Remain in Me

with Jayne Elliott

‘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.’ John 15:5

It will soon be time to Admit and Commission some of our evangelists who’ve completed their evangelism training. Leading up to this, they will
all be encouraged to think about how they are going to continue to develop their ministries over the coming years. As I reflect on the last 30 years of my own leadership development, I recognise how important these verses that Jesus speaks to the disciples in John 15 are for us as
busy leaders in ministry.

  1. We thrive in our leadership when we recognise not just who we are but ‘whose’ we are. Someone once told me “If you’re too busy with ministry to pray on a daily basis then you’re too busy.” It’s always stayed with me, even if I’ve not always been good at doing it. Fruitfulness in ministry comes out of a life that is rooted and grounded in Christ and surrendered to Him.
  2. There are different seasons of ministry. Just as plants need to be well established before they will survive being uprooted and moved, so our fruitfulness comes as we learn to ‘remain’, rooted in Christ even when things don’t always turn out the way we hoped.
  3. Leadership formation and character development take time and we need to learn how to sustain our passion for ministry throughout the different seasons of ministry. Over the years I’ve had to learn the hard way that I cannot afford to become isolated in ministry. I need relationships with people who know me and to whom I choose to be accountable. I need to care for my wellbeing, giving time not just to the spiritual but the emotional, physical and
    mental too.

Jesus spent lots of time during his public ministry, walking, talking, eating, praying and encouraging His disciples to take time away from the demanding crowds. It’s easy to feel guilty taking time off when ministering to people in need but the day I believe myself indispensable is the day I begin to become disconnected from the Vine.

Which season are you in right now? Can you see signs of God doing something new? Are you enjoying the fruit of persevering through
the winter? If you feel like you’re in the autumn and God’s pruning your life, or maybe you’re in the barrenness of winter, may I encourage you to
hang on, stay close to God and trust that there will be fruit both in your character and in your ministry. Spring will come.