You Are Not Smarter than Jesus 04: Know People By Their Fruit

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Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – Matthew 7.16

Jesus was very clear – you know people according to their fruit. The business world gets this point – it hires people who have evidence that they can do the job that is at hand. In other words, they know people by their fruit. If a good businessman had a choice between hiring a lovely person who needed the money or a person who can do the job well, they will choose the person who can do the job well. That’s a fact!

We need to have the same kind of acumen, be a bit more like Jesus, and stop offering jobs to people and stop trusting people just because they are nice, or they have some friends in common with us, or because they have been at the church a while, or because their parents are awesome, or because they went to this Bible College or the other.

We have to look at fruit.  And fruit is always like the seed!  A true pastor brings forth pastors into the world, a true teacher raises up teachers, and so on – just like rabbits have baby rabbits and sharks have baby sharks!

It amazes me how many people look for a mentor but never look for the fruit. The amount of people who have wanted to mentor me, but they are pastoring churches of 30-50 people, have never planted a church, have never pastored and have less fruit that we do – trust me, they can be my friends, I love them, but I won’t let them step into that role because it’s by fruit we know them.

But they have been Christians 40 years and pastors 30 years? It isn’t by the rings in the middle you know them, it’s the fruit!

A young man I know from years ago wanted to go to Bible College. I asked why because I believe in doing things on purpose, and he said to plant a church. I said make sure you choose a Bible College where some of the staff have planted churches, where people are brought in to the speak to the students who have planted churches. He went to a Bible College where no one has planted a church and they don’t get church planters in front of the people. He went because they had this kind of accreditation and that kind of reputation and so on and so forth. He thought he knew more than Jesus! Jesus said go by fruit! Now this young man is no longer even going to church.

You put fruitless people into your mentorship, then you end up fruitless!

And pastors and leader – don’t take someone on who has no fruit!  Don’t put someone into a position leading a church who has no fruit leading a small group. Don’t put people into place who don’t line up with 1 Tim. 3. Don’t waste your time mollycoddling people who don’t bear fruit. Don’t hire your mate, hire someone fruitful.

Don’t buy books that are just theory, buy them from people who have done it. Don’t have any more seminars and conferences from people who are swimming in the shallow end, but those who have launched out into the deep and done it!


Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at, and

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