Toward A Mindshift Leading To Lasting Culture Change (Part Three)


This post is the continuation of a series.

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Pete Sholl: I remember having a conversation with pastors in Mexico talking about the purpose of the sermon, in terms of equipping people in the pews to go home and read the Bible for themselves. We want to be giving people confidence in their own personal handling of the Scriptures through the way they see you handling it—not as some magic man, but you’re leading and showing the steps. That was revolutionary thinking.

Marty Sweeney: And read it with others. That’s the whole passing it on idea. [See 2 Timothy 2:2.]

Pete Sholl: It all comes back to the sufficiency of Scripture and your confidence in it and not yourself as a preacher.

Doug Dunton: The pulpit ministry can be the key or catalyst for this to take place. An example of that is in Southwestern Uganda. Pastor George was there, he received our training, in the process of training, we’re talking about getting Bibles in the heart language of the people and how important that is. At the beginning of the training, he didn’t think it was that important because his people can’t afford Bibles, so they wouldn’t buy Bibles.

I was there recently, and saw that many of the congregants had Bibles. Why? Because George didn’t used to preach from the Bible, he’d just preach on Sunday mornings. Now George is preaching the Bible and everybody is sacrificing to go buy a Bible and read a Bible for themselves and talk about the Bible because the preacher is preaching from the Bible. Well, that’s pretty significant. That’s a culture change.

[Read more about Pastor George’s radical conversion and how God is using him today to preach the Word and equip other pastors.]

Tony Payne: That is a culture change and that’s exactly what I meant earlier on when I said that it penetrates every element of a tradition in a particular place. A trellis and vine mindshift does effect the way you preach and the way you prepare and what you expect to happen after you preach.

For many guys, they come into the pulpit wanting to show enough of how they came to this message that their congregation will say, “Yeah, I see where he gets that from the passage. That’s how you read that passage. And not only can I now read that for myself, but that’s a word that I can share.” A sermon that finishes with one of the application questions of “How is this word going to go forward not only in your own life, but from your life to your sons and your daughters or your neighbors all around you?” That’s a different sort of sermon.

Tim Sattler: When I was in the pastorate, we took the same principles you are using to a level of Bible study and Bible reading. I took six guys through and taught them to read the Bible. A few guys who were forty years old told me after a few weeks that they had never read their Bible because they couldn’t understand what they read.

As a pastor, we want guys to be reading the Bible with their families, but we can guilt trip them into something they don’t know how to do if you’re not training them how to read. We had to see that preaching is not just for Sunday morning, but it’s to develop this expository mindset we want flowing through all the church.

Tony Payne: It flows into the training question. People have often asked us in the workshops, where does this training thing fit in? You say we have to train our disciples to be disciple makers, what’s your program for doing that and where do I do that in my schedule? How do I find the space to do that? You’ve just described training right there. If your goal is to transform and train your people so that they too are Bible readers and able to minister the Word. Then your sermon becomes an exercise of training, your small group leadership training becomes an exercise in that as well.

Marty Sweeney: I had a question a few weeks ago at a church in South Carolina. They had a good overview of our resources: outreach, follow-up, and training. A guy really liked that and said it helped him think through different ministries in his church. He said, “At what point does someone go from being in the growth phase to be in a training phase?” I told him he was slightly misunderstanding the point of training—we train everywhere all the time always. For him it was quite revolutionary to think that you can get creative and take your new member class after they do the new member class and teach them to evangelize. Why? Because what better time than when they still have friends who are unchurched. It doesn’t have to be formal, but can be subtle in classes that I teach or in Bible studies. I turn to the guy next to me and ask, “How would you explain this to your neighbor?” That’s the subtle form of training, it’s not a program, but it’s spread throughout all of ministry.

Tim Sattler: The moving to the right chart helps with that [see below]. If we start thinking in terms of moving to the right with everybody, it helps. Where does training begin? It always has been going on.


Matthias Media’s “Moving to the Right” Chart.

