“Greater love has no one than this—to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you” (John 15:13-16).
This Scripture hits home with me when I recall my time serving in the military, knowing with each battle, a life could be laid down for a friend. To lay down your life for another is the ultimate sacrifice, as Christ proved when he laid down his life for you and for me.
However, many other sacrifices are made for a battle to be won. Serving in the U.S. Air Force during a time of conflict, I saw firsthand what it takes to win a battle. It takes everyone doing his or her part and doing it well. The sacrifice you make comes from the preparations you take.
In battle, a soldier is prepared and is called to go out and bear fruit, to make something happen that is worthy. A believer also is called to go out and bear fruit—and not just any fruit, but fruit that will last. To bear this type of fruit takes preparation in our spiritual lives. We must be mindful to pray, read God’s word and worship faithfully, as well as receive training through education, intentional instruction and on-the-job training.
As a soldier prepares for battle, so must we. Let us at the Bivocational/Small Church Association help you and your church bear fruit—fruit that will last.
Registration for the 30th annual Bivocational/Smaller Church Conference is now open. This year’s conference will be held at Dallas Baptist University, July 15–16.
I encourage you to attend this year’s Bivocational/Small Church Conference and learn firsthand through testimony, worship and breakout sessions that all things are possible with God. This conference not only will equip you to do the impossible, but also will inspire you to trust God in all things. To register or to view the full conference schedule, click here.
We are here to serve you as you serve the Lord. Remember, the Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister and serve you. For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.