Hugh Halter
Gaze into your Fruit Basket
by Hugh Halter on September 5th, 2013

Over and over in scripture, fruit is the metaphor for true success.  No matter what 
we may call successful ministry, be it size, numbers, budget, numbers of staff, 
multiple sites, baptisms, or etc, Jesus calls us to look at fruit.

I was with a denominational leader two weeks ago that said, “if I look at the fruit 
of our movement, based on leadership we’ve developed and sent, health of our 
existing congregations, demographic of under 30 year olds who are joining our 
ranks, or stories of true conversions,  our basket is full of rotting fruit.” Another 
individual pastor told me just yesterday, “Hugh, I’m working my butt off, and I’ve 
tried everything to get people to live like Jesus, but I see so little.”  Because of the 
previous metaphor I mentioned, I asked this pastor, “If you were to look into a 
basket representing the fruit of your labor, how would you characterize what you 
see?” His reply: “Some of it looks rotten, some spoiled, but mostly, I see the fruit as 
hard, and unripened.” 

Jesus made a lot of comments about fruit. “You will know them by their fruit.”  “A 
good tree cannot bear bad fruit nor a bad tree bear good fruit.”
And with these two simple statements, Jesus seems to be speaking clear English. We 
don’t get to make judgments about whether or not a ministry is working or whether 
or not God is blessing our work based on our standard measurements, but we can 
look for fruit. Does it look good, smell right; is it colorful, inviting, tasty?

What is pure fruit that we know is of God?  What is fruit in keeping with repentance
or fruit from a good tree?  Transformed lives; leaders developed and sent; people 
coming to faith in Jesus; communities of friends that band together & hold each 
other to a higher life and who engage the poor and those in true need; people who 
are struggling through key decisions that free them up to serve the ethos of the 
kingdom of God; good street cred with the unbelievers around them; when our own 
children are inspired and want to live our life after Christ; faithful generosity, and of 
course inner life change that we call the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians, or 
1 Corinthians 13.

When we look into the baskets that represent our life, our work, and our toil for 
Jesus, what does our fruit tell us?

And if we look honestly, and see fruit that we don’t want to eat, will we keep doing 
what we’re doing? Will we let God prune it, cut it or us down? How serious are we 
about what our basket holds? 

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to 
a people who will produce its fruit. Matthew 21:43

Posted in not categorized    Tagged with Christ, christian leaders, Fruit, Spiritual gifts, Spiritual diciplines, transformed, repentance, development, leaders, Trees


Dustin Butler - September 5th, 2013 at 6:21 PM
As I hang out with Jesus (John 15) fruit is what ever He is doing in and through me. I don't even get to concern myself with what the fruit is, my priority is to simply abide. Bearing fruit means Jesus gets to set my goals and determine what I measure because He is the Good Shepherd! Right? Is that what you're saying/asking?
Hal Gaudet - September 18th, 2013 at 4:35 AM
Pursuing intimacy with Christ is the only way lasting fruit can be produced from our lives, yes (John 15). But God is glorified when we branches produce MUCH fruit, so self evaluation of the amount and quality of what is coming out of our lives is a key indicator of how close to Christ we're staying. If we discover we've become distanced in the quality of our relationship with Him, who moved?
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