We are going to begin a major study over the next few weeks into who the Vineyard are, what they believe and what are their values. If you are not sure who the Vineyard are, it is the movement started by John Wimber and led today by Phil Strout.
I had not been in a Vineyard church since the late 1990’s as a member but still have some friends in the movement. They have made a serious turn from what they was in the mid 90’s to put it lightly. Some agreed with it and some disagreed with it.
Our study into the values of the Vineyard will be in their current condition post-Toronto Blessing.
Phil Strout believes in Expression
“It is also important to each community of faith to express these ancient truths in its’ own language; not merely adopt the language of another age or culture.”
This is a present truth that sadly never really happens in most churches. It won’t work for every Vineyard pastors to try and be the next John Wimber. Many tried in the 1980’s and it was odd at best. A church in Los Angeles with 3,000 members is going to look very differently than a church in Corpus Christi with 100 members. Every church must be relevant to the community it is, not the movement they belong to.
Every church in every location have to work out what expressing the gospel means there. It will be very different in the inner city of Atlanta than it will be in the suburbans of Kansas City.
One major concern that I have as I look at the North American church is we have lost being missional in our pursuit of community. It is also like many believers do not even realize that the lost are going to hell without Christ anymore. It is refreshing to see a national leader of a movement calling for missional Christianity.
Faithful to the Word, Sensitivity to the Mission
Another gem from Phil Strout that he is calling the Vineyard churches to be “absolute faithfulness to the Word of God, and sensitivity to the world in which that community lives.”
Many times, we see people that Bereans to the point that they become a dead collection of Pharisees or they are so committed to be relevant that reject biblical teachings in the process. We have seen this happen recently with hyper-grace ministries.
I do not think this is a either/or and should be completely rejected that we have to that choice. We have to be committed to the scriptures and to the community we live in!
Note: This is a series on the Vineyard Churches, their values and their beliefs.
My background in the Vineyard
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.