Trellis Chapter Summary

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The title of the book had me wondering how a trellis and a vine can mimic church revitalization and church growth. Authors Collin Marshall and Tony Payne open the book by explaining the purpose of a trellis and how important it is to a vine in its growth. The vine is the active members doing ministry, such as discipleship, mission and evangelizing and the trellis is the people and programs put in place to support those who are participating in the ministry. Most churches are a mixture of vines and trellis with the majority of members inside the church not knowing to which they belong. The book states that the vine does much of the work, but the trellis plays a vital part in aiding the vine. In many churches, the members believe that the…show more content…
Many years, even before I entered the ministry, the church has always had the mindset that if we have more programs, it will attract more people and if we have more people, we will have more money to put on more programs. The cycle was never-ending. Even if the programs were successful, church growth was only temporary and the growth was transfer growth and very few new converts. We used people to run the programs instead of teaching the people to grow in the spirit. In the end, the people in charge of the programs remained stagnant in spiritual growth and relied on their status as leader of the program to replace their status in the sight of God. One of the major problems with this concept is that members in the church that are spending the majority of their time working in programs burn out before and the church fail at developing their Christian maturity. The book discuss how most churches fill gaps instead of training new members so that they are able to feel more a part of the universal church. When churches fill gaps, they continue the cycle of using people for programs until they burnout. The local church has been placed ahead of what God’s purpose is for us.…show more content…
In any church, the people will be used to better the program instead of being taught to better their relationship with God. The book states, “We see people not as cogs in our wheel, or as resources for our projects, but as individuals each at their own stage of the gospel growth. Our goal for each person is that they advance, that they make progress, that the move one step forward form where they are now.” This should be the purpose and the plan for every church in America. The plan to treat the members of the congregation as individuals and by treating them as individuals, they will learn to work for the whole. A key strength to church growth and church revitalization is understanding if a congregation is to grow numerically, more work will need to be put into the trellis or the support of the church. The support extends from the pulpit to the parking lot and must be maintained if serious, conversion growth will take place. The pastor should be viewed as a trainer where the focus is on people ministering to people rather than on structures, programs and events. Evangelism will take place as disciples reach out to the people around them. The book states, “Evangelism is at the heart of pastoral ministry. Ministry is not about just dealing with immediate crises or problems, or about building numbers, or about reforming structures. It is fundamentally about preparing souls for death.” Churches without this mindset

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