The Trellis and The Vine – Colin Marshall and Tony Payne (Paperback)


What Col and Tony have described here is exactly what I’ve been trying to do in my own life and in our congregation for years. According to this book, Christians are to be disciple-making disciples and pastors are to be trainers. Superb! This is the best book I’ve read on the nature of church ministry. – Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC, USA

This book contains the kind of counter-intuitive ideas that, once encountered and embraced, make you wonder why you did not always think this way. – Philip D. Jensen, Bible Teacher and Evangelist, Two Ways Ministries, Sydney, Australia

Gospel ministry is about God’s glory and God’s people! This excellent book takes us right to the heart of authentic Christian ministry. Any church will benefit hugely from studying and acting on it. – William Taylor, Rector, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London, UK

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 organisational 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 difference?
  • 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 fulfil the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again.

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About the Authors

Colin Marshall has spent the past 30 years training men and women in the ministry of the gospel, both in university and local church contexts. He is a graduate of Moore Theological College (BTh, MA) and the author of Growth Groups, a training course for small group leaders, and Passing the Baton, a handbook for ministry apprenticeship. Until 2006 he directed the Ministry Training Strategy, and is now heading up Vinegrowers, a new training ministry aiming to help pastors and other ministry leaders implement the principles in this book (see

Tony Payne has spent more than 20 years in Christian writing and editing as the Publishing Director of Matthias Media. He is a graduate of Moore Theological College (BTh Hons), and the author or co-author of many popular books and resources, including Two Ways to Live: The choice we all face, Fatherhood: What it is and what it’s for, Guidance and the Voice of God, Prayer and the Voice of God, Six Steps to Reading Your Bible, The Course of Your Life, and The Thing Is.

Additional information

Weight259 g
Dimensions232 × 148 × 17 mm
Product Details

© Matthias Media 2009

Content Pages

196 pages