2019 has been a year of storytelling in our Vineyard movement.
We just love sharing what God has been doing in churches right across the UK and Ireland. Stories are important because, as people who are seeking to live naturally supernatural lives, they encourage and reminds us that we are part of a much bigger family. When we hear stories of miracles and where God is at work, it increases our faith and reminds us of what’s possible, fuelling in us a hunger for more.
Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland are currently intentionally focussed upon five emphases inside of our broader vision. These are areas that we are intentionally pushing the pedal on right now, that underlie our core values and are helpful to focus on as we follow God’s voice and his plans for the Vineyard movement. You can read a collection of incredible stories that have pushed into our five emphases from 2019 below!
HEALTH AND GROWTH
We love the unique shape that God has made each Vineyard Church – and that fact that every single one is so different! As a Vineyard movement, one of our key emphases for this season is to ensure that we invest in our existing churches to help them to thrive and develop. Some churches will grow numerically; others will have a Kingdom Impact far surpassing their size; whilst still others will be a blessing to their city and the wider church; some may do each of these things. Neither expression marks their identity, but instead reveals the vision for their church and how the Lord is using them to make an impact.
Part of the vision for Mansfield Vineyard is to bring God’s Kingdom into their town and beyond. Last year they bought a Volkswagen Campervan to use as ‘Mansfield Vineyard’s Living Room’, a place where people can connect with the church community even though they may never step foot into a traditional church service.
“If we think that church is just about meeting together on a Sunday, then our vision is way too small! Our heart is that we would see lives transformed all over Mansfield through inviting people to meet with Jesus. Compassion is at the heart of all we do: we want to be Mansfield’s best friend and put love into action.”
We love how Mansfield are providing spaces for people to encounter Jesus beyond a Sunday and that this church is growing across their city! Read more here.
PLANTING MORE CHURCHES
When we start a new church in the Vineyard we call it ‘planting a church’ – drawing from the illustration of taking a healthy stem from a strong plant with deep roots and replanting this stem in a new location, where it will put down roots – growing in strength and size over time. We believe that the best way to introduce people to Jesus is to plant new Christian communities across the United Kingdom, Ireland and beyond. We call these communities the ‘Church’.
We have loved hearing stories about what God is doing in church plants all across the UK and Ireland in 2019. Hope Vineyard Oxford is a church plant that began in a living-room in the summer of 2017. Their focus as a church is to meet people where they are and introduce them to an extravagantly generous God. You can watch the story of their ‘Last Minute Banquet’ in October below, or read more here.
We want all our churches to be known for good things in their communities and for those far from Jesus to be impacted through the activity of the local church. The Vineyard’s roots are steeped in miraculous ‘signs and wonders’. We’re aware that people don’t believe solely because of healing, but through signs like this that point to Jesus and cause people to wonder. Our ‘Kingdom Impact’ emphasis encompasses us stepping out in faith to impact our communities for the Kingdom, and especially includes the work our churches undertake in the areas of compassion and caring for those in need.
We’ve heard some incredible miracle-stories from Vineyard Churches in 2019. Below is just one of these from Manchester Vineyard. You can read Mike’s story – ‘From Back Pain to Cartwheels’ below!
What an incredible story of transformation and healing following the prayers of some children at @ManchesterVnyrd!!— Vineyard Churches (@VCUKI) August 29, 2019
We love that God wants to use us all in extending his Kingdom. If you have a story of how God is moving in your city, please email us at [email protected]. pic.twitter.com/tK1Xk4oHNX
DEVELOPING TOMORROW’S LEADERS
As a movement, we want to invest in the development of young and trans-local leaders, and provide opportunities for them to lead, for the benefit of the local church. If the future of the church is the next generation, we want to ensure that we are investing our best into them and providing opportunities for them to serve and lead in the local church and beyond.
We loved this story about Croydon Vineyard’s Football Academy, that is inviting young people into community and raising up young leaders in the process. You can read more here!
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Croydon Football Academy ⚽️, run by @croydonvineyard, is not only blessing young people in the south of London with free football coaching but inviting them into community and giving them a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God looks like. Already they are seeing young people that have never been to church before, come along on multiple Sundays! Hear about all that they’re up to on our website (link in bio).
Worship is our highest priority in the Vineyard and we want a passionate worshipping tribe of men, women and children who lay down their lives for Jesus, consumed with passion for him. Worship has a two-fold aspect: communication with God through the basic means of singing and praying, we lift him up and exalt him, and as a result, are drawn into his presence where he speaks to us.
2019 has been an amazing year for our Vineyard Worship Tribe and we’ve seen songs, EP’s and even entire albums rising from local churches across the movement. Last month we released a brand new Christmas song called ‘The Lord Has Come’.
Songwriter Joe Blustin shares the story behind writing this song…
“I’ve been a new dad for just over a year and a half which has made me think very differently about how God sees us and so I wanted to write a song about the incarnation. I really wanted the visceral flesh connection between Jesus and his mother to be paramount; to try and portray the reality of what ‘word made flesh’ really means. I also wanted to draw into the song Jesus’ death and resurrection which is our salvation, our hope and our reason to rejoice. It made me think about the sacrifice he made for us, just because he loves us. What does this song bring up in me? Thankfulness.”
Listen to the song below!
As we head into 2020, we would love to hear your stories of what God is doing in your church and city.
Send these to [email protected]