Posted by Pastor

The Fruitless Mulberry Tree
I remember back in the day my father decided to plant a couple of shade trees in our front yard. After doing a little research, talking with several people, and looking at several mature trees, it was determined that my dad would plant fruitless mulberry trees. The fruitless mulberry tree is an excellent choice for a medium to large shade tree in home landscapes. It grows 20 to 60 feet tall with a dense canopy as much as 45 feet wide. The fruitless mulberry tree is fast growing and long lasting. But the best part is it is fruitless. There are no messy berries that cover the ground, attracting ants and getting stuck to the bottom of your shoes and track in the house.
But what is good for a home shade tree is not good if it describes the Christian life. Matthew 7:20 says that we are known by the fruit we produce. In fact, Jesus says “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt 7:19). The “Vital Statistics” that I send in to the Conference Office every Monday morning are a type of fruitfulness report. The Bishop likes to look at all the fruit-bearing taking place in the 350 churches in our Conference that he is the shepherd over. Therefore, for the Church, fruitless is not a good thing. Fruitless describes a person not growing in their faith through discipleship, fellowship, worship, serving, and giving that is incorporated in the Body of Christ; the Church. I visit many who are unable to attend church, but would give anything if they could. For these people, it is up to us to keep them involved as much as possible. Our Care Team does a tremendous job that this and is a vital ministry of our church.
Each Monday when I record our Vital Statistics I know that each number I enter for our worship attendance represents a piece of fruit that our church has produced that week. Each number represents an individual soul touched by the grace of God through worship. Each number is a piece of fruit that is capable of dropping from the tree and being planted in the life of someone else in our community and beyond.
Don’t be a fruitless mulberry. Be a fruit-filled disciple of Jesus Christ. Your Pastor & Friend, Harrell

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