Book samples The Vine Project (Contents and Introduction) | Page 18

(After all, they are usually the ones most invested in everything that is currently in place.) You may put before your existing elders the idea of forming a new team to focus on The Vine Project—perhaps consisting of some existing key leaders (or elders), as well as some emerging leaders with potential. • Whatever the mix of new and existing leaders in your team, or however they relate to your current structures, the really important thing is that they are F.A.T. (to use the old acronym)—Faithful, Available (at least potentially) and Teachable. You want people who are Faithful to the gospel in their convictions and in their lives. This is not the time or place for new converts (no matter how gifted and impressive they are), or for powerful, influential people who are really not solidly converted, mature, gospel-hearted people. You’ll want people whom you can call upon to be Available to work with you and each other, and to keep working together over a significant period of time. This may mean freeing them from other responsibilities—in fact, it will almost certainly mean this, given the way F.A.T. people usually get involved in church life. There may be some pain associated with this—with pulling a leader out of an existing ministry, and thus creating a hole—but unless you have a team of people who are available to meet together fairly regularly, and to put in some work together to bring change, then the whole exercise will probably end up being an unproductive talkfest. And finally, you don’t need people who have arrived and already know how to do everything, or who have strong hobbyhorses that they are continually riding. You want people who have a humble Teachable heart, who know they still have a long way to go, and who are keen to keep making progress as disciples of Christ. Fifthly, once you’ve gathered a team, one of your first tasks will be to draft a rough plan together as to how you are going to work through the five phases of The Vine Project. How often are you 22 TVP-2016-txt-ART.indd 22 Review copy—not for distribution. SETTING THE SCENE 16/03/2016 6:46 PM