Summary: This sermon is about how we need to be producing for God and not just sitting back in the pews.
DREAMERS AND PRODUCERS
A few years ago I attended a science fiction writer’s convention. One of the speakers said something that has stuck with me over the years. He said that “the world is
made up of two types of people: Dreamers and Producers.”
Dreamers are very common in the writing world. These are the people that you meet at conventions, bookstore reading groups, and writer’s guilds across the country. They have great ideas for novels and stories. But their words never quite make it to paper and ink. They never actually get around to writing and so they miss out on what their dreams could have accomplished.
Producers, on the other hand, are seen and, more importantly to themselves, are read on a regular basis. They have been published in books, magazines, and newspapers like the ones you and I read everyday. Despite what the literary critics may say they have accomplished something.
In fact, you can see dreamers and producers in every walk of life. They are in factories, restaurants, and offices. They either make things happen or they sit back and watch as life seems to pass them by. They move up the ladder and often earn more money or they wait for that next promotion and wonder why they didn’t get the raise they were expecting.
The sad thing is that Dreamers and Producers are even in the church. I’m not going to start pointing fingers at anyone. Instead I’m going to talk a little more about the dreamers and producers that are in churches like ours.
You see, in the church dreamers often are people very much like you and me. They come to church on Sunday and they sing praises and hymns. They sit in the pews, pray, and listen to the sermon. They even have great ideas for ministry, because dreamers in church usually aren’t happy with the way that things are being done. Nor are they generally happy when changes are being made. When volunteers are needed they don’t step up and they even believe that someone else will do the job.
Now you’ve probably heard the saying that “80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.” This is certainly true in many churches today. You will find the producers leading music, teaching Sunday School, and wiping off tables after a potluck. They’re on the phone calling missing members, organizing upcoming programs, and visiting people in their homes and at the hospital. Producers are busy making a lasting impact on the lives around them.
I know I’ve already managed to tune some of you out by going on and on about dreamers and producers. But there is a reason. The truth of the matter is that Jesus had a lot to say about producers.
If you want to follow along with me, I’ll be reading from John 15:1-8.
15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
There are a few points I want to make this morning. I hope above all else that every single one of us comes to understand that being a producer matters.
Let me say that one more time. Being a producer matters.
As I was working on this sermon I was at work and I got thinking about production. You see I work in a business that revolves around production. The customers place an order with the company, whether it’s for soda flats, bread trays, or milk crates. Once that order is placed, the company plans for the amount of time it will take to complete the customer’s order. A machine is chosen, a mold is put in place, and a schedule is made of exactly how many hours that machine will need to run to finish the customers wants. As an employee my job is to make sure we meet that production set up. I have to work taking parts off the conveyor belts, trimming them, and stacking those parts. Each shift the parts are kept track of according to how many are made well and how many are not. If the number needed for that shift isn’t completed there must be some kind of mechanical explanation or it is the machine’s operator that is held accountable for the lack of production.