Tuesday, May 16, 2017

C'mon....Another Wimber Story?

Oh no.....
Another John Wimber story....
Isn't there anyone else besides John who can speak for the Vineyard.
Sure there is....
Come on Saturday night to Vineyard Recovery and you'll hear me speak...but if you listen really close...you'll hear John in the mix.

If you come to the Vineyard on Sunday morning, you'll get a chance to hear Jim Bentley speak....guess what? That's right...if you listen close, you'll hear John in the mix.

John never envisioned himself as being the leader of any kind of movement. It wasn't something that he craved or wanted to create. What he did want to do, was to simply follow Jesus where ever Jesus said to go.

You see....
I'm not really interested in doing church or having church as much as I am in "Being" the church. 

It really is about the ones who have just kind of fallen in love with Jesus and are crazy enough to go out and do the kind of things that Jesus did. You know...pray for the sick and see them get healed. Pray for God's Spirit to break off demonic oppression on those who are demonized. Feed the hungry....visit those in jail....and even give away cups of cold water. After all this thing call Christianity is not a spectator sport. It's a get-in-there-make-mistakes-in-Jesus-name-sometimes- but-never-quit-trying-kind-of-LIFE

I think the coolest thing in the world would be to go to a church one Sunday morning...all spiffed up and ready to worship, but when you got there, there was sign on the door that said..."Closed-gone fishing." That the people of that church had taken the word of God literally and had left to go be with others who needed a demonstration of the Kingdom of God. Radical? Perhaps. But none the less it is the heart of God to reach out to everyone.  That is what John Wimber planted in my heart.

The funny part in all of this whole Wimber-thing, is that I never met the man. I came on board the Vineyard in 1994....was ordained as a pastor in 1997 and moved into a full time work in 1998. John died in November of 97. So how did I get Wimber-ized? There is a wonderful room at the Vineyard that has hundreds and hundreds...yea...thousands of tapes. Yep! Tapes...old school. During the eight years I spent as Associate Pastor, I listened to every one of them. They became my seminary. John was my instructor. And the Bible was my text book. God, through John, defined my belief in who He was and what the Kingdom of God was all about. 

Through John's teachings, I became a "fool for Christ".  
And I have been foolish ever since.
So if you keep coming back to the Greene Street Letters, you'll probably see or hear more Wimber stories. Because he was the compass that God used to set us on the course we are on.

Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:1-15.

So you may be asking, "What's with all the Wimber love? Why do you keep going on about a guy who died back in 1997?" Well, I go on and on because God used that man to form me into who I am today. God used John to show me His kingdom...now and not yet, and in this man we call John Wimber, I saw a flawed human being who loved his creator more than anything else. That is why I keep the memory of John Wimber alive. Not to exalt or lift him up to a status that is "saintly" or "divine", but to simply to say "Thanks, John for showing so many of us the way."
God on you...

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