Marty Sweeney: It’s been such a revolution at our church for those who have gone through The Course of Your Life, which is kind of the small group version of The Trellis and the Vine. Moving to the right is great shorthand as we talk to each other and say, “Hey, did you meet your neighbor yet?” Not yet, but we will move him to the right…it’s a neat way that we can push each other to the right by asking them questions.

Jason Crank: Tony, do you see The Trellis and the Vine become a trellis in that we are trying to do training that itself becomes a rigid structure?

Tony Payne: Everything potentially becomes calcified over time.

For example, if you take the Two Ways to Live Training Course, it’s shot through with this kind of culture. The Introduction says, “Don’t just buy this course and run your whole church through it. Get eight people and start working with them. Train them in evangelism. Take time, it might take you six months or a year to train these people, use this material to train them. Work out two or three people with potential, and help them train ten people. Try to train someone to train the gospel is a personal, long-term, relational exercise that might happen in a number of ways, depending on who the people are.”

That’s the nature of the training. Over time, what has it become? A seven week course that churches put on, and churches push people through it. After six months churches say to us, “Our people aren’t evangelizing, the course doesn’t work.”

Any formal training, no matter how good it is, can just become a structure you whack people through, and in the end you don’t see transformation. That’s another way to describe what vine work is—it’s moving people to the right towards Christ and maturity in Christ through the Word and prayer over time patiently, consistently, relationally—that’s vine work. Trellises are used to help that.

The next post shares three tips for implementing culture change in a church.


Want to learn more? Join us for Re:Growth – Implementing “The Trellis and the Vine” in your church in Palos Heights, IL on September 11, 2015.

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The Trellis and the Vine 5 Years Later: How does a Mindshift happen and what does it mean for the pulpit? (Part Two)

Trellis-And-Vine-Marshall-Payne-Best-Quotes-Quotations-Summary 2

This post is a continuation of a conversation on the ministry mindshift that changes everything. Read Part One: Building Your Church on the Transforming Power of God’s Word: A Conversation on the Trellis and Vine Mindshift

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Marty Sweeney: The Trellis and the Vine has been out for five years. You and I and others have run workshops and talked with pastors across the world about it. How is it that guys are still struggling with changing the culture in their church?

Tony Payne: Culture is really hard to change. It doesn’t just consist of ideas. It consists of practices, habits, and traditions that are embedded down. It’s the way we do things around here. It’s more than what we just believe, it’s the way those beliefs are expressed in a multitude of practices and habits.

Changing a culture is far more than changing someone’s mind. You can sit around as a group of elders, work through T&V and say, “This is what we want.” But the way we do things around here almost certainly scream out the opposite message all the time. Whether it be the way small groups are run, the way our church service is run, or expectations. Changing that, changing the way we do things around here, is a three, four, five, six year process that’s painful and slow. Most pastors don’t want that. They want a bolt-on idea, some content they can put into their existing culture that will change it. That won’t happen.

As we talk to others about how culture change happens, we say that it’s going to take three or four years to see any sort of significant change. You will have to start small and be very intentional and be very disciplined and persevering. And you will see change. For most busy pastors, that’s hard. They’re busy, and they want something they can quickly do.

Tim Sattler: We work with guys for four years (in the Training National Trainers program). And we’ve seen the same thing. You ask guys if they would go back to what they were doing before, and they say no. I had one pastor tell me that to do so would be a treachery to both the church and God’s Word. It often takes that long for them to get it.

Pete Sholl: But if you were to ask that question after two years, you might not get than answer.

Tony Payne: Or after six months, or after having read a book about it. For you guys, that process of spending time with people over a three of four year period with pastors in Africa or South America, it’s over that time you see that transformation.

Marty Sweeney: Tony, after learning everything you have in the past five years (since The Trellis and the Vine came out), if you wrote the book again now, would you change anything?

Tony Payne: I’m always dissatisfied with any book I’ve ever written. You look back and there’s always stuff you don’t address or stuff you address too cursorily. There are a few areas we are expanding.

The conversation we’ve been having, “How does a mindshift come about in a church?” is clearly not addressed at a deep level in the book.

