Ministry Mind-Shifts

In Chapter Two, "Ministry Mind-shifts, of The Trellis and the Vine, argue,

"...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."

This shift requires numerous changes of mindset or mental shifts. They are:

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 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

Here are a few blurbs from some of these ministry mind-shifts.

From Running Programs to Building People:

Instead of working from existing programs currently in place and planning for the upcoming year concerning how you can make those programs more successful, "start with the people in your church, having no particular structures or programs in mind, and then consider who are these people God has given you, how you can help them grow in Christian maturity, and what form their gifts and opportunities might take.

From Using People to Growing People:

Volunteers are the ones who maintain and expand church programs...The danger of having such willing volunteers is that we use them, exploit them, and forget to train them. They they burn out, their ministry is curtailed and we find that we have failed to develop their Christian life and ministry potential. Instead of using our volunteers, we should consider how we can encourage them and help them grow in the knowledge and love of Christ, because service flows from Christian growth and not growth from service.

From Filling Gaps to Training New Workers:

Instead of thinking, "Who can fill this gap in our personnel?", perhaps the question we need to consider is "What ministry could this member exercise?"

From Solving Problems to Helping People Make Progress:

If ministry in our churches is based on reacting to the problems people raise, many will receive no attention because they are more reserved in sharing their problems. The goal is to move people forward in holy living and knowledge of God, whether they are facing problems or not; this is why we proclaim Christ, 'warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.' (Col. 1:28)

From Seeking Church Growth to Desiring Gospel Growth:

We must be exporters of trained people instead of hoarders of trained people...But our view of Gospel work must be global as well as local: the goal isn't church growth (in terms of our local church expanding in numbers, budgets, church-plants and reputation) but 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.

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