Like anything that grows, whether it is found in an orchard or a vineyard, it takes planning, patience, and providence. We need God’s blessing on whatever we do, without which, we could not grow a grape. I have spent all of my ministry either planting churches or helping others to do the same and happened to keep track of the things that produced fruit. I have also learned from the things that hurt or hindered growth as well, which made me even more diligent to do whatever it took to ensure His blessing. I filed whatever I had learned knowing that someday I would write this book, which describes the church of my heart. I wish someone had written this kind of book when I was just starting out. This would be a good study for a leadership team to work through, or for a small group to study, as they try to sort out what the ideal church looks like. While we don’t always get it right nor do we do everything outlined here all the time, it has helped us keep our focus on the values and vision that we want to live up to.
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