Connected to the Vine

April 28, 2014 — 5 Comments

A few weeks ago, I ate a bunch of grapes and when I had eaten them all, something grabbed my attention.  The empty vine that I held was so tightly intertwined, I’m surprised I was able to free any grapes to enjoy!  A very familiar scripture passage popped into my mind:

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit…”

John 15:5

I didn’t think much about the empty grapevine after that evening, but this morning, I was again reminded of the same scripture.  You see, I was out running errands but came across some beautiful plants that I thought would be perfect to plant in the planters on my front porch.  I couldn’t wait to get home and plant them in the lackluster planters.

As I cleared out what was left of the mums I had planted months earlier, I notice that while the branches broke off easily, pulling the root out of the planters was a bit of a struggle.  Again, the above scripture came to mind.  The passage continues:

“Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers…”

John 15:6

Staying connected to God (the Vine) is a vital element of a growing relationship with God.  So often, those of us in ministry work in the name of the Lord without realizing that we might not be spending adequate time in the Word and the presence of our Savior.

At our staff meeting that same week, our Senior Pastor encouraged us to stay connected to the Vine by incorporating the following into our regular spiritual practices:

The First 30: We were encouraged to find a quiet place (the Sanctuary, the Worship Center, the prayer chapel or our office) and spend the first 30 minutes of our day with the Lord before we jump into our work.  When he suggested this, I realized that even though I work in a church, I rarely sit in the prayer chapel or Sanctuary to pray or read my Bible.  This was a great suggestion.

Attending staff prayer: Three times a week, our entire staff gathers for 30 minutes to pray.  The time isn’t required but it’s highly encouraged.  It’s a time to take a break and connect with each other about personal and ministry needs.

Retreat Day: The last thing that our Pastor encouraged was for us to take a personal retreat day monthly, quarterly or a few times a year.  The retreat day should include time for solitude, prayer, Bible reading and just sitting in the presence of God.

During Holy Week, I was able to take a few days away to for prayer, planning, reading and studying.  While the time included some distractions (ugh!), I was able to read some of George Barna’s The Power of Team Leadership as well as think through a volunteer orientation program I’d like to re-launch this fall.  My time in the Word was extra special because my Mom wrote a devotional for me to use each day.  You can download the devotional here and use it in your own quiet time.

I am so thankful for a leader who not only cares about the ministries we lead but also cares for us personally.

Whether you lead a ministry, lead children as a volunteer or lead your family, it is important – or rather imperative – that you stay connected to the Vine.

What does this look like in your life?  How do you stay connected to the Vine while leading a busy life?

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5 responses to Connected to the Vine

  1. 

    Great advice, Kathie! A couple of months ago, I started sitting in our Sanctuary first thing every morning when I come to the church. I read the Bible and devotion, pray, and then I put in my ear buds and listen to some praise music on my iPhone. I can’t tell you what a difference that makes for me. One day I asked God to speak to me that morning and just needed some clear direction and guidance on something. A few minutes later my cell phone rang while I was still sitting there in the Sanctuary and it was a friend. I usually don’t answer it, but he never calls me so I thought something might be wrong. He told me he woke up at 2am and felt God telling him that he should tell me something. It was so amazing because that’s exactly what I needed to hear. It’s so awesome how God works through others to help you. I love the peacefulness that the Sanctuary brings early in the morning. So quiet and it’s like I can totally focus on God. I highly recommend it for every ministry leader!

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  2. 

    So practical yet so deep. These are great shepherding ideas. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Scripture Verses to Encourage Your Weary Heart | KidzMatter - May 30, 2014

    […] weeks ago, I shared importance of leaders staying connected to the Vine (you can read that post here).  In that post, I shared why it’s important – and necessary – to stay connected to the […]

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  2. I Dream of a One Room Chapel But will Settle for a Prayer Room | lovelyseasonscomeandgo - April 29, 2014

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