Vineyard Church | Weekly Update June 26th, 2024

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Last week we began a celebration of the 5oth anniversary of the Vineyard by reflecting on some of the core values of our denomination. As the next part of that celebration, check out this excerpt from an article titled Come Holy Spirit: The Story Behind the Prayer.

On Mother’s Day, 1980, John Wimber had a unique experience at the church he pastored in Yorba Linda, California. John was from a Quaker tradition, and had invited a guest speaker named Lonnie Frisbee to teach at their evening service. Lonnie was a hippie who was a part of what became known as the Jesus People Movement in the late 1960s in Southern California. John’s church was filled with young people, and they gathered to worship as usual. Lonnie got up to speak, and at the conclusion of his message he prayed: “Come, Holy Spirit.” That night, when that little three-word prayer was prayed, all heaven broke loose in Wimber’s community! After that gathering, deeply encountered by the Holy Spirit, young people poured into the streets, leading hundreds, then thousands, to faith in Jesus Christ. Miracles followed their simple prayers, such as healing of bodies and minds, and deliverances from addictions. Since that time, tens of thousands have come to faith in Jesus through the work of the Vineyard. Our belief in “power evangelism” – reaching people by ordinary people participating with God in the miraculous – centers us on the Holy Spirit’s profound work of drawing the heart to God.

This story is our family lineage; almost like hearing the ramblings of the elder generations at a family reunion, these stories connect us with our spiritual lineage as the Vineyard movement took root in the soil of the global church. Last week, we reflected on two of our core values; here are the rest:

Reconcile people with God and all creation
The apostle Paul writes, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15). We value being a part of what God is doing to reconcile people to himself, to each other and to the entire creation. He breaks down divisions between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male, and female. Therefore, we are committed to being communities of healing, engaged in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and evil hold sway.
We also seek to be diverse communities of hope that realize the power of the cross to reconcile what has been separated by sin. This requires that we move beyond our personal preferences and engage those whom we perceive to be unlike us. We must actively work to break down barriers of race, culture, gender, social class, and ethnicity. We are convinced that the church—locally, nationally, and globally—is meant to be a diverse community precisely because Jesus is Lord over every nation, tribe, and tongue. We are not satisfied with the status quo when it doesn’t reflect this kingdom reality. Instead, we pray eagerly for the coming of God’s kingdom here and now and hope to see the reconciliation that is evidence that kingdom in our midst.

Engage in compassionate ministry
We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus, knowing we are sinners whose standing before God is utterly dependent on his mercy. This mercy can only be truly received inasmuch as we are willing to give it away.
We believe that ministry in Jesus’ name should be expressed in concrete ways through the local church. The poor are to be served as though we serve Jesus himself. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a church expressing the love of Christ in a local community.
In fact, in all forms of ministry, compassion is a hallmark of the One who was “moved with compassion” in the face of human need. This being the age of grace—and “the year of the Lord’s favor”—compassion should constitute the leading edge of our service to God, each other, and our broken world. With humility, we seek to avoid unauthorized judgments of others, realizing that we suffer and struggle along with the rest of humanity.

Pursue culturally relevant mission in the world
The church exists for the sake of those who are exiled from God. We are called to bring the gospel of the kingdom to every nook and cranny of creation, faithfully translating the message of Jesus in language and forms that are relevant to diverse peoples and cultures. We seek to plant churches that are culturally relevant in a wide variety of settings, both locally and internationally. We are working to reach those in our community not already reached by existing churches. To this end, we promote a creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far away from God.

Just as we did last week, I would encourage you to read these values 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?

To find out more about our family history, check out

Adam Greenwell
Lead Pastor | Billings Vineyard Church

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