What Does Fruitfulness Look Like?
When we talk about life on the frontlines, it isn't long until we need to consider what faithfulness looks like in the places, spaces, and relationships God has placed us in.
In the tradition I was raised, conversations about being on mission in the everyday typically centered around opportunities to explicitly share the Gospel and invite a friend, co-worker, or neighbor to accept Jesus. Or, more likely, invite them to church, where they would accept Jesus.
Obviously, for those of us who have seen the Gospel transform our lives, we long for those around us to meet Christ and experience the same transformation and hope. We rejoice when someone responds to the invitation of Jesus, and we are left in awe that we were able to play a role in someone's faith journey. Opportunities to introduce people to Jesus are sacred and beautiful moments, and are an essential part of what we are all called to in the Great Commission.
But are explicit Gospel presentations and conversions the only signs of our fruitfulness on the frontlines?
If we measure our fruitfulness and faithfulness by these two metrics alone, we may miss other opportunities God has placed in our path to participate in His work in the world. We may also find ourselves discouraged.
In his book, Fruitfulness on the Frontline, Mark Greene offers a more robust picture of what faithfulness might look like. We refer to it as the "6 Ms," and they provide a basic framework to reflect on our life on the frontline.
Make good work How can we glorify God and find Him in our work? How can we do our work “with” Him?
Model godly character How can we put godly character and the fruit of the Spirit on display? How is our frontline shaping and refining our character?
Minister grace and love How can we live and act with grace and love towards those we interact with on our frontline?
Mold culture How can we influence culture at large, and more particularly the micro-cultures around us, to encourage flourishing life? What can we affirm and encourage that is already happening?
A Mouthpiece for truth and justice How can we be courageous to speak up for truth and justice? How can we “champion right living and fair dealing” on our frontline?
A Messenger of the Gospel What doors are open to me to share the Gospel with those around me? How can I become more confident in sharing Jesus?
Each of the 6 Ms are an opportunity for faithful participation in the work and mission of God. Each of them bears Kingdom fruit. Each of them puts the redeeming work of God on display to the world.
These days, the ways we live out the 6Ms may look different than it did a year ago. Some of them may be more of a challenge or require some creativity, but I believe there are still many opportunities to live faithfully and fruitfully on the frontline. You can still be a molder of your company or team culture in a Zoom meeting. You can still extend grace to your grieving neighbor, burned out co-worker, or the distracted barista making your coffee. You can still do good work.
So as you enter your frontline today, I invite you to live with eyes and heart open to what fruitfulness looks like. Pray, as you go, "Lord, help me today to make good work, model godly character, minister grace and love, mold culture, be a mouthpiece for truth and justice, and a messenger of the Gospel.” And walk with anticipation for what He may bring your way.