one another to grow (Galatians 5:15). The stench of spiritual rot drives off any newcomers regardless.
So what does it say that we have the first VBS in seven years scheduled for this week? Please forgive me as I reminisce for a moment.
It says God has blessed us with young families. Our Lord has given us youthful parents who are willing to teach classes. So many people have chipped in to clean, trim, paint, and prepare, “for the people had a mind to work.”-Nehemiah 4:6. Most importantly, we now have enough kids to fill out our classes.
There is a brief sentence in the minutes from a Men’s Business Meeting held seven years ago in March. It reads, “The men decided not to hold a VBS for 2016.” It makes me sad to think of our broken, little tree. It was not strong enough to bear fruit. Young people were no longer being fed and strengthened like they should have been.
Praise be to God we now have leaves on branches and the harvest is ripe! On one hand, “It’s just a VBS.” But it means much more to me. We have been through some trying times in the wilderness. We now have shepherds and servants according to God’s pattern. We have lost members, gained new faces, and even reclaimed those who wandered away. Thank you, Lord, for the sound of a growing church, a healthy tree!
“I’m in the Lord’s Army, I’m in the Lord’s Army. I may never…”