John 15:1-8 (NLT) [Jesus said] “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

The natural consequence of life in the Spirit is spiritual fruit. A disciple is one through whom God produces other disciples. Through leaders, God produces other leaders. True leaders try to work themselves out of a job, passing leadership on, and letting the fruit-bearing process happen. They concentrate on watching where things need to be pruned, and holding people accountable, and being held accountable themselves. Our hope is to call people to be people of fruitfulness, of reproduction, as God keeps passing the faith on to the next generation in a healthy way.

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123, New Lenox, Chicago IL 60606

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