One of the things the Vineyard churches are very serious about is engaging culture. It is very important to them and very important to Jesus as well. The truth is we are called to engage the culture we live, not create a “christian counter culture” or a sub-culture. The counter-culture stuff being preached is not scriptural.
While this has become a huge golden calf of idolatry in churches, it can’t be thrown out completely. We must be relevant to the people that we want to reach or we will be as dead as the Independent Fundamental Baptists! We are called by God to engage with the people around us!
Culturally relevant churches look different
If you think you can go to one of the Vineyard Churches that are successful, copy everything and make it work in a different place, you are in a rude awakening. What works in San Diego will not work in Kansas City. What works in Kansas City will not work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
If a church is being relevant to those they serve, it will look very unique to that locale. It is doesn’t; it is not truly being culturally relevant. It is just copying and pasting from your favorite mega-church.
Biblically faithful in pursuit of being culturally relevant
One of the saddest thing I see is churches throwing out parts of the gospel in order to be “relevant.” They do not want to talk about hell, repentance or holiness. God is just your teddy bear to hold when you have a bad day in their preaching. It is not right. It is sin. They are not being faithful to the gospel. Vineyard Churches have done this but they are far from the only ones that have fell prey to this hyper-grace idealogy.
Churches have to find that “sweet spot” between being faithful to the Word (sound doctrine) and being faithful to the culture. (sound missiology) Most churches are one of the other but we are commanded by Christ to be both sound in theology and missiology. It is a grave sin to not be radically committed to both of these realities.
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.