A Letter to the Vineyard Family from Phil Strout, USA National Director

phil stroutDear Vineyard Family-

“Do what the Father is doing” is one of the Vineyard movement’s treasured sayings. As I reflect back on our national conference in July, and forward to fall and a new year of ministry endeavors, it seems wise to ask the question- what do we see the Father doing?

The Father seems to be breathing life into the conference theme “All In”. We had an overwhelmingly positive National Leaders Conference with over 3000 participants, including hundreds of children and teens and many of our movement’s treasured seasoned saints. In our times of worship, teaching, prayer, and relational interaction, it seemed clear that God was calling all of us to mutual engagement for the Kingdom of God.

The Father seems to be pleased to send his Holy Spirit to minister among and through us. We collected story after story at the conference of things the Lord is doing in our churches -and perhaps most exciting, outside of our churches. When we open ourselves up to the supernatural ministry of the Spirit in and through us, the Lord is pleased to work.

The Father seems to be calling us to new dreams for what our movement can be. The growing energy around church planting both here and abroad, reaching across cultural barriers, and taking supernatural risks, is palpable. My prayer is that in God’s mercy, the best days of our movement are those yet to come.

So let’s say yes to the Lord! Doing what the Father is doing is not glamorous or easy. There are high moments – moments like the national conference, or special victories in any of our areas of service. But, as Rich reminded us in his talk on growing to adulthood, oftentimes saying yes to the Father is simply a day by day, step by step obedience. Taking an evangelistic risk, even if we look silly. Praying for the sick again and again, even when they don’t get better. Investing in a church plant, even if it isn’t taking off yet. It’s those combined “yeses to God” that form a movement.

I hope you managed a restful summer, and that you are hopeful and energized for the fall. If you are – God’s blessings on you. Go for it! If you aren’t – I pray for the Lord’s mercy on you, and that you will be carried by his power in this season. I look forward to seeing many of you as I travel throughout the movement in the months to come.

For the glory of God,


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