That’s something Col and I are working on addressing in a follow up volume at the moment called Re-Growth. What are the phases or steps or a rigid method: you’re working with people. People are messy, that’s the whole nature of vine work. One of phases you would need to go through to bring culture change, one of the things you would need to address, the kinds of people you need to gather, the steps you need to take.

I think the chapter in the book about preaching, “The Sunday sermon is necessary, but not sufficient” caused people a lot of struggle. “What are you saying, the Sunday sermon is not important? Are you denigrating the primacy of preaching? Are you somehow saying the pulpit is less important?” If you’ve read the chapter, you’d know that’s not what we’re saying, but it highlighted an issue that needs more work. What is, theologically speaking, the relationship between the word ministry of every Christian as a disciple-maker, and the word ministry of elders, pastors, and leaders, as exemplified in the flagship Sunday sermon. That’s something I’m doing work on at the moment that I’m hoping to publish soon.

Can I ask the LRI guys—you’re the preaching guys—what is your reaction to that issue?

Tim Sattler: There is an implication of having an expository pulpit for all the other ministries of the church. You can’t be doing exposition here and other things out there. I think that what we are trying to do should be taken down to the reverse level: how do people read the Bible. “I’m coming on Sunday morning, and I’ve read the Bible the same way he’s going to preach the Bible. Now I will hear better, and my listening ability grows.”

Sean Martin: I quite like that line about sermons in the book. I think provocative things like that need to be said at times to ruffle feathers. It can lead to a good conversation. Even conversations with tension can be good.

When this came out, I had similar pushback. But once we explain with pastors, taking them back to the Reformation, saying our forefathers in the faith fought for the ministry and centrality of the Word.

What we’re really saying is, if we’ve fought for the word, and we want the word to be at the center of what we do because it does bring life and transformation, then we certainly don’t want to limit the word to the Sunday pulpit. We want to say, “Yes! The Sunday sermon is absolutely paramount. We want more. We don’t just want thirty minutes on a Sunday morning, do we? Don’t we want expository ministry to happen between two old ladies over tea in Starbucks reading the Bible one-to-one? Don’t we want expository ministry for a mother and a dad sitting down and teaching their children the gospel at home? We want to see expository ministry in a variety of contexts.”

Tim Sattler: I hope pastors think of their ministry on Sunday morning as helping someone read the Bible. I think they think of it as just giving a sermon, delivering a speech to people. They should be thinking of it as, “How can I help people understand what they are reading in Scripture?” This conversation needs to be happening a lot more.

Next time we look at how to create lasting culture change in a church.


Want to learn more? Join us for Re:Growth – Implementing “The Trellis and the Vine” in your church in Palos Heights, IL on September 11, 2015.

Building Your Church on the Transforming Power of God’s Word: A Conversation on the Trellis and Vine Mindshift (Part One)

The Transforming Power of Gods Word

At The Gospel Coalition 2015 National Conference, we sat down with several friends of our ministry to discuss how churches can make God’s Word flow mightily through our churches at all levels to create mature disciples and a church filled with vibrant spiritual life.

The conversation starts discussing principles from the influential book The Trellis and the Vine written by Tony Payne and Colin Marshall to encourage a “mindshift” in the way pastors and churches think about ministry.

The conversation continues in further posts by discussing how to create lasting culture change toward a Scripture-centered focus, sharing several practical suggestions, and real-life examples from all over the world.

Included in the conversation were:

Leadership Resources and Matthias Media are working together to develop a mindset about church ministry based on the understanding that Christ is known and lives are changed when the Word is proclaimed prayerfully in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to a portion of the conversation below:

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Marty Sweeney: Tony, If you had to summarize the idea of The Trellis and the Vine, how would you do it?

Book-Review-Cover-The-Trellis-and-the-Vine-Colin-Marshall-Tony-Payne-630x1024Tony Payne: Essentially, you can summarize The Trellis and the Vine by using the basic metaphor, a trellis and a vine. That is, something that is growing and dynamic [the vine], and the structure that supports and enables it [the trellis].

