“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.”
I was on a Zoom this past week with a group of executives from a company that is about to take in a very large round of funding. It’s so large in comparison with the size of the company that it can only be explained as significant “Growth Capital”. That means these new investors are pouring gasoline on the fire in expectation that the company can quickly double, triple, quadruple or more the revenue and profits of the business. One of the executives asked me, “How do you think things will change for us when we close this round?”. My answer was, “You better grow”. And what I mean by that is that not only the company as an organization better grow, the people inside the company will all need to grow professionally or…they are probably out of the company. Up or out of a company means you are either able to be promoted soon or you will be asked to leave the company. Grow or out may not feel as pressured but it still means that everyone needs to find out how the need to grow and then get after it!
Our God is all about growth! If He wasn’t why would He allow our population on the Earth to grow? Why did He build us so that our capacity to learn more could grow? Why does He permit us to travel into space to grow our understanding of the universes He created? Why would Jesus have given us the metaphor of the vine and the branches and tell us that if we don’t grow the branches will be cut off going even further to prune the branches so that they can grow more? He is about growth. What He is not about is the “out” part. He wants us to grow, but when we fail to do so, He still accepts and is more than willing to hold our hand as we start over, (again and again) until we are back “in” His will.
Reference: John 15: 1-2 (New Living Translation)