Vineyard Church | Weekly Update June 19th, 2024

adam greenwell billings vineyard church experiencing god galatians paul vineyard values vineyardusa Jun 19, 2024

There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation
'Til school comes along just to end it
So the annual problem for our generation
Is finding a good way to spend it…

Summer is the time of year I know there is a God. Sometimes I wonder if the cartoon Phineas and Ferb was written about me, not that I am a fourth-grade super genius that can build rocket or fight a mummy, but that summer always gave me a break from the several nine-months sentences I had to serve in the clink known as “public school.” Growing up, I lived for summer vacation… Swimming, little league, hotdogs, and root beer popsicles offered proof of God’s love, and a fitting respite from the horrors of education.

If only I knew then what I know now… Summer is no longer freedom exemplified, it is now the “opportune” time for meetings, gatherings, and other phrases to disguise the word work… All of this to say, as you read this, I am attending the Vineyard National Conference in Denver, likely sitting in an auditorium trying to keep Jenna from seeing me dose off due to the air conditioning and low lights. Oh summer, how I miss thee…

Since I am here, I might as well make the most of it. Honestly, I love our movement which means I love our conferences. The Vineyard is home because, as Brad likes to say, ducks have to fly with ducks, and these particular ducks make sense to me. For many in our congregation that don’t know that Vineyard is more than just the word written on the side of our building, there can be an initial surprise that we are apart of and accountable to a global denomination that has several thousand churches worldwide. This year, our movement celebrates our 50th anniversary, fifty years of contributions to the teaching, study, music, and mission that make up the fabric of the global church.

To bring the celebration back to Billings, I want to spend the next few blogs reaffirming our movement’s core values. For some of us, this might be the first time you have seen those values that make us Vineyard, and for others, this serves as a reminder of who are and how we fit into the larger church context.

Every house is built upon a foundation. Vineyard is built upon the foundation of the Bible and our theology— how we think about God—and our values, the kinds of ideas and attitudes that we feel are important. Values concern what a church feels like, the atmosphere of the church, the ethos. It is possible for two churches to believe exactly the same doctrine, but to feel very different because the two churches have different value systems.

We are a people of the kingdom of God who…
The Vineyard is committed to the theology and practice of the kingdom of God—rooted in the vision of the Hebrew prophets and fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. We view the kingdom of God as the overarching and integrating theme of the Bible.

Partner with the Holy Spirit
We believe that Jesus is our Head and the Holy Spirit our Counselor. We seek to be responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit in every area of the church’s life and ministry. We believe that all ministry is Jesus' ministry, and we are invited to be a part of what he is doing in the world today. As part of our responsiveness, we are committed to “give away our best”, whether people or resources, in order to expand God’s kingdom.

Experience and Worship God
The triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—is eager to be known and experienced by all. We believe that God is searching for the lost and longs to draw us into loving, intimate relationship with him. We welcome God’s personal presence, we seek to be attentive to his presence, and we value the passionate pursuit of his presence in order to respond in obedience to his initiatives.
We understand God’s presence as a palpable reality. As we become increasingly sensitive and responsive to the Spirit’s presence, we too can learn to “see what the Father is doing” and support his work with our lives. We value an approach to God’s presence that is respectful both of God and others. We eschew hype and other efforts to manipulate either God’s presence or the response of others to his presence. We distinguish between the Holy Spirit and the human response to the Holy Spirit, which shares in all the beauty and brokenness of our humanity.

As we read these values together over the next two weeks, I would encourage you to read them through the lens of reflection… How are we doing with these values? DO we focus more on one area than another? Are we holding what makes us distinct in the tension of how we partner with other churches and followers of Jesus?

Next week we will tackle the rest of our values and another opportunity to reflect!

Adam Greenwell
Lead Pastor | Billings Vineyard Church

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