Essentially the book is arguing that all Christian ministry can fall into those two categories—it’s either a ministry that is growing, vibrant, and developing by the vine work they are doing in a church or a ministry, or the focus is on all the stuff that supports it, the administrative or management or the structures.

The book was really arguing that what often happens in Christian ministry is a disconnect between those two things and that the real nature of vine work, which is proclaiming the gospel word that comes from the Bible in dependence on the Spirit to people. That vine work can be disconnected from all of the structures and activities and apparatus in church life. We explore in the book what vine work essentially is, and how a more optimal set of trellises or activities or structures can help that vine grow.

Marty Sweeney: The subtitle of the book says that it’s a “mindshift.” Many here in the US context still want to know what to do, what program to run, what set of curriculum they need. How important is it that it’s a mindshift, and not just a set of things to do?

Tony Payne: Essentially, if you regard it mainly as a bunch of things you must do, you are essentially saying that the trellis—that is the activities and structures of the ministry you do—is what’s vital and what makes the ministry grow. That’s about as dumb as saying that the trellis makes the vine grow. You need a trellis to support the growth of the vine.

What is it that actually makes the vine grow? In the case of ministry, it’s the prayerful proclamation of the Word of God to people, that is focused on people and working with people, seeing individual people grow and move forward… So it’s through the work of all of us as disciples, prayerfully speaking the Word of God to people so that we may see the growth. Now, that’s the way growth happens. It can happen in a multitude of different ways, but to say, “is there one model or structure that will make that happen?” will make the mistake of thinking that the trellis fundamentally will bring the growth.

Marty Sweeney: Let’s bring up other guys with us from around the world, because this isn’t just an issue here in the United States. Pete, in Latin America, are the issues fundamentally different?

Our group photo in Siguatepeque, Honduras. On June 17–20, 2013, Patricio Paredes and Paul Adams from Leadership Resources and Andrew Fulton from New Covenant Church, Naperville, Illinois, met with pastors representing each major section within the Central American Churches of Honduras for a four-day workshop through the book of 2 Timothy.

A Leadership Resources training group in Honduras with Spanish version of The Trellis and the Vine.

Pete Sholl: No, in that they fundamentally want to know what is the program that I need to follow. As Tony said, that’s not the right question to be asking. The Trellis and the Vine is very useful in Latin America because it challenges people’s mindsets, not just says here’s another structure to follow. So we’re not working through the book with people. The first session in training is always, “What is the program that we will follow?” And we say, “No, no no. Let’s step back from that and ask what is your mindset in ministry? How are you thinking about people?” After a few weeks of working with people, the “mindshift” starts to happen, and they start to get it. It’s not just about doing A, B, or C, but it’s about changing the way you think about people in church.

Doug and Tim: Africa and Asia, what about the issues there?

Doug Dunton: In Africa, we have the issue where tradition is really highly affirmed and appreciated. However, no one believes in the traditions—but they continue to use them… My question for those guys is how do they make a change when the culture is so deeply steeped in multiple generation after generation of tradition. Addressing unhelpful trellises in their culture is very difficult.

Pete Sholl: And that comes up in Latin America as well. Often the pastor will say after working through the book, “OK, I think I understand it, and I’d like to try some different mindset type things in my church.” But then they say, I can’t do it because of the expectations of the congregation. Part of that is tradition that’s been built up. “This is what the pastor does. This is what the congregation members don’t do, or do do,” or whatever. That’s the way it works out. It’s kind of a secondary battle.

[Bonus Article: The Ministry Mind-Shift Desperately Needed in Latin American Churches]

Tim Sattler: I think that I’ve found that our biggest challenge is to get guys to believe and have confidence that the Word of God is what brings change — not all the programs. And they will tell you, they can go out and buy any program or go to any seminar—and they do. They look for them.

Once you get their paradigm shifted to believe that it’s the Word of God that brings change and transformation in their church, you’ve got them. Until you get there, they will be going to every little program to find how to grow their church. The Trellis and Vine helps us because we can at least identify frameworks that are there. We work hard at bringing their confidence levels up in the Word of God.

