Leadership Resources and Vinegrowers: Partners in a Worldwide Movement of the Word


Colin Marshall (middle) joins Sean Martin (left) and Todd Kelly (right) at the close of the Regrowth Conference.

In September of 2015, Leadership Resources had the pleasure of hosting Colin Marshall of Vinegrowers Ministries (who cowrote the influential ministry book The Trellis and the Vine).

We’ve told you our side of the story and shared audio/video from the Regrowth Conference, and now it’s Col’s turn to share about the fantastic time we had together, both at the Regrowth Conference and on a ministry trip to Brazil. Below is an excerpt from his ministry’s latest newsletter, posted with permission.

Vinegrowers: Growing Disciples Growing the Gospel (Colin Marshall)In September I spent two very enjoyable weeks with my wife Jacquie in Chicago with the Global Ministries Staff of Leadership Resources International (LRI) on training leaders to multiply their ministry. Vinegrowers is developing a partnership with LRI.

Here’s one report that captures the heartbeat and strategy of the LRI team. It comes from David Merkh, a Pastor in Brazil who heads a movement called “Preach the Word” using the LRI training model.

Vine growing on the Amazon
“During the first week of August I led a team from our church to a river community on the Amazon which is right on the edge of an Indian reservation. It took 24 hours to get there from our home city Atibaia by plane, taxi, bus and a 5-hour boat trip.

We conducted a four-day Bible exposition workshop in the Psalms and Titus and had the graduation service to conclude our four-year cycle of training. There were 20 pastors, missionaries and lay leaders graduating, people of all backgrounds. The speaker at graduation was a 20-year old lay leader who started the course when he was 17. He has no formal (or informal, for that matter) theological training whatsoever. He preached through Acts 10 and did incredibly well! Here we were in the middle of the Amazon listening to this “kid” give a solid exposition of the passage, explaining and applying it clearly to our hearts! His name is Rodrigo. It was quite the celebration.74e702e7-c9e5-4998-bb96-62008d51c715

Rodrigo’s life is fruit of disciple-making. His pastor, Aleks is a Brazilian missionary to the Amazon who has been pouring his life into this young man (and others) and training him up as a leader in the church. The Vine is also growing in the jungles of Brazil!”

Most Pastors around the world have no formal training in teaching the Word to shepherd God’s people. We could call them “unreached Pastors”. With 40 years of experience LRI is helping to meet this need through their four-year cycle of workshops on how to do sound biblical exegesis and preaching.

LRI currently has training groups in 26 countries, with the goal of seeing such transformation from God’s word, and multiplication among church leaders that a movement of God’s Word begins. Typically they start with about 20 pastors meeting twice a year to study a book of the Bible, and after a few years those pastors are training hundreds to read and teach God’s word.

The work in Brazil began with 32 pastors, and after 5 years more than 1,200 pastors are being trained throughout the nation. And the work is still growing.

You can find out more about LRI on their website.

So why is Vinegrowers partnering with LRI?

We are both committed to inspiring a movement of the Word of God. A movement of Pastors making disciples through preaching the Word. And a movement of disciples making disciples by reading the Word with anyone who will listen. A movement of the Word from the pulpit to the pew to the homes and communities.

The Trellis and the Vine has just been translated into Portuguese and church leaders in Brazil are beginning to use it far and wide to encourage this disciple-making movement. I never imagined that our book would eventually be read in a village on the Amazon!

We’re not sure where this partnership is going but we share the same DNA and have a lot of fun together. Who knows where God will take us?

Six myths of discipleship

You can watch this short clip from one of Col Marshall’s Regrowth workshops in Chicago.

Please pray…

That God would use Vinegrowers and Leadership Resources International to equip young leaders like Rodrigo to preach the Word and build Christ’s church.

Here’s more information about what Vinegrowers does in graphical form:
Vinegrowers Church Leadership Coaching
Stay connected with Vinegrowers by joining their newsletter. Scroll to the bottom of Vinegrowers.com to subscribe.

Leadership Resources

Leadership Resources exists to equip and encourage pastors around the world to teach God’s word with God’s heart. Learn more about our work, our approach, and see how your church can make a worldwide difference with God's Word.