What Is The Vineyard? Our Core Values
This introduction is no mere window dressing. It emphasizes both the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of what God has called us to.
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
Defining Our Core Values
As the Vineyard movement matured, a tension began to develop between preserving the historic DNA that had defined our movement and allowing each congregation to innovate and develop relevant practices within their particular geographic locations or demographics. In 2008, the Vineyard Board, along with then National Director Bert Waggoner, engaged this question by developing a set of core values: central priorities of our movement that might be expressed in different ways but would always be part of what it means to be Vineyard.
The values were introduced by the phrase, “We are a people of the kingdom of God who….” This introduction is no mere window dressing. It emphasizes both the ordinariness and the extraordinariness of what God has called us to. We are a people first. Not an institution, not a government, not a force, but simply a people. And we are a people of the “Kingdom of God” – our central theological lens through which we understand the teaching of Jesus (Mk. 1:14-15). We are a people seized by something beyond ourselves and turned into something new, something that is transformative to the world around us. Our values draw this reality out.
We Are A People Of The Kingdom Of God Who…
Partner with the Holy Spirit.
We are not simply implementing the best church strategies and trying to accomplish what is humanly possible. Rather, our mission involves praying and finding power from God himself to accomplish what humans could never accomplish on their own. We pray for the sick; we confront injustice; we seek to hear the voice of God on behalf of others. This involves partnership with a Person beyond ourselves.
Experience and worship God.
Worship has always been one of the calling cards of the Vineyard. Many people describe their first moment in the Vineyard as being the moment in which they encountered God through intimate worship singing. Worshipping and experiencing God goes far beyond singing. In every moment of our lives, we seek to live in the presence of the Lord. At the same time, corporate singing is a precious part of what it means for us to be the people of the kingdom.
Reconcile people with God and all creation.
The Bible tells the story of “the Fall.” This was the moment when humans rebelled against God and chose their own way over and against the will of God (Gen. 3:1-24). The result of the fall is isolation and alienation. Self-centered creatures care more for themselves than they care about God, people, and God’s creation. The declaration of the kingdom of God is an act of profound reconciliation: bringing people back to God, into deep relationship with each other, and into a life of caring about God’s creation again.
Engage in compassionate ministry.
There is a profound place in the story of Jesus where a great crowd has gathered to see his ministry, the healings and miracles he did, and the profound wisdom he offered. It says that Jesus looked out at the crowd, he had compassion on them, and he commissioned his disciples to minister to them. Compassion is not about pitying people; rather, it is seeing people in their difficult, complicated life situations and believing that God is able to use his people to minister hope and healing to them.
Pursue culturally relevant mission in the world.
Most people don’t like change. Whether it’s food, sports, music, or clothing, people tend to try to keep things the same. The message of the kingdom was intended by Jesus to extend from culture to culture and from generation to generation. Click To Tweet This means that while our core values and beliefs do not change, the form in which they are expressed will change, from one country to another and from one decade to the next. The kingdom of God can be expressed through casualness or formality, rock music or hip-hop, big churches or house churches. The key for us is to stay true to the mission of God, and to let God show us how his glory can be expressed in each new context.
Additional Articles in this Series:
2. Our History
10. God Is Near