Book samples The Vine Project (Contents and Introduction) | Page 13

church family. We find ourselves waiting for that crisis-free ‘normal’ year where we can actually do some planning and make progress, but it never quite arrives. For those of us who feel this way, working on a project to shift the whole culture of our church may feel completely beyond us. And for some of you, that may be quite right. It may not be the right time to start. You may want to read this book and hatch some plans for getting started properly a year or two down the track. However, as we will argue below, disciple-making is really about calling people to faith and hope in Jesus Christ in the midst of this present evil age, with all its pressures. To become a church more focused on disciple-making is to become a fellowship that understands more clearly why life is often hard, and what resources God has given us to grow in faith and hope and love in the midst of the struggle. A disciple-making church is actually better able to handle the crises and pressures of everyday life. What’s more, one of the key pressure points for many pastors and church leadership teams is simply that there are too few shoulders being put to the wheel. We aren’t training and mobilizing enough of our members to be fellow workers in the task, and so the pressure on the pastor and key leaders remains unrelenting. We need to build a larger team of engaged, equipped disciple-makers working together, and this is one of the key outcomes of The Vine Project. In other words, one very important reason that we’ve written The Vine Project, and urge you to embark upon it as soon as you reasonably can, is that we know how tough church life and ministry can be. An unusual book It’s a big question that we’re seeking to answer (how to shift your church culture towards disciple-making), and the task is made less easy by the obvious fact that each church needs its own answer. Each Review copy—not for distribution. THE BI G Q U EST ION TVP-2016-txt-ART.indd 17 17 16/03/2016 6:46 PM