The Trellis And The Vine

This Wednesday at equip we will be considering how to manage and support church growth at Kiltarlity and why as a church we need to focus our ministry on people over structures even though structures are very important for church growth. In their excellent book The Trellis and The Vine Colin Marshal and Tony Payne claim that ministry is a mixture of both vine and trellis.

They Argue “the basic work of any Christian ministry is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the power of God’s Spirit, and to see people converted, changed and grow to maturity in that gospel. That’s the work of planting, watering, fertilizing and tending the vine.” And that “Just as some sort of framework is needed to help a vine grow, so Christian ministries also need some structure and support. It may not be much, but at the very least we need somewhere to meet, some Bibles to read from, and some basic structures of leadership within our group. All Christian churches, fellowships or ministries have some kind of trellis that gives shape and support to the work. But Structures they argue “do not grow ministry any more than trellises grow vines!”

If the Vine is to continue growing at kiltarlity a mind shift of ministry will be required.

· From running programs to building people.

· From filling gaps to training new workers.

· From solving problems to helping people make progress.

· From clinging to ordained ministry to developing team leadership.

· From focusing on church polity to forging ministry partnerships.

· From over-relying on training institutions to establishing local training

· From focusing on immediate pressures to aiming for long term expansion.

· From engaging in management to engaging in ministry,

· From seeking church growth to desiring gospel growth.

See you at equip this Wednesday.


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