Jonathan McPeters's Reviews > The Trellis And The Vine

The Trellis And The Vine by Colin Marshall
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May 04, 13

bookshelves: missions
Read in October, 2010

The opening describes a pair of trellises in the author's yard, one if which is wrapped up in a flourishing jasmine vine. The analogy is then drawn from that vine-covered trellis to the work of the ministry and discipleship. The Vine represents the people-work (discipleship), and the Trellis represents the necessary structures used to support the process of discipleship.

The authors start with an assertion that I think most of us would agree on, however the authors' applications of the premise through the rest of the book is what really challenges the reader. I think we would all agree with the following premise: "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." The author then proceeds to describe the differences between "trellis" work and "vine" work.

Here's where it begins to get challenging. How do you handle discipleship? Who is responsible for it? Do you disciple individually, based on God-given gifts and abilities? Or is discipleship best done corporately, as a program of the church?

Trellis provides a thought-provoking read on the critical nature of discipleship and disciple-making training in today's Church--one that I think most church leaders need to very carefully consider. Whether or not you agree with everything in the book, the authors make some very compelling points that challenge the prevailing system that we in our denominations have set up and to which we viciously cling. I think that any pastor,missionary, or other church leader could benefit by reading this book with an open mind.
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05/04/2013 marked as: missions

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