Saturday, April 22, 2017
A Look At What Is At The Heart Of A Vineyard Church
National Director, Phil Strout, speaks of his first meeting with John Wimber. The Vineyard movement was, and continues to be, more about values and priorities than making sure every church looks and operates the same.
John Wimber did not care whether the pastor wore a suit and tie, or a Hawaiian shirt and white slacks. In my case, it would be jeans, t-shirts and sneakers. John was more concern with the impact the values and priorities of our movement would have on the heart rather than whether or not our image was amazing.
While helping the poor is a major focus at VRC, we've had to learn to become gentle as sheep but wise as serpents. Why? Because there are folks out there who are predators seeking to use others for their own selfish purpose. I feel like our job is to discern the truth about those we deal with. This is something that I struggle with, not wanting to be one whose heart is cold but, at the same time, not being a part of enabling someone to continue to a lifestyle that is wrong. It is a fine line we walk.
Vineyard has been home to Vicki and I for 23 years. It's more than church...it's more than a religious flag that we march under. Vineyard does not define us....we define what it means to be a part of this association of churches. In his book, Quest For The Radical Middle, Bill Jackson made the comment that you don't join a Vineyard.....you discover that is what you've been all along. The movement's values and priorities give credence and language to what you believe.
Granted that Vineyard ReCovery is not your typical Vineyard church. As I've written in the past, we are home to a "SIN"-Specific people. In other words, those who come through the door have a unique problem (among the many that human's possess) in that they are dealing with addiction. So our messages are geared to point to Jesus as being the Higher Power that can break the bondage of their addiction. We also want to help those who are saved to take the next step in this journey to a new way of living in Christ.
We feel that God is preparing us for a new season of teaching and worship at VRC. Excited? You bet. We are in prayer right now, asking God for direction and instruction on how to carry out what we are hearing Him say. Good day's ahead. Please pray for us as we all are trying to be the people God has called us to be, and do what He is instructing us to do.
God on you....