Have you been a Christian for at least three years?
Then it’s time to branch out, start bearing some fruit.
The other day, I heard this guy say, “Yo, in my Bible, the trees that bore no fruit and bad fruit were both cut down.” That really hit me. There’s no lukewarm. There’s hot or cold, fruit or no fruit.
So how can you and I begin to own up to God’s calling? ‘Cause it’s definitely not about listening to Sunday sermons forever. There’s more.
For instance, here are some ideas from my life and from some of my friends:
- Volunteering within your church: Can you be a greeter? How about a children’s ministry helper or teacher? Seriously, churches have no problem giving you stuff to do (assuming you’re faithful to actually do it).
- Starting a new ministry within your church: Like a group that gets together before services and prays. Or a cleaning ministry or a moving ministry. Look for needs and then find ways to meet those needs, instead of passing them on as suggestions for other leaders.
- Logging what you’re learning and sharing it: Start a blog or put together an email list or collect physical addresses for regular mail. And then share what you’re learning in your devotions each week.
- Door to door evangelism: Get groups of two together, spread out around a neighborhood, and start knocking on doors. Sometimes the best that comes of it is your connection with the people who go with you. That’s not a bad thing.
- Opening your home: Let everyone know you’re willing to host people at your place for an evening or even for a night. Post it on CouchSurfing.org too.
- Giving away your trade secrets: If you’re a musician, could you play some weddings for free? What if you’re a photographer? Or maybe you could teach a one-off class on business management or home birthing or home schooling, share some of the skills you’ve acquired over the past 20 years.
- Setting up a missions trip: And it doesn’t have to be to Kenya. You can set up a missions project to a city two cities away from where you live… or even stay in the same city.
- Supporting missionaries financially: Our money can go a long way in other countries. Let it.
- Moving to bless others: This might mean moving to another country to help missionaries, or it might mean moving to another city to be a missionary there. Most people don’t even factor this in as an option, but it seems pretty biblical to me. The early disciples were all over the place.
- Offering to share your testimony: Ask your church or other churches or youth camps or conferences and so on. If you start locally through people you know, it’s not that difficult to find a place.
- Keeping believers accountable: Set a weekly time to get together. Exchange phone numbers. You can even connect on Skype. Make a list of things you want to stay accountable for and run through them as often as you can. Give each other permission to let things get uncomfortable. <<This will take time.
- Mentoring someone: Like your kids, first off. Secondly, ask your friends and relatives to see if anyone wants to follow you around. Or you could set it up more like an accountability meeting except with more advice and living examples thrown in.
- Writing a book: It doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as it seems. Consider an ebook (read: PDF) or a small pamphlet you can staple together yourself. Some of my favorite books are only about 150 pages. You can even self-publish a longer work if you can’t get it published the traditional way.
- Leading a Bible study: You can do this in your home, in someone else’s home, at a park, at a university, in a prison, in a box, or with a fox. “Wherever two or three are gathered…”
- Starting a church: I guess I have a less traditional view on starting a church (or maybe it’s more traditional if you take it all the way back to Acts). I’m like get some people together for a Bible study. When that gets too big for a house, look into renting a building or community center. Pray like crazy. Read and meditate on the Bible daily. Pray some more. Worry about “formal education” later, or maybe at the same time.
You have tons of options, and these are only a few. I’m just trying to give you some ideas, get your sap flowing.
How can you stretch yourself? How can you go beyond what you’re comfortable with right now? Often, doing the things we don’t want to do is exactly what we’re supposed to do.
(1) Make a plan. Within one month have one of these (or one of your own ideas) in motion. How will that happen?
(2) Take the first step right after making a rough plan. I mean like within half an hour of finishing this article. Maybe it means emailing that friend about starting an accountability group or calling your pastor to see about helping in the youth ministry. Whatever it is, take that action to get others in on the plan.