Fruitfulness on the Frontline
Make a difference wherever you are...
One of the tricky things, however, is learning how to spot it. So many of us just don’t have the words, the tools, or the means by which to see how we are already being fruitful for Christ in our daily lives.
So, here at LICC, we developed a framework to help us see how God is already working through us, and those we know, and to inspire our imaginations for how he might in the future.
It has six facets, and they all begin with M.
As you read through, ask yourself a simple question. Counter-cultural though it may be if you are British, just consider: ‘which one of these am I good at?’ There might even be more than one. That’s the fun of the 6Ms – they’re an encouragement; a lens through which to see how God is already working through you in your daily life, and through others in theirs.
Our fruitfulness, after all, is rooted in Christ, and it’s already there. These Ms are just an expression of that.
Maybe it’s displaying self-control by keeping a cool head when a colleague or someone you are serving is provoking you. Maybe it’s promoting peace by mediating an argument between two businesses. Maybe it’s bringing joy by encouraging those around you.
Whatever we do, wherever we are, we are either reflecting God’s character or we’re not. So, with this M, we are reminding ourselves from the start that it is in our everyday that God forms our character to be like Jesus so that we can better reflect his character to those around us.
And as that happens, we become bearers of the fruit of the Holy Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This M is about these in action.
Sometimes, our everyday tasks can seem a bit meaningless, or just means to an end. But ‘making good work’ means realising that everything we do is to and for the glory of God. After all, that’s what we’re instructed to do in Colossians 3:23-25.
Independent of anyone else, we can do everything – the fun, the interesting, the big, the small, the mundane, and the just plain boring – for the glory of God. To impact on people and the world he created and redeems, with joy, for it is the Lord Christ we are serving.
This looks like the friend who came with me to the hospital at 1am when she had an (at that time unwritten) essay due in 10 hours. It’s found in the boss who doesn’t just fire someone, but gently offers support and comfort in the redundancy meeting, and maybe even follows up afterwards. It could be as simple as a timely cup of coffee, or taking ten minutes out to talk stuff over with someone who is struggling.
Culture can be thought of as ‘the way we do things round here’. Moulding it means making small changes to dynamically express Christian values.
It’s the person who counters the blame culture of the corporate world by admitting when they’ve made a mistake, and offering forgiveness to those who slip up as well. It’s quenching gossip with a positive word for the person who is always the butt of the jokes, or championing trust and honesty in our departments, nurturing a safe space for the rest of the team to work well in.
Whether we realise it or not, this is something that we get to do every single day. It can be as simple as refusing to engage in gossip at the school gate, or speaking up for the colleague who has been overlooked.
Or it could be bigger – ruling our patch, the area of responsibility that God has given us, and ruling it well. Making sure other people get the credit they deserve when we could have taken it for ourselves. Big or small, being a mouthpiece for truth and justice looks like standing up – often at personal cost – to promote good, fair, and just practices.
This isn’t about delivering a pre-packaged gospel warhead and retreating to a safe distance. Instead, it could be drawing on biblical wisdom during a conflict or a business deal. Or it might be simply testifying to God’s action in your life where it is appropriate to do so. It means having an intentionality, a desire to share something of Jesus with those around you and, when you can, to communicate the message of the gospel.
These 6Ms all work together. They are all a part of our witness to those around us of God’s action in our lives. Hearing about a God of love becomes a lot more believable when you’ve seen the person who’s sharing him with you act in a loving way. A God of justice makes sense when you’ve seen his follower stand up in the face of unfair practices.
So, whether you’re at uni, working 24/7 in a grad scheme, on a zero hours contract, or a stay-at-home parent, may you be encouraged, equipped, inspired, and released to live for God’s glory, wherever you are.