"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 book sets out a crucial shift that is needed in the mindset of many pastors. The authors have carefully listened to the Bible. And they've worked on this book. The result is a book that is well-written and well-illustrated, but even more, a book that is full of biblical wisdom and practical advice. This is the best book I've read on the nature of church ministry. "
- Mark Dever, Senior Pastor, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington DC
"God makes ministers in the midst of his church. It is in the context of the faithful local church that ministers are best taught, shaped and equipped. The Trellis and the Vine is a superb guide to preparing pastors and ministers for Christ's church. It comes from a ministry so deeply committed to the recovery of biblical truth and the cause of the gospel. The wisdom in this little book is invaluable. My advice: Keep a good stack on hand at all times, and put this book to good use. "
- R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
"There is no need greater (in the happy resurgence of robust, gospel- centred churches in the English-speaking world) than for us to think biblically and wisely about how we live and minister together in our congregations. All manner of folk are offering us their opinions as to how we ought to do this in this reforming era (in which some, if not many, rightly see the weaknesses of the ministry and methodology of the last fifty years, but whose prescriptions for remedy fall short of the standards of Scripture and wisdom). Yes, let's rethink what we are to do and be together as the church, but let's do it biblically, and with the wisdom of biblical discernment and pastoral experience. So I announce with joy that I have new conversation partners as I am asking myself, under the authority of God and Scripture, questions about the structure and ministry of my congregation: "Why are we doing what we are doing? Are we focusing on the right things? Is the gospel central? Are we making disciples? Has 'administry' trumped ministry? Is our corporate life and mission biblically shaped?" And more. As I ask these things, I am so deeply helped and heartened and humbled and corrected by the fidelity and wisdom of Colin Marshall and Tony Payne's profound little book that I can't but commend it to you. "
- Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, MS; Past Moderator, General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in America
"All kinds of voices compete as to how "ministry" (in the local church) should be done, but few voices are worth listening to more than Marshall and Payne. Perhaps every session should be given a copy for the next "officers retreat" and asked to come with responses."
- Derek Thomas
"I am thrilled that this book has been written! What God has done in Sydney over the last few decades is nothing less than supernatural— and we in South Africa have long been the beneficiaries. The model of ministry presented in this book has left an indelible mark on my own ministry and been of inestimable value to the denomination I belong to. The mindsets put forth in this book have not only impacted many of our churches, but have changed our regional thinking, planning and strategy. We are indebted to Col and Tony for putting into words a culture of ministry that is biblically pragmatic, deeply theological and, above all, passionately concerned for the lost. "
- Grant Retief, Rector, Christ Church, Umhlanga, South Africa
"This book empathizes with the confusion that many pastors have when they allow themselves to lose focus on Jesus' goal for ministry, namely, to make disciple-makers. But it doesn't leave the pastor there in the cloud of desperation; it gives him the courage to trust in his Master's strategy again. And take courage: Jesus' strategy was able to reach countries as far as my own. "
- Cristóbal Cerón, General Coordinator, Gimnasio (MTS), Chile
"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
"For over twenty years, I have seen the ideas in this excellent book developed, tested and improved in the active ministry of the gospel. They are the kind of counter-intuitive ideas that, once encountered and embraced, make you wonder why you did not always think this way. "
- Phillip D. Jensen, Dean, St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, Australia
"If I could put only one new book into the hands of every person preparing for ministry today, The Trellis and the Vine would be it. Marshall and Payne leverage decades of experience in one of the world's great cities with the hope of stimulating gospel growth around the globe. This book will also refresh every pastor who has ever asked, "What in the world am I supposed to be doing?" I came away energized, strengthened in my core calling and better prepared to bear fruit for Christ. In fact, it's so good that I want every leader and pastoral intern in our church to read it! "
- David Helm, Pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Chicago
"It is impossible to read The Trellis and the Vine without having your cherished ministry assumptions profoundly challenged. In your hands is a God-glorifying, scripturally-soaked re-evaluation of Christian ministry. It will untangle the anomaly of being a Christian without a radical missionary heart. It will identify the plethora of ministry structures that owe more to cultural pragmatism than the Bible. And above all, it will inspire us to serve the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. "
- Richard Chin, National Director, Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, Sydney, Australia