Effective leaders have discovered that tasks are best accomplished and goals best achieved by organizing and implementing systems. In doing so, we are really imitating God, who has a passion for order and harmony.
God has designed organic systems in such a way that they transform sunlight, water and other nonliving substances into living entities. These organic systems incorporate inanimate materials not only to sustain but also to reproduce themselves.
Jesus often used nature to illustrate spiritual truth, and the organic metaphor in this passage of (John 15:1-8) speaks of reproductive life. The vine, branches and fruit constitute an integrated biological system in which the fruit is the abundant product of life that is derived from the nutrients in the soil. Just as the branch must receive its life from the vine, so believers must depend upon and look to the life of Christ within them to find their spiritual vitality. And just as the fruit nourishes others and contains within itself the seeds of its own reproduction, so the outward mainifestation of the life of Christ in us nourishes and reproduces his life in others. If any part of the system malfunctions, the byproduct of fruit will fail to appear.
Systems involve leaders, groups and circumstances. In the case of this allegory, the leader is Jesus and the group consists of his followers. Disciples of Christ who are called into positions of leadership must first be submissive to the spiritual system described in this passage before they can hope to create organizational and relational systems that will have a lasting impact upon others.
Here is a passage for you to memorize this week as you think ago system thinking. “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:15-16)