INTRODUCING LIVE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
In John 15, Jesus explains to his disciples that he is the vine and that they are the branches. The vine draws vital nutrients and fluids from the soil, nourishing the branches and enabling them first to bud, then to blossom, then to bear fruit. The vine is the connection between branches and roots, providing structure and support. Jesus says in verse eight, "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." Later, in verse sixteen he continues, "I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last..."
What does Jesus mean when he calls his disciples to bear fruit? What kind of fruit will endure over time? Paul gives us one possible answer in his letter to the congregations in Galatia, "...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." (Galatians 5:22–23) Paul implies that the evidence proving Christ’s followers are truly living in the power of the Holy Spirit is the degree to which we bear the fruit of unconditional love, a joyful heart, a peace-making and peace-keeping nature, deep and abiding patience, compassionate and merciful kindness, sacrificial and cheerful generosity, radical faithfulness, a gentle disposition with all, and an obedient and mature self-control.
The Wisconsin Annual Conference is making a commitment to LIVE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT. Our challenge to every congregation is to contemplate the question, "What would it take for your congregation to become known as a center for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Then, we encourage you to develop an action plan (that either aligns with the current ministry plan or succeeds it) for cultivating fruit-filled living within and beyond the congregation.
In the course of this quadrennium, we will explore together four aspects of bearing fruit – preparing the soil, planting the seed, nurturing the fruit, and harvesting and sharing the bounty. The resource teams of the Discipleship Leadership Council will be creating resources for use in the local church that help in the cultivation and education process. Worship, education, spiritual formation, evangelism, mission, and stewardship resources will be made available on a regular basis throughout the quadrennium for all ages. Workshops and training events will be offered across the whole Conference. Special emphasis will be given to supporting smaller membership churches.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung and the Cabinet have created a "Producing Fruit" Bible Study for congregational leadership teams and small groups. This study lays a biblical and theological foundation for shifting our focus in three fruit-producing areas: from scarcity to abundance, from retention of the existing reality to recruitment for a new and vital reality, and from the deficiencies of our ministries to the giftedness of all God’s people. This study is available by clicking on the links below. It is offered in English, Spanish, Korean, and Hmong. A copy in English will also be included in each Annual Conference registration packet.
- "Producing Fruit" Bible Study (English version, 986 kb PDF)
- "Producing Fruit" Bible Study (Spanish version, 992 kb PDF)
- "Producing Fruit" Bible Study (Korean version, 857 kb PDF)
- "Producing Fruit" Bible Study (Hmong version, 992 kb PDF)
Our LIVE THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT theme is an exciting metaphor and theme, so let your imagination run wild and return to this web page often for more tools and resources.
Vacation Bible School
Live the Fruit of the Spirit at your church's Vacation Bible School! Monroe UMC has developed a Vacation Bible School curriculum to teach the Fruit of the Spirit. It includes six days of lessons that can be adapted and modified to fit your church's needs, as well as children's sermons to use a few weeks before the Vacation Bible School.
- What is the Fruit of the Spirit? (304 kb PDF)
- GROW! Start here (215 kb PDF)
- GROW! Theological and Biblical Foundation (304 kb PDF)
- GROW! Parents' Guide (363 kb PDF)
- GROW! Lesson Overview (384 kb PDF)
- GROW! Farmville Lesson Guide (Contemporary English) (365 kb PDF)
- GROW! Farmville Lesson Guide (English Standard) (368 kb PDF)
- GROW! Prayer Guide Brochure (391 kb PDF)
- GROW! Prayer Guide Brochure (Other Prayer Opportunities) (386 kb PDF)
- GROW! Music and Crafts (191 kb PDF)