Roots and Fruits
Jesus talked about seeds sown and crops harvested. He talked about trees and vines that did or did not bear fruit. Another way to think about the roots and fruits of growth is lead and follow indicators. These are metrics for discipleship and church ministry.
- Lead indicators are those things that are preconditions of the growth or change we anticipate.
- Follow indicators are the results or outcomes.
- Natural Church Development identifies some of the lead indicators that are associated with growing churches.
Likewise, we would anticipate that regular time with Jesus through prayer and Bible study would be lead indicators of personal growth. While measures of loving relationships or generous giving would follow indicators as a person changes to become more like Jesus. A church intentional about understanding, connecting and welcoming its community could identify lead measures to see how effectively it is doing that. While the number of baptisms and growth in attendance, small groups or evangelistic Bible studies could follow indicators.