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Focus Shift Summary Document

11 Concepts from "The Trellis and the Vine"

This is a two-page overview of 11 needed shifts in thinking about ministry focus, from the book "The Trellis and the Vine". The Chapel By the Sea elders read this book and believe it well expresses the general direcdtion we want to go in sharing the Christ-life together.


Focus Shift # 1

From Running Programs to Building People

Start with the people, rather than the programs

Churches have a natural tendency to institutionalize. Programs become settled and necessary. Over time, we develop a dependence upon them. What if we focused on building people, rather than increasing the complexity of the structure?


Focus Shift # 2

From Running Events to Training People

Opportunity - based and relationally - focused

Often we feel a subtle pressure to increase the numbers of events to feel or look more successful. Setting up and running events can start to dominate our lives.


Focus Shift # 3

From Using People to Growing People

Helping people develop

We want to go beyond using volunteers to considering how to encourage them, build them up, and train them in ministry


Focus Shift # 4

From Filling Gaps to Ministry Training

What if we started with the people God has given us?

Which of these two questions is better?

  • Who can fill this gap we have?
  • What ministry could this person exercise?

  • Focus Shift # 5

    From Chasing Problems to Helping People Progress

    Are our ministries reactive or proactive?

    We want to cultivate an environment where people connect regularly, know one another, and prayerfully speak the Word of God to one another as a matter of normal life together.


    Focus Shift # 6

    From From Clinging To Ordained Ministry to Developing Team Leadership

    Should most ministry be "handled" by upfronters?

    What can happen if we keep ministry primarily in the hands of the "professionals"? Results may not be what you expect.


    Focus Shift # 7

    From Focusing on Church Polity to Forging Ministry Partnerships

    Forming ministry partnerships might go a long way in creating more opportunity to make disciples. We don't want to let structures get in the way of ministry.


    Focus Shift # 8

    From Relying on Training Institutions to Establishing Local Training

    This is one, long-term, ambitious goal! As we develop community life, life with mission, we'll see ministry gifts show up. We can then guide and train people with those gifts.


    Focus Shift # 9

    From Immediate Pressures to Long-Term Expansion

    Sometimes ministry feels not much more than putting out fires. What if we changed our focus from filling slots to aiming for long-term Kingdom expansion?


    Focus Shift # 10

    From Management to Ministry

    We can get so engroseed in managing and organizing everything we lose track of why we are here! Let's change the focus of our efforts.


    Focus Shift # 11

    From Church Growth to Gospel Growth

    Let's be exporters and not hoarders of the ministers we train. Think bigger!


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