After reading the first two chapters of ‘The Trellis And The Vine’ by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne, I was inspired to share some of their insights for church leaders and the mind-shifts that are much needed in many churches around the world. If you are a leader in any context these are some helpful insights for you.
1. From Running Programs To Building People – “When planning for the year ahead, there are two approaches we could adopt. One is to consider existing church programs… the other is to start with the people in your church.”
2. From Running Events To Training People – “In the end, an ‘event approach’ distracts us from both training and evangelism.”
3. From Using People To Growing People – “We need to care for people and help them to flourish and grow in ministry, not squeeze them dry in the interests of keeping our programs running.”
4. From Filling Gaps to Training New Workers – “Instead of filling a vacancy on a committee, one of our members might start a ministry to his/her ethnic community, or a bible study group in his/her workplace.”
5. From Solving Problems To Helping People Make Progress – “Ask yourself whether your ministries are reactive or proactive. If you are mostly reacting to peoples problems, you won’t have the energy to put into proactive training and people growing new work.”
6. From Clinging To Ordained Ministry To Developing Team Leadership – “The benefits of team ministry are many, so it is well worth freeing up our ministers so they have the time and space to build themselves a team.”
7. From Focusing On Church Polity To Forging Ministry Partnerships – “Another way to think about it is that elders and congregational leaders should be active vine-growers (engaging in the bible, prayer and evangelism) themselves before we consider giving them responsibility for oversight.”
8. From Relying On Training Institutions To Establishing Local Training – “A college cannot be expected to provide total training in character, conviction and skill that is required for ministers and co-workers. Much of this ought to be done through training’s the job’ in church life.”
9. From Focusing On Immediate Pressures To Aiming For Long Term Expansion – “If we take our focus off our immediate pressures and aim for long term expansion, the pressures we face will become less immediate and may eventually disappear.”
10. From Engaging In Management To Engaging In Ministry – “But the trap for ministers is that they become so caught up in the management exercise, they weaken the ministry of teaching and training.”
11. From Seeking Church Growth To Desiring Gospel Growth – “If we train and send workers into new fields (both local and global), our local ministry might not grow numerically but the gospel will advance through these new ministers of the word.”
As I continue in my leadership in a church context these are things that I will want to keep applying and growing in.