Vineyard in Practice

These key points serve as reminders of our movement history, values and the things that steer us as we move ahead.

Each Vineyard church, whilst unique, has a set of core practices that unite us and help to identify how we do church.  This is not a definitive list of our values, nor is it meant to describe individual people; it is instead an explanation of some of the more important aspects of what the Vineyard is about, with an emphasis on local church.

Whilst each Vineyard church will have a slightly different (localised) emphasis on each of these eight areas; these key points serve as reminders of our movement history, values and the things that steer us as we move ahead.

Jesus

Colossians 1:18. “When it comes to the church, he organises and holds it together, like a head does a body.” (The Message)

Jesus gives us our aim and focus. He organises us, holds us together.

We value Christlikeness. We desire that through the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus’ love, mercy, grace, truth, purity, power, and integrity would shine through all that we are and do.

Bible

We value, and hold dear the Bible.  We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of the Bible so that it is without error in the original manuscripts.  The books of the Old and New Testament are our final and absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We want to hear the Word of God taught in a practical, inspiring way.  We aim to hear and obey God’s Word to us; to be ‘doers of the Word’ who are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

It is not enough to be biblically literate; we want to be biblically obedient too.

Kingdom

We aim to move in the signs of the present fulfilment of the kingdom, invoking the Spirit’s powerful presence, ministering through the Spirit’s gifts, and seeing God heal and work wonders. Through the cross Jesus overcame evil and established his reign.  ‘Kingdom’ is translated from the New Testament Greek word basileia, which implies an exercise of kingly rule or reign.  The Kingdom of God is the dynamic reign or rule of God.  Jesus has absolute rule in heaven; on earth he actively and visibly exercises rule over his willing subjects and over the forces of evil.  Jesus is the reign of God come to claim what was rightfully his.

We are faced with a dilemma, for Christ’s rule is not yet fully established here on earth, so we live between the inauguration (Jesus’ first coming) and the full consummation of the Kingdom of God (his second coming).  Despite living in an imperfect world we do still, in part, experience Jesus’ rule and reign of his Kingdom here on earth.

Worship

We desire to worship God with our whole being.  We want Jesus to be at the centre as our Lord and Saviour.  We want to see Spirit-enabled worship in a style that is intimate, dynamic, culture current and life changing.

By worship we mean living lives that are subservient to the purposes and person of God. Living in such a way as to bring glory to God. Worship is more than just singing songs; Worship should be seen in our daily lives – the way we deal with other people, clients, patients, the boss, pupils, husband and wife, children, parents and so on. Characteristically, the Vineyard is known for its contemporary worship music style and within the Vineyard there are three main values that we hold dear. These values underpin our approach to worship, both in the spiritual sense in how we conduct our everyday lives and also in the practical expression of our worship through the writing and recording of songs.  These values are Intimacy, Integrity and Accessibility, but of these, intimacy will always be our highest calling.

In the UK & Ireland, Vineyard Records UK exists to capture and document the songs of the Vineyard movement that are written for our local church communities and sung in home groups and on Sundays and whenever we have the opportunity to gather together and worship Jesus.  You can read more about Vineyard Records UK by clicking here.

Compassion

Often we read that Jesus had compassion. Combined with obedience it seems to be the main driver behind his ministry. Worship leads to the presence of Jesus and he, by his Holy Spirit, brings compassion. Compassion is not just a feeling but an unction. A compulsion that goes beyond emotion.

When the Holy Spirit comes through worship he often leaves a deposit of compassion in the church. We express his heart of mercy and his demand for justice to a broken world. That is why so much of the social justice work done in this country emanates from the church. The Vineyard has a way to go before we catch up with the Roman Catholics and the Salvation Army. But we expect the Lord to deposit compassion in our core being as a church and we expect to spend money, time and energy expressing it not just to each other but also outward into our community and beyond.

Local Church

We value the local church in all expressions.

In the Vineyard we believe that our churches have four key facets.

Army: Isaiah 61 is titled: Announce Freedom to All CaptivesThe Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners. God sent me to announce the year of his grace, a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies, and to comfort all who mourn, to care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.

By the way we live our lives and by the power of the Spirit we aim be an army that declares a year of God’s favour.

School: The best way to do that is to teach the bible and explore what the bible says about the various challenges of life. 2 Timothy 3: 14-17 “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The church is entrusted with this duty, to teach and train the people of God and help them as they seek to learn what it means to follow Jesus day by day. We also aim to teach people to share their faith, pray for the sick, give good counsel, lead others and so on.

Hospital: Sadly but inevitably, many of us come to Jesus in a poor state. If you have recently decided to follow Jesus then there is often a great deal that needs treatment. Even if you have followed him for many years there are often hurts and damage that need his forgiving and healing touch. Although our sin is forgiven at the cross, where Jesus died for us, it may take some time to deal with the consequences of sin in our lives or with the consequences of hurt done to us by another’s sin. Being in this community of faith and building relationship with people in a small group allows the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice for us and for the power of the Spirit to cleanse and transform us.

“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…”  Matthew 9: 12-13

The process of sanctification, becoming more like Jesus may take a lifetime but the “hospitalisation” required for restoration from the effects of sin is hopefully but for a season.

Community: In the New Testament one of the writers, Paul, often uses the metaphor of a building – 1 Corinthians 3 10-17 for example. Another is Ephesians 2:21-22. “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” This is the fruit of the work of Jesus on the cross. We are rescued and become bricks in this building. We are here and being built into a home by no other power than the saving grace of God. He is establishing a home, building it brick by brick, wall by wall, wing by wing and you can take your place here by virtue of his merciful invitation and by his death on the cross. Thus we are able to be part of this spiritual house of God. One of the things we do as a spiritual house and to strengthen the house is to pray and intercede.

Church Planting and Development

We’ve always felt, and believed, that what our country needs, more than anything else, is Jesus, and that Church Planting is the best form of evangelism.

So, having preached the gospel and led people to Jesus, and in order to disciple them, we need local Vineyard churches.  Through both developing existing churches and at the same time, alongside that, planting new churches. This was our original calling and is something that we will continue doing, nationally and internationally, in our culture and other cultures.  We’ll plant churches and be missional in our attitude and activity.

So as a movement, we aim to build the Kingdom of God by sending trained people to plant churches in the UK, Ireland and around the world.  We are committed to the practice of planting new Vineyard churches that will share Vineyard values, convictions, priorities, practices and standards. When the Vineyard started we knew that planting churches was not a new thing, instead we simply set out to do an old thing in a contemporary way: train people to continue the Kingdom ministry of Jesus.

Training & Equipping

We believe that all Christians should be trained to “do the works of Christ.”

We are committed to the “show and tell” model of “on the job” training, in which trainees are introduced to doing ministry functions with trainers and then are taught during and after the training experience. We aim to provide training for all aspects of responsible Christian life and ministry.

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