There is a purpose for everything (even mosquitoes so I hear). So what happens when things no longer serve a purpose? They become useless. They become worthless. This goes for things, and it goes for churches.
In a church setting, many churches hold on to things that no longer serve a purpose. Maybe its a item, such as a desk or a chair. It may not be used anymore but someone has an attachment to it so we keep it around (sometimes things are donated by people who have no use for the item at home but it has an emotional attachment so they donate it to church figuring that since it was donated it can’t be gotten rid of).
The same goes for programs. Sometimes the program we are running has fulfilled its purpose, but since it has become tradition we keep doing it. The key phrase is, “but we’ve always done it.”
Jesus sees no place for the useless fruitless.
In Mark 11, Jesus goes to a fig tree that is in bloom and goes over for some fruit. This fruit tree has no fruit, so Jesus says, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again – Mark 11:14.” The next day, when walking by the fig tree, they notice that the tree is “withered from the roots – Mark 11:20.”
There is a focus on Jesus’ words and power, and rightfully so as this is Jesus’ focus. But this morning I was thinking about the fact that Jesus withered the useless fruitless, and as we look around at the church today, we see lots of useless fruitless that are withering away from roots. We see churches that have ceased to be the fruitful for the kingdom, that no longer have the heart of God, and after years they are withering away.
Filled with artifacts that no longer serve a purpose, they are closing and being sold used for all different services, even becoming homes in some cases. Why? Because they stopped being what He called them to be. The useless fruitless have shriveled up and died.