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The Trellis and the Vine [Kindle Edition]

Tony Payne , Colin Marshall
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $9.99

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Book Description

All Christian ministry is a mixture of trellis and vine.

There is vine work: the prayerful preaching and teaching of the word of God to see people converted and grow to maturity as disciples of Christ. Vine work is the Great Commission.

And there is trellis work: creating and maintaining the physical and organizational structures and programs that support vine work and its growth.

What’s the state of the trellis and the vine in your part of the world? Has trellis work taken over, as it has a habit of doing? Is the vine work being done by very few (perhaps only the pastor and only on Sundays)? And is the vine starting to wilt as a result?

The image of the trellis and the vine raises all the fundamental questions of Christian ministry:

* What is the vine for?
* How does the vine grow?
* How does the vine relate to my church?
* What is vine work and what is trellis work, and how can we tell the difference?
* What part do different people play in growing the vine?
* How can we get more people involved in vine work?

In The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne answer these urgent questions afresh. They dig back into the Bible’s view of Christian ministry, and argue that a major mind-shift is required if we are to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1017 KB
  • Print Length: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Matthias Media (April 2, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007R0P4LG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,054 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally - Biblical Solutions To The Problem December 17, 2009
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."


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
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intentional gospel living March 22, 2010
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Basics of Ministry - Building Disciples January 1, 2010
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous insight. Now to apply it...
Fabulous insight here. Trellis work. Vine work. Which is true?
Published 1 month ago by S C
4.0 out of 5 stars balanced look at growing the church
It's easy for churches to end up on one of two ministry philosophy poles. One end is the idea that the pastor and elders are responsible for ministry inside and outside the church. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. R. Hoyle
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Work!
A clearly written analysis of the real work of churches. This gives me a very practical look of what I need to do. Bravo, well done!
Published 4 months ago by Lance Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great resource
Published 6 months ago by Melanye Y. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written
Good stuff. Pleanty to talk about. We are studing it in our mens group and find ourselves very challenged by the content.
Published 7 months ago by Artios
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening.... a reminder for God's people ...
Enlightening....a reminder for God's people to remain on track to what the Father has called us to do.....
Published 7 months ago by Larry
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read (seriously, I'm not just trying to be cliche)
Definitely a must read for pastors and lay people alike. We need churches that are vibrantly and zealously following God's summons to make disciples. Read more
Published 8 months ago by T. M. Durey
5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Ancient History!
Our pastors recommended this book to me! They are contemplating making major changes in our church so that many more of us can become "disciple-making disciples. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ed Ford
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this one
This book perfectly conceptualizes the work of the ministry in understandable terms. An outstanding metaphor to help pastors and followers to purpose and prioritize their... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dr. L. P. Leavell III
5.0 out of 5 stars Great perspective on ministry
This book has given me a lot to think about in regards to how ministry is to happen. I am so glad I attend a church that is working to put these principles into practice!
Published 10 months ago by Jonathan
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