Drinking Deeply

Friday, March 04, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Random notes from "The Trellis and the Vine"

I just typed up my notes from a book that blew my mind. Sorry it's not a full "review" or anything, but I felt like it was important enough to take down for my future reading, so I'm sharing it on the blog.

Central Thesis: The Trellis is the (organized) church structures, needed for growth of the body of Christ, but not equal to growth in the body of Christ.

General goals

1. From running programs to building people

2. From running events to training people

3. From using people to growing people.

4. From filling gaps to training new workers

5. From solving problems to helping people make progress

"If ministry in our churches is based on reaching to the problems people raise, many will receive no attention because they are more reserved in sharing their problems." (pg. 22)

Are we reactive or proactive in ministry?

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

10. From engaging in management to engaging in ministry

"Could your minister be relieved of some of his administrative workload so that he can devote time to training one or two new leaders?" (pg. 25)

When we look for something we can do in church, don't look for a j ob or roles, but look for opportunities to love, care, and disciple.

This is hard! - The paths to glory often leads through suffering and difficulty. It's much easier to measure how many people attend, than to measure how people are growing.

"The only growth that has any significance in God's plans is the growth of believers." (pg. 38)

"People growth only happens through t he power of God's Spirit as he applies his word to people's hearts." (pg. 39)

Every Christian is called to be vine worker

"There are not two sorts of disciples, there is one. To be a disciple is to be a slave of Christ and to confess his name openly before others." pg. 42

Speak the word of God to one another. Build the body in love. Ephesians 4:15-16

Hebrews 10:24-25 - Stir one another up to love and good works.

Not every Christian has the same gifts, but all have the same goal.

"A Christian with no passion for the lost is in serious need for self-examination and repentance." (pg. 53)

Examples:

1) Sharing about a good sermon at church on Monday when a coworker asks about weekend. How the Bible actually impacts the way you live.

2) Caring for your child and speaking God's truth

3) Sharing with fellow believers how God has blessed him by a verse.

4) Meeting one on one with a new Christian to talk over some basic stuff.

5) Caring for a friend who has been anxious and is slipping off of the church.

6) Preparing ahead of time for Bible study.

7) Phoning an elderly friend to share and pray

8) Developing and praying for a friend who isn't a Christian. Inviting them to church and talking about it afterward on the ride home.

9) Rearranging your schedule so you can take off a morning to volunteer at a local school teaching Scripture.

10) Sharing a testimony with the church about God's grace and providence.

Partnership not membership

The call of the Gospel isn't a call for membership in a church, but rather partnership in a movement. Active, not passive.

Training is not a skill, it's a worldview. It's not about answering the questions than an unbeliever asks (though those answers are important), but rather it's about thinking through life in a manner that honors God. Training is in righteousness, godliness, not merely in content.

Set an example - This life lived of righteousness is caught as much as it is taught. This can be formal or informal both. We need classes, but we also need mentorships.

Stages of Gospel Growth - Outreach, follow up, growth, ,training.

Someone isn't a Christian, is a new Christian, is a growing Christian, is a training Christian.

Outreach - raising issues or heard the Gospel?

Growth - need help, or solid

Training - General or specific

Goal is not to categorize, but general progress.

Sunday sermons are necessary but not sufficient.

Pastor is not the only worker in the church. He isn't the one that must do all the visitation. Ministry does not happen only in the preaching individual visits of the clergy.

Example: Richard Baxter

"Reformed Pastor" - disciple every individual!

Multiply growth -

Dont' need to focus on the urgent - you may never get to multiply things. You can put a good focus on those who just need the next step to continue training others.

We need co-workers!

Co-worker -

Same basic theology. Not necessarily flashy up front Serve in the background Not out of need, but out of real ability Teachable Not just volunteers!

We're calling them to continue to give up their lives for Christ!

Ministry apprenticeship

There needs to be a period of training and development. Get their feet wet. We can actively recruit people

Go for it!

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