A church is a lot like a household (at least that’s one of the illustrations used the bible).
And a house needs a lot of work to work. Its not all fun and games, its not all dinners with friends or board games. It requires baking, shopping, cooking, cleaning, planning, dealing with unexpected issues.
I’m not saying these “church housework” things should become the focus – not at all. But they’re just as valuable as the focus things – because they exist for the sake of the focus things.
The danger is (on one hand) the person who says that these things aren’t important and should be ignored. And on the other hand, its a danger to say that these things need to be perfect, such that they become the focus.
I wonder how the people who express such extreemes run their own households? Maybe they’re just completely unaware of how much housework goes on for their little paradise to exist? Or maybe they never feel the housework is done “enough” to enjoy their household?
The “trellis & vine” is a really helpful illustration in some ways. It helps clarify the difference between word/disciple ministry and upkeep/admin ministry. You can’t have one with out the other… even meeting up 1:1 to read the bible requires organising a time, place, etc. That’s trellis work (not to mention it relies on heaps of past trellis work like bible translation, typesetting, publication, distribution).
Another illustration of ministry could be “the sickle & the harvest”. See, in order to collect a harvest, you could just use your hands. But it would take 100s of people and 100s of man hours. Or you could use some tools; a sickle, a bag, etc. They increase what you’re able to do. There’s a small cost… some sheaths will get missed, but not as many as if you did it by hand with the same number of people.
But you could also use a combine harvester. But that doesn’t mean you just need 1 worker (the driver). It means you’ll need most of your workers working on keeping the harvester going.
That’s what systems, structures and processes are to a church… every church has them and they are either reducing the number of people you can reach, or they’re reaching more people while letting some thru the cracks.