I’m just listening to a talk by Dave Betts. He asks a very interesting question…

What’s the fruit of an apple tree? Think about it for a moment…

You’re all thinking the fruit of an apple tree is an apple, right?

Well, the fruit of an apple tree is actually another apple tree.

An apple tree doesn’t produce apples so people can simply eat them. They produce apple trees so other apple trees can grow.

Here’s another question – what’s the fruit of a family? Lots of kids?

The fruit of a family is actually other families. The aim is to kick your kids out one day to start families of their own.

The problem is, says Betts, is that alot of our churches are actually orphanages – lots of kids, lots of guardians and loads of rules.  We need to be doing church in such a way that the result is more churches! We want to send the kids out there to start new families. The question is – are our structures and activities geared towards that?

We often talk about missionaries seeking to do themselves out of a job – i.e. the people in the area will one day take on the church and start new ones. But do we have that mentality with our churches at home? Are we doing ourselves out of a job? Are we making disciples who make disciples?