Tony Payne: The key thing there is coming to believe it’s the Word of God by the power of God’s Spirit that transforms people. There’s the nutrients and the water that makes the vine grow.

You’ve not only revolutionized the way you think about your ministry as a pastor, but it changes the way you think about your congregation and their ministry. Because if it’s the Word and prayer/Spirit that has the power in transformational ministry, whether that’s on my lips as a pastor or on my Bible study leader’s lips as they lead, or on the lips on the whole congregation as they reach out to others, the power is in the Word and prayer.

That’s the big mindshift in The Trellis and Vine. The power lies with the Word prayerfully proclaimed and the Spirit. It means training people to have a ministry of the Word is the essence of Christian ministry. That’s what blows people’s minds. They say, “We don’t train anybody in ministry. We don’t equip our people.” What that really says is that, “We don’t believe it is the Word that has the power.”

Next time Tony Payne shares what he’s learned since The Trellis and the Vine first came out five years ago.

Also in the series: Toward A Mindshift Leading To Lasting Culture Change (Part Three) 


Want to learn more? Join us for Re:Growth – Implementing “The Trellis and the Vine” in your church in Palos Heights, IL on September 11, 2015.

Pastor David Smith Shares Experience with LRI in Ethiopia

Leadership Resources thrives when partnering with like-minded pastors and churches who want to see God’s Word flourish around the world through training pastors.

One such pastor is David Smith of Crete Reformed Church in Crete, IL. David recently traveled to Ethiopia with us and shares his experience in Africa and shares what Crete’s partnership with Leadership Resources has meant for their church.

DavidSmith LRI 5What has been your past involvement with Leadership Resources International?

My partnership with LRI has been on a couple of levels. I’ve known Joe Paglia [a staff member at LRI] since 8th grade, I was his youth pastor. Joe and Mark of LRI have influenced my thinking on teaching the Word of God with the heart of God and being true to the Word of God.

I also did a one-day pastor’s workshop with Craig about four years ago and I saw how we work people through a passage using the hermeneutical principles—and really appreciated it. Last year, our church became an anchor church for LRI’s work in Ethiopia. Then in the fall, I traveled to Ethiopia with Doug Dunton [LRI’s Director of Africa] and witnessed the training firsthand.

What has surprised you the most about the fruit of LRI’s work in Ethiopia?

David Smith LRI 4My first week in Ethiopia we met with the mentor trainers and got to know them. I saw their heart for ministry and love for the Word. I saw their openness to wanting to meet me and get to know me.

We were at a “Meet and Greet” on a Sunday afternoon with a bunch of pastors who had been to past trainings, and there was a guy who had gone through just Jonah (as opposed to our entire program) who took the training he had received in Jonah, went into the bush and found a guy that came to know Christ. This pastor then brought him back and spent six weeks working through the book of Jonah with him. He taught him Jonah using the hermeneutical principles, and that guy went back into the bush and planted two or three churches.

It’s a fruit producing ministry. It’s not intended to stay with just one group of pastors—it’s meant to be expanded. I remember talking with another pastor who, after the LRI trainings he goes through, goes back and takes his elders through the same training.

Another cool story was when we were checking into our hotel one night and we started talking with the porter. He asked us what we were doing in his country, and we said we were with a ministry called LRI and we train pastors in biblical exposition. The porter replied, “Oh yeah, I know LRI. My pastor took me through the LRI training!” Wow! Here’s a porter at the hotel who has gone through some of this training.

David Smith LRI

David Smith PreachingHow did the pastors you work with receive LRI’s training and hermeneutical principles? (See our Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principle Booklet)

We went to three different places in my time in Ethiopia, and the constant response was,

“We love how you have brought us back to the Scriptures and that everything starts with the Scriptures. So often we have preached from our own wants or desires, or from our denomination’s convictions or teachings, but now we know we need to be teaching from the Word of God and seeing the heart of God in it.”

There’s always a very humble and passionate response, and worship is always the response of the Word that they just heard.

