One of our associate pastors spoke recently about spiritual fruit. He spoke about making sure the soil of your heart is ready to accept the seeds planted by the Holy Spirit. Those seeds must be nurtured and tended.
In our sermon discussion class we talked about individual vs. community growth. If I am not growing spiritually, the community in which I worship might not grow to its full potential. I cannot rely on that community for my growth. I can absorb the teachings. I can participate in the worship. But, growth requires individual relationship with the Lord. In John 15:5 it says, “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.”
My growth is my responsibility. It comes from my time in prayer, my time studying the Bible, my relationship with God. Community growth is a direct product of the growth of the individuals in that community.
In class we were asked if an individual can hold the community back from growing. I believe they can. I also believe that most of the time that person becomes so uncomfortable with the pull of the growing community that they choose to disconnect.
The message I’m talking about is available for download at http://www.skinnerchapel.org. It was given on July 10, 2011, by Chris Edgington. If this blog has piqued your interest, I encourage you to listen to the message.