One thing that became a real hallmark of the Vineyard Churches is servant evangelism that is compassion in deed. It was the driving force for a small movement of churches within the association and how they grew from a small cell into mega-churches.
One of them is pastor named Steve Sjogren. he build everything in his ministry around the ideal of just serving the people. His book, Servant Evangelism was the manual that many within and even from without the Vineyard Churches has used that embrace this vision. You can find out more about Steve at Kindness.com
What is servant evangelism and why does it matter?
It is really simple actually. It is just going to people and loving them. It is giving people free drinks. It is having a dinner for the community. It is blessing people. One example of them was a man paid for everyone’s gas for an hour at a gas station. He didn’t preach to anyone. He just loved them and told them he would be praying for each one of them.
It is important because it opens the door to engage the people. Servant Evangelism is the door opener to the gospel. Many churches miss this.
My experience with doing this model
I am really into power evangelism or as John Wimber would call it, “Doing the stuff” of Jesus. Servant Evangelism is just not something I do very often. However, a good friend of mine that is a pastor in Chattanooga, Tennessee asked me to come and help them serving the people on Christmas Eve. The backdrop is they wanted to take meals to people that have to work that night and can’t be with family. Pretty cool idea actually.
We drove from gas stations to medical clinics to the police station giving away meals to people and offering to pray with them. We didn’t give them the cards for the church (unless they asked). We just loved them and prayed for their needs.
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.