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The Trellis and the Vine Hardcover – 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Matthias Media (2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1921441631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1921441639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This book clears away the brush and helps us to see what really matters.
T. M. Durey
I had a conversation about church ministry and discipleship with our pastor and the concept clicked, both biblically and logically before I read the book.
marc mullins
He says "This is the best book I've read on the nature of church ministry."
A. Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By A. Morgan on December 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mark Dever has put this book in the top ten reads of 2009. He says "This is the best book I've read on the nature of church ministry."

Possibly.

My first impression was "Welcome to the conversation - a little late, but welcome nonetheless." What Marshall and Payne have written about here has been written about many, many times in the past 10 years or so, mainly by Emergent type folk.

A lot of their suggestions and conclusions have already been suggested and concluded in various books about church ministry. What Marshall and Payne do here is articulate it through a very biblical framework - more so than other books - as well as offer a concrete way of doing church differently, and that is what makes the book good.

Their fundamental point is simple - yet transformational if churches understood it - Disciple making should be the normal agenda and priority of every church AND every Christian disciple.

EVERY Christian's focus should be to BE a disciple and to MAKE disciples and Churches and pastors are meant to be facilitating that process.

This requires a shift of focus for churches and ministries. Early on in the book they give 11 such shifts that must take place:

1. From running programs to building people
2. From running events to training people
3. From using people to growing people (huge shift away from church `volunteers')
4. From filling gaps to training new workers
5. From solving problems to helping people make progress
6. From clinging to ordained ministry to developing team leadership
7. From Focusing on Church polity to forging ministry partnerships
8. From relying on training institutions to establishing local training
9.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Lamprecht on March 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Trellis and the Vine focuses on doing the hard work of gospel living. That is, Christians giving of themselves through personal discipleship creating gospel growth.

The trellis represents the structure of a church including "management, finances, infrastructure, organization, governance." The vine represents gospel growth that grows around the trellis such as "planting, watering, fertilizing, and tending." (8) Very often trellis work can take over vine work since it tends to be easier see and to figure out what needs to be done. Vine work can be tougher to discern just what needs to be done and exactly how to do it.

This book tackles the aspect of vine work. The reader is moved from thinking of the church as an institution into a personal, intentional and relational understanding. The barriers of trellis thinking are broached and broken down without being dismissed. The authors attempt to get the readers thinking about vine work.

The authors explain the reasons for vine work and gives examples of how it can be done. They explain what vine work training might look like and encourage every church member to be involved. A chart of "gospel growth stages" is given using seven example people that one might find in their church. Those stages consist of outreach, follow-up, growth and training. (86-87) This is an example of one of the tools offered.

A particularly interesting chapter is Why Sunday sermons are necessary but not sufficient. The authors lay out two stereotypes of church ministry - Pastor as clergyman and Pastor as CEO. (98) Every person will probably be able to see some aspect of these stereotypes in their churches. The authors offer a another way which is the pastor as trainer.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By In Process on January 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Reformation is good. By that, I mean the continual God-glorifying re-evaluation of your ministry in light of what the scripture says. We need to ask the really hard questions. Ligon Duncan asks these types of questions as he writes his endorsement on the back of this book, "Why are we doing what we are doing? Are we focusing on the right things? Is the gospel central? Are we making disciples? Has `administry' trumped ministry? Is our corporate life and mission biblically shaped?"

In this book, Marshall and Payne draw upon an illustration of trellis-work and vine-work to point ministry leaders back to basic point of ministry - building and nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ. "Trellis work", such a meetings, finances, buildings, infrastructure, organization, etc are helpful but they can take over from "vine-work" of building into people.

The biblical basis for such a mind shift is drawn from Ephesians 4, Colossians 1:5-6, 1 Peter, Acts, and Matthew 16. The scriptures thus speak of gospel growth and increase of the word of God, bearing fruit in the lives of believers as they grow in the knowledge and love of God (pg 37). These scriptures require that we must "abandon ourselves to Christ and His gospel" realizing that God is focused on people-growth by the power of His Spirit (pg 38-39).

We need a mind shift...
1. From running programs to building people
2. From running events to training people. This will be inherently more chaotic and it takes time, but we will have to "relinquish control of our programs for, as the gospel is preached, Christ will gather His people..."(pg 19).
3. From using people to growing people.
4. From filling gaps to training new workers. Instead of asking, "who can fill this gap in our personnel?
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