What other ways did you see transformation by God’s Word as a part of LRI training?

When I came back from Ethiopia, I noticed in my own heart a desire to make sure that my church is instilling the same training, the same principles, the same idea of teaching the Word of God with the heart of God into the teachers of our church. We have about ten people who are starting a Fellowship of the Word of teachers within our church this fall. That was definitely a transformation for us that birthed a passion for deeper Word-based discipleship within all ministries of Crete Church.

David Smith LRI 2What would you say to someone considering supporting LRI’s work or being an Anchor church?

If your church is passionate about the gospel and the Word of God multiplying, then LRI is a great ministry you can partner with.

Not only will LRI bear fruit in other parts of the world, but they will also produce fruit within your own congregation. The leaders of your church and individual congregants will see the root and benefit of being committed to the Word and understanding it properly—not only in another country—but in our own local context.

David Smith is a pastor at Crete Reformed Church in Crete, IL. He has ministered for over 27 years and is ordained in the PCA. When he isn’t with his wife and three kids, David enjoys riding his motorcycle and home improvement projects.

See David’s experience receiving training himself in the Fellowship of the Word program:

10 Pro Tips for Better Sermon Illustrations

Pro Tips for Better Sermon Illustrations

As stewards of the mysteries of God, preachers should strive for utmost clarity and spiritual impact in preaching God’s Word. Helpful illustrations undergird that goal by make truth more palatable and relatable to listeners.

A good sermon illustration can stick with someone for years and continually shed light on the truth of Scripture, while a bad one can fall flat and potentially hinder listeners from receiving God’s Word.

Here are ten pro tips to help you communicate the truth of God’s Word for maximum transformation:

1. Unpack the illustrations Scripture uses.

This is the easiest tip on the list. Scripture is filled with an arsenal of illustrations that you can tease out to support your points. Use them and sear Spirit-inspired truth in the minds of your people. In Jeremiah 2:13, Jeremiah paints a picture of how foolish and unsatisfying idolatry is:

“…for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

2. Use relatable illustrations.

Even if you personally love your illustration, it won’t have the impact you desire if it doesn’t resonate with your hearers. We want our people to think hard about biblical truth and how it applies to their life and not strain to relate to your illustrations. Know your people well enough to cater illustrations that will connect for better biblical understanding.

3. Know what illustrations will do more harm than good.

Illustrations that touch on something a person really loves—or hates—can distract listeners from the illustration’s true purpose: communicating Scriptural truth. If you’re a sports fan like me, hearing a sports-related illustration about Michael Jordan might make me start thinking about what would have happened if he didn’t retire (the first or second time) or why they haven’t made a Space Jam 2 yet (I’m still hopeful…and distracted).

Preacher, know what will distract your audience and keep your focus on the Word.

4. Pepper your sermon with vivid word pictures.

Word pictures engage the imagination of your listeners, causing them to not only hear but see what you are describing. Word pictures and figurative language don’t need to be longer than a sentence, they only need to project an image into the minds of your listeners that will help them understand and see spiritual truth. Charles Spurgeon masterfully used brief word pictures to visually illustrate truth (example below).

“New converts put fresh blood into the veins of the church.” Charles Spurgeon

5. Illustrate to give your listeners a break.

21st-century listeners have a war going on for their attention. Tweets, text messages, podcasts, phone calls, and (gasp!) real people all battle for our attention—even during a sermon. A good illustration will reel listeners back in from distraction.

6. Use negative illustrations.

That is, share how not to understand a certain truth. This will teach your people the right and wrong way to think and act and can correct wrong understanding in the pews.

7. Don’t illustrate overly complex things.

We shouldn’t wreck our minds trying to come up with the perfect illustration for the complexities of the faith. Phil Campbell in Saving Eutychus explains: “Illustrate the obvious, and the complex ideas will take care of themselves because your listeners will be fresh and focused enough to stay with you.”

