Great Books

Every follower of Jesus Christ should be able to answer two simple questions: Who is investing in me? Who am I investing in? God desires to pour an abundance of spiritual and emotional capital into your life. And he wants to use you to pour spiritual and emotional capital into others. Along the way, you'll be changed. Others will change. You will experience God and his community in a new and personal and supernatural way. And so will others. God calls this process of spiritual investing "making disciples." It's the heart of the Great Commission. It's the vision of a great local church. It's the secret of a healthy joyful, secure, and significant life.

All Christian ministry is a mixture of trellis and vine.

There is vine work: the prayerful preaching and teaching of the word of God to see people converted and grow to maturity as disciples of Christ. Vine work is the Great Commission.

And there is trellis work: creating and maintaining the physical and organizational structures and programs that support vine work and its growth.

What’s the state of the trellis and the vine in your part of the world? Has trellis work taken over, as it has a habit of doing? Is the vine work being done by very few (perhaps only the pastor and only on Sundays)? And is the vine starting to wilt as a result?

The image of the trellis and the vine raises all the fundamental questions of Christian ministry:
      * What is the vine for?
      * How does the vine grow?
      * How does the vine relate to my church?
      * What is vine work and what is trellis work, and how can we tell the
      * What part do different people play in growing the vine?
      * How can we get more people involved in vine work?

In The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne answer these urgent questions afresh. They dig back into the Bible’s view of Christian ministry, and argue that a major mind-shift is required if we are to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again.

Who Moved My Pulpit? may not be the exact question you’re asking. But you’re certainly asking questions about change in the church—where it’s coming from, why it’s happening, and how you’re supposed to hang on and follow God through it—even get out ahead of it so your church is faithfully meeting its timeless calling and serving the new opportunities of this age.

Based on conversations with thousands of pastors, combined with on-the-ground research from more than 50,000 churches, best-selling author Thom S. Rainer shares an eight-stage roadmap to leading change in your church. Not by changing doctrine. Not by changing biblical foundations. But by changing methodologies and approaches for reaching a rapidly changing culture.

You are the pastor. You are the church staff person. You are an elder. You are a deacon. You are a key lay leader in the church. This is the book that will equip you to celebrate and lead change no matter the cost.

The time is now.

What's the most courageous thing you've ever done?

As men, all of us face decisions in life that demand courage. Big or little, complex or straightforward, these choices—let’s call them battles—matter a great deal. One courageous choice leads to another; tomorrow’s integrity depends on today’s bravery.

Dennis Rainey identifies five stages of a man’s journey through life—boyhood, adolescence, manhood, mentor, and patriarch—and examines a man’s responsibilities at each step. Rainey calls men to seize the moment and take action, stepping up to responsibility and inspiring others in the process. It’s about embracing courage, rejecting passivity and cowardice.

Ultimately, you’ll be challenged to be the man on your battlefield.

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