Our elders have begun reading a new book titled, The Trellis and the Vine. The basic premise is churches are often buried in trellis work, the maintaining of the bureaucracy that often builds up around churches, and have little time for working the vine which is really where God wants us. Tending to sheep is hard work. Maintaining an existing ministry is often where time, energy, and resources are spent.
Normally, a vine can take over a trellis so that one no longer sees the trellis. However, in the example give by the book’s authors, the trellis smothers the vines! I liked this quote in the book,
And that’s the thing about trellis work: it tends to take over from the vine. Perhaps it is because trellis work is easier and less personally threatening. Vine work is personal and requires much prayer. It requires us to depend on God, and to open our mouths and speak God’s word in some way to another person. By nature (sinful nature, that is) we shy away from this. What would you rather do: go to a church working bee and sweep up some leaves, or share the gospel with your neighbor over the back fence?
The leadership of a local church would profit much from this read.