8. Create a database of illustrations using Evernote or OneNote.

In Preaching and Preachers, Martyn Lloyd-Jones urges preachers to “be like a squirrel” and “learn how to collect and store matter for the future days of winter.” “Squirrels” collect the great illustrations that come to them on a daily basis when they’re commuting, working out, or in the shower. Harness the great illustrations from your life and reading by documenting them in an organized way.

9. Include people in your illustrations whenever possible.

Talking about real people in real situations will help listeners quickly connect your message to their lives and remind them that truth is to be lived out.

10. Illustrate your applications.

This engages the imagination of listeners with applying Scripture and can cause them to think of other ways to apply Scriptural truth. Illustrating the application of a text will help listeners recognize what a life transformed by Scripture looks like in real-life. (I first heard about this tip from David Jackman.)

What else would you add? Let us know in a comment!

Before You Go…

Why Bible Immersion Works: Pastor Drigo’s Story

Why Bible Immersion Works
There’s a reason we are committed immersing pastors in the Scriptures during our training in expository preaching: it works.

During one of our training sessions in the Philippines, Pastor Drigo felt like a wrecking ball of conviction had smashed into him. During preparation for a sample sermon from Mark 10, and the truth of God’s Word jumped off of the page into his life—and it stung.

In his study of the text, Drigo noticed that Jesus asked James and John (in Mark 10:35-45) the same question he asked a blind man named Bartimaeus (in Mark 10:46-52): “What do you want me to do for you?”

The disciples jumped on their chance to ask for glory and authority for themselves, while blind Bartimaeus’s only request was to see. Here is Pastor Drigo’s response:

“This passage caused me much turmoil as a pastor! I slept little last night, and I shed many tears. Today as I was getting ready to deliver my DO session [the session presenting his sample sermon], I was weeping over my own ministry shortcomings.

What was I seeking from Jesus for my people? Was I seeking something in line with the question of James and John, or was I seeking the servant heart of Bartimaeus?

If I don’t have the heart of Bartimaeus, I may be seeking the wrong things for my people! I confess sometimes I simply want to preach what would make my people like me. That’s no better than the question of James and John.

Pray for me that I may humbly be obedient to Christ seeking to bring the Word that the people in my congregation need according to God’s will, not my own!”

Why do use Bible immersion for training pastors? Training a pastor can’t be merely about unloading a dump truck’s worth of head knowledge onto a pastor’s lap and calling it a day—it must address the spiritual condition of a pastor by shining the light of God’s Word into their soul, so their life and ministry will be shaped by it.

As preachers like Drigo prepare for our workshops, they wrestle through the biblical text with our hermeneutical principles, seeking to understand God’s Word and the author’s intent so they can apply it at a deep level.

Join us in praying for Pastor Drigo to have a servant’s heart like Bartimaeus and grow in his ability to selflessly serve his church and feed them God’s Word.

And pray that Leadership Resources’ training in the Philippines would continue to expand by encouraging and equipping many more generations of pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart.

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Join us for Re:Growth – Implementing “The Trellis and the Vine” in your church

unnamed (1)Join Colin Marshall, author of the acclaimed “The Trellis and the Vine” for a conversation around growing a culture of disciples making disciples in the local church.

Read more about what makes the Trellis & the Vine and Re:Growth mentality different.

Friday, September 11  |  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

$100 (lunch provided)

$25 for livestreaming

Sponsored by:
Leadership Resources International
Vinegrowers Ministries – Australia
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Moraine Valley Church Atrium
6300 W. 127th Street
Palos Heights, IL 60463
See map

Registration Instructions:

Conference & Lunch:

  • Click on the “Register Now” button,
  • choose $100 from the menu,
  • choose “Other” from the designation dropdown,
  • Enter “ReGrowth” in the note field.

Live Stream Video:

  • Click on the “Register Now” button,
  • choose $25 from the menu,
  • choose “Other” from the designation dropdown,
  • and enter “ReGrowth Livestream” in the note field
  • You will receive a confirmation email in a few days with live streaming instructions.
  • Call Tom Hill at 800-980-2226 with any questions.

Register Now

Call Tom Hill at 800-980-2226 with any questions.


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