I have just started to read through a book called The Trellis and the Vine. This is one of the books that we received at the Together for the Gospel conference last month (they gave away over 120000 books among the 7000 who attended!). In chapter two, the authors of the book, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne argue that several ministry mind shifts are needed from the prevailing ministry philosophies of our day. Their working thesis is “that structures don’t grow ministry any more than trellises grow vines, and that most churches need to make a conscious shift – away from erecting and maintaining structures, and towards growing people who are disciple-making disciples of Christ.” They then proceed to give 11 ministry mind shifts that are needed today in our churches.
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
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 (such as seminaries) 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
11. From seeking church growth to desiring gospel growth
If you want to see how Marshall and Payne unpack all this, you might just want to buy the book.