I’m a huge fan of apples. I am also an “apple snob.” That means I won’t buy apples in the bag, no, I hand pick them from the “expensive apple bin.” To me, it’s worth the extra money to buy apples that are larger, crunchier, juicier, sweeter and sourer. I love those kinds of apples!

Those kinds of apples come from trees that thrive; from trees that are vibrant and healthy. In contrast, I recall an apple tree that grew in my uncle’s yard. Never fertilized and subjected to insects and diseases, the apples it produced were smaller, drier, and simply nasty by comparison. That tree didn’t thrive. It’s fruit told the story.

The same is true at church. You can tell a church that is thriving by examining the “fruit” of its people. Thriving churches are nourished in the good soil of God’s Word. They worship passionately. They serve and love relentlessly. They pray believing. They baptize people. They open their hearts in fellowship and find meaningful community. Clearly, they experience life transformation as they become more and more like the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Wow. Now them’s the kind of apples I want! Join me in prayer and in deed and let’s make this church a vibrant and healthy church for the glory of God.

Dr. John Beck

March 7, 2018