Going into the weekend we had 17 people signed up to be baptized, however as Sunday approached four of them dropped off the list, choosing to wait until July. I taught a message called "Five Compelling Reasons to get Baptized", tying it into the first talk of the Empowered Series, "Holy Spirit, Revealer".
As we finished baptizing the last person who had signed up, I simply told the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch and Philipp and said, "You don't need a class to get baptized, you simply need to understand the scripture. We still have some water left."
At that moment a young cowboy got out of his seat and walked down to the baptismal (horse trough) and stepped in it, cowboy boots and all. With tears streaming down his face he said, "I want to follow Jesus!" As soon as he did that, people got out of their seats and followed his lead. We went on to baptize 21 more people!
Paul Watson, Downtown Vineyard Church in Grand Junction, CO
We have a father who has been addicted to alcohol since he was 16. Brad received Jesus 3 years ago and was baptized, but continued to struggle with alcoholism. During the last year, Holy Spirit has impressed upon us to teach often on hearing His voice and following His lead.
After the first Empowered message we gave, Brad went home and encountered the Lord powerfully. He heard Holy Spirit say to him that he would never drink again. The Spirit led Brad to get his family, and his 12 year-old son helped him pour out all the liquor. They watched and celebrated freedom. He was 40 days sober on Pentecost Sunday!
Jane Cibula, Haven Vineyard Church of Newton, IA
Our ministry times have been super sweet, and people are engaging more and hearing from the Lord through words and pictures.
Olivia Allen, Lewis Center Vineyard Church, OH
Mile High Vineyard family of neighborhood churches, Denver, CO
On one Sunday a whole bunch of people got prayer for the filling of the Spirit and salvation; it was really sweet. We're baptizing some this summer and I think we have 9 or 10 who wish to be baptized; I need to count and plan.
Really great life change stuff though, particularly among the younger kids and teenagers in our church. This brought me to tears this morning: one teenager, in particular, gave his life to Jesus and was surrounded by youth leaders and youth at ministry time. Sweet, sweet stuff is happening. So glad to be part of the Vineyard all these years.
Jeff Miller, Vineyard Community Church, Augusta, GA
As a church community, we have felt supported and encouraged, and have seen God pour out in some sweet and powerful ways.
Julie Morgan, Delaware City Vineyard, OH
We were running Alpha at the same time this series had been running and the Holy Spirit Day was on a Saturday. Several people commented on the timing “Was this all set up this way?” with Jay sharing a very similar Alpha video the day before.
Each Sunday, the space was set for great ministry time. We currently meet in a movie theater and on the “Come, Holy Spirit” teaching week, the aisle filled with those who said they were hungry and wanted more.
Personally, the break from writing and working out sermons for the 6 weeks was a great respite and allowed for some face time on Saturdays, as well as good soul time. We completed a prayer class during the second week of the series and had some people actually praying for others for the first time during this series, which helped them tremendously.
Paul Kean, Bridgewater Vineyard Church, MA
Our new church plant has been engaging in the Pentecost series this month. Two people experienced deliverance during a prayer session, in a really low-key way. One of our teenagers remarked on his experience, "I felt something new. It was a good feeling." Another teen felt led after the service to pray over each seat in the rented church space, inviting the Holy Spirit to remain.
Amy Ross, Gathering Delco Community Church, PA
Each weekend, we saw people responding to the Holy Spirit, taking risks in sharing prophetic words and praying for healing. We saw God touch individuals struggling with chronic back pain and arthritis. A number of people newer to our church expressed how thankful they were to be a part of a church that actually believes and expects God to show up in their lives, not just “passing notes under the door” as Jay put it. I also thought it was extremely helpful, in a very practical sense, to help our local church family feel more connected with the greater Vineyard movement. We talk a lot about being a part of something bigger than ourselves and being connected with the greater Vineyard with our leaders and from the stage, but to know Vineyards around the country were participating at the same time and for our local church family to see and hear Jay on the Pentecost weekend video, I believe will prove to be very pivotal in helping strengthen that connection even further down the road.
Andrew Hutson, Vineyard Church Delaware County, OH
Our mid-week workshops were hugely attended, much to our surprise given the time of year, and the clinic time was full of a sweet presence of the Spirit of God.
Mark Warner, Vineyard Community Church in Overland Park, KS
Kevin recently started attending our church. His first Sunday was Easter and then he returned for week one of the Empowered series where we were talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit.
He and his brothers came forward to get prayer after the service. That Sunday Kevin had a powerful encounter and on May 7 he and his two brothers were baptized together. Praise God!
Scott Hatch, ThriveAustin Vineyard Church, TX
The Empowered Series is a collection of weekend messages, mid-week clinics, and video sample teachings and notes from folks around the Vineyard to help pastors walk through life with the Holy Spirit. Vineyard churches ran it in the 6-weeks leading up to Pentecost Sunday 2023.