Recruiting and training a smaller group of co-workers is the first step towards recruiting and training all Christians as vine-workers. You can’t personally minister to and train 130 people. But you can start with ten, and those ten can work beside you–not only to minister personally to others, but to train others as well, who in turn will minister to others. The “co-workers,” in other words, are not a different category–they are just a bunch of gifted potential “vine-workers” who work beside you to get things moving. It’s ministry multiplication through personal training, and it is one of the great needs of the contemporary church.
On page 123 of The Trellis and the Vine (which one or two of you have yet to read) the authors say:
So as we enter into 2013, Bradley and I both (along with the other Elders) consider you all to be a very valuable part of what God has blessed us with at this local church. Up to 100 names are associated with Paul in the New Testament, of which around 36 could be considered close partners and fellow laborers. God has blessed us with the same. You all areFAITHFUL (to Christ, to one another, to our church family) AVAILABLE (making time for people; assisting as the Lord provides opportunities) and TEACHABLE (wanting to learn and grow to lead yourself and others well).
The BIG PICTURE application may be: (a) Set up some time with me and/or Bradley in the coming weeks to talk about the new year/ new semester and how you’re doing personally, as well as where the Lord is working through your life this coming year. (b) Be praying about how God has called you to share your life with another brother to strengthen him, perhaps working together to pray for some relationships that you would hope to see grow. Maybe this is the time you start that one on one Bible Study with a co-worker, or simply invest some time in another young couple or two in our church. The possibilities are many. (c) Initiate and trust God will accomplish more than you can imagine.
We’re not launching any big programs to start the year. This is our program as we share the gospel together and spread that beyond our church, we trust that God will cause the growth. (1 Cor. 3:5-9).
January 20th is the day of the AFC and NFC Championship Games. I wondered if you guys might be up for us getting together to not only watch some football, but also let me share some ways we can work together this coming year (particularly this spring semester). Would you look at the calendar and think about if that night would work for you (location TBD). What say you? (Approximately 6 PM). (This would be INSTEAD of doing something on Wed. January 16th which I had previously penciled in).