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
16/03/2016 6:46 PM