John 15:2 says, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

Churches – and people – go through times of pruning. During the pruning dead branches are removed while healthy wood is reshaped. Both acts of pruning are God’s way to make room for new growth.

Pruning is rarely easy but necessary.

Unlike a real vine people have a voice. We aren’t content to sit idly by while God does the pruning, but feel compelled to comment on His work. At best our comments reveal our ignorance of His plan, at worst they reveal our self-righteousness.

I have been in and walked alongside churches and friends who have gone through times of pruning. No one was able to accurately predict God’s intended outcome. Those who tried revealed their foolishness.

My encouragement for when you face a time of pruning – remain faithful to God. Focus on the mission and ministry He has entrusted to you. Follow Him, wherever He leads and get ready – “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

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