I was lying on the floor pushing Thomas the Tank Engine around his wooden track when I realized my young son had been speaking to me for the past 30 seconds, but I hadn’t listened to a word he had said. Instead, I was too preoccupied thinking about the church. Those precious moments were now gone—never to return. Sadly, I bet many other pastors can relate.
Several years ago I met with a young man who had overcome a lot of sin and had been walking in victory with Jesus. In this particular meeting, though, he seemed beat up and filled with guilt. I asked him what was going on, and he said he felt defeated. Upon further discussion, he described an intense temptation that he had experienced the last several weeks. I asked him if he had acted on the temptation, and he answered, “No.”
I began to smile at him, and he looked at me, quite confused.
As a leader, you want to harness who you are (roots) and what you have to offer (core) for the good of others (fruit). Actions are what stretches you to produce fruit in the world. These are the activities in which you engage in order to branch out beyond yourself and into your context.
I believe I first heard Bill Hybels say it: “The church is the hope of the world.” I have actually repeated it many times myself. However, in recent years, I’ve had a change of heart. I simply no longer believe it’s true.