Vineyard Churches were designed from early one to be places that facilitate holistic ministry. They are called to operate as healing centers.
As an outside looking in, this is an area that it seems that the Vineyard movement as a whole has cooled off from doing. They do not seem as passionate about divine healing for the body, mind and spirit as they were when John Wimber was around and everyone used Power Healing as a manual.
Even the documents of the church talk more about racial healing and reconciling generations than they do about healing cancer and casting out of devils. There seems to be a clear departure from power ministry within the Vineyard churches.
Healing Centers of diversity
Let’s discuss what they are focusing on, not what they have departed from. The fact of the matter is there is a need for healing between races and generations. If you do not, you will just have a church of people that are all middle class, white ex-hippies that all went to Woodstock together.
“We seek to be diverse communities of hope that realize the power of the cross to reconcile what has been separated by sin. This requires us to move beyond our personal preferences to engage those who are perceived to be unlike us and to actively break down barriers of race, culture, gender, social class, and ethnicity.” Vineyard Core Values & Beliefs
This is very important. Churches should have many cultural and racial groups represented. Within the Pentecostal context, you have Assemblies of God and Church of God that is almost all white middle class Americans. Across the street is the Church of God in Christ that is almost all poor black Americans. It is wrong but that is the reality.
Why we all must engage humanity
I believe, no matter what movement you are part of, it is important to engage people that have different backgrounds that you do. One thing I do not like at many churches is the profile of the members are all pretty much the same: white, 30 something couple with a few kids. A healthy church is mixed with many cultures, races, and nationalities. I am not sure what part of “every tongue and tribe” that many churches just don’t understand.
I am convinced that the issue is about missiology. We just do not evangelize like we should. We are not engaging others that look a little different. Syrians are showing up on the doorstep of America. How is the blood bought Church ready to engage them, love them, and ultimately lead them to Christ?
Are we ready to be healing centers?
Note: This is a series on the Vineyard Churches, their values and their beliefs.
My Theological Disclaimer
To be quite honest, it is very limited and I was in the probably the least “Vineyard Vineyard” of them all. I was a teenager when Kansas City Fellowship become Metro Vineyard for a few years. After the mess in Toronto, we become Metro Christian Fellowship after we left the movement over difference of opinion of revival.
We always had a little different point of view on things than many other in the Vineyard. We were kinda the “prophecy” church more than most others were. If anything, it is was too much of an emphasis there. Growing in the prophetic was not an easy road and there is not too many road signs along the way.
As we go through this study, understand my background in from being part of Metro Vineyard and my theological background is mostly Classic Pentecostal. I was educated in the Brownsville Revival and later at Central Bible College (Assemblies of God) and finally at Oral Roberts University.