Here’s another great video that was released this week. This time it is Michael Gatlin and Derek Morphew taking about the new joint Multiply Vineyard and Vineyard Institute program for church planters. It almost makes me want to sign up! =P
For the first time, the Vineyard Movement around the world is joining together to help develop and train leaders for all levels of church life.
Vineyard Institute is a multinational, multicultural and multigenerational working partnership between all Vineyard Churches; with the aim to move forward and unite existing, recognised and future theological training under one umbrella, in order that leaders can be trained and supported at all levels of church life around the globe.
The Vineyard Institute draws from the best Vineyard theological resources available, as well as having a heavy emphasis on a two-way flow of content and best practices from local contexts, to provide an ever-evolving sharing from within the International Vineyard family and to meet the needs of each and every country involved.
Leadership for the institute is as follows:
- VI Chairman: John Mumford (UK & Ireland National Leader).
- VI Academic Dean: Derek Morphew (South Africa)
- VI Board:
- Costa Mitchell (South Africa)
- Doug Brown (Kenya)
- Juliet Barber (UK & Ireland)
- Elba Dolan (Brazil)
- Rich Nathan (USA)
- Lance Pitluck (USA)
- Michael Gatlin (USA)
There are many tribes or denominations within the greater Global Church, some of them old and some new… Every group is important as they reflect the multifaceted mystery of the Almighty. We, I, need the entire body of Christ (i.e. Church) to help guide me and direct me down the path of life.
Yet sometimes it is nice to find a smaller tribe of people in which you can walk… a group that shares common values and whose heart breaks with the same intensity over the same issues. It is, as Jason Clark recently wrote, to be apart of a denomination in which you can find accountability and support. And the group that I belong to – the group that shares the cries of my heart – is the Vineyard. It isn’t the ‘cats meow’ for everyone nor does it claim to be the best. But it is the group for me!
Recently I was browsing a church planting forum when I saw a post by Michael Gatlin, National Church Planting Director, about the distinctives of the Vineyard. As I read through the list that he got from John Mumford, Director of Vineyard UK, my heart just jumped! This was it! This is why I call the Vineyard home and why I love my tribe.
So, being a blogger, I would like to share with you all this list of distinctives on what makes the Vineyard Vineyard. (underlines emphasis are mine)
The main and the plain.
- What do what the scriptures say. The Bible is our gold standard, plumb line
- Confident and thoughtful in the teaching of the bible in small and large groups the whole counsel of God, the good & easy bits and the difficult bits. We are a people who are wrestling with what the bible says, and how does it apply to our situations.
- Are our people reading and looking up stuff in the bible? Get into the book yourself and push your people to do the same!
- We’ve only really had the book in this form for 400 years and we tend to take it for granted.
- We minister who we are, people impacted by the kingdom in our real lives. Taking it in and giving it away.
The now and the not yet.
- This is crucial and foundational to who we are.
- Encouraging a lifestyle that expects the kingdom of God to be demonstrated time and again everywhere we are. We are first and foremost a kingdom of god movement. Our central theological motif. It is not nearly a proposition to believe, rather a way to live.
- This is a theology that empower and at the same time sustained us through difficulties. It keeps us from the triumpfatalism of Pentecostalism on the one hand, and from the cecassionism of conservative evangelicalism on the other.
- We are unashamed and unembarrassed that power and suffering go hand in hand. This teaching helps life make sense, it takes my breath away.
Earlier this week the Vineyard USA send out a newsletter highlighting our committed to plant 750 new churches within the next ten years. One of the articles linked to from the email was from the leader of the Vineyard USA Church Planting Task Force, Michael Gatlin, detailing his vision and passion for planting new churches.
I don’t have time to fully comment on the article…but I do want to pull out a few items real quick. The first thing is that I LOVE Michael’s heart for the local church as captured in this quote:
“I believe in the local church, even though I’ve been hurt in the local church. Who hasn’t? But I honestly believe that in the end, why you’re here is because despite its problems, the local church really is the best thing going on our planet. It’s the followers of Jesus joined together in community, living out what he’s called us to do in our neighborhoods and in our towns.”
Secondly, it’s kind of sad that out of the 554 Vineyard churches in the USA, only 99 of them have committed to sending out at least one church plant over the next ten year. That means that 82% of our churches are not on board with this calling… 🙁
I know that church planting is hard and scary…yet, come on folks, let’s go! Let us take the message of Jesus into all the unreached places of the USA and the world for that matter. Let us raise up and release people to follow the path of Jesus into the scary unknown parts of life. Let us not try to hang on to folks, but send them out! (and yes, the PRV church is committed to sending out a church plant; granted, we signed up after this article was written, so make that 100 churches!)
Thirdly, towards the end of the article Michael summarizes the four steps we talked about earlier this week. While it’s nothing ‘new’ per say, it was cool to hear the heart of the man who drafted the steps. 🙂
I definitely recommend reading the full article as it covers a lot of good ground!