During the recent Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference, Phil Strout dropped a gem into the pond that will, I believe, have long-term ramifications for the entire Vineyard Movement in the USA. Yeah, it’s that big!
What is this gem?
Starting next year there will be three members on the Vineyard USA National Board in their 20’s or 30’s who will serve for one year before being rotated out for another young board member. This means that by the end of five years, there would have been 15 Vineyardites in their 20’s or 30’s who have an understanding of the Movement on a national level.
This, in my opinion, is AWESOME and BRILLIANT!
Not only is Phil mentoring and ‘pulling’ up the next generation of Vineyard leaders (which is powerful in and of itself), but he is also helping the National Board gain insight into the rapidly shifting culture of the USA. No longer can we do church as we used too as it is not working (a look at declining church attendance and lack of behavior change around the nation clearly shows this), as such we need to be looking at and pursuing an ancient/forward mentality of church.
“Ancient/forward mentality” => To me this means that we look both forward at what the Spirit is doing now and where He is leading us as well as looking back at the generations of believers on whose shoulders we stand. It is a mentality that does not throw things out simply because it is ‘old’ nor do we blindly accept things simply because ‘it is the way we do things.’ Instead we look toward the Spirit and run after Him while thinking through things according to the culture and worldview in which we now live.
The change to the National Board was approved by the current Board on the same day that they elected Phil as the new National Director. Meaning that this is really going to happen…. The only question now is who is going to represent the younger generation? In talking to Phil about this, he mentioned that the folks will be chosen based upon their leadership ability, current engagement within the Vineyard, and the guidance of the Spirit.
Basically this means that these 15 new board members do not have to be senior pastors and will be chosen by Phil – which works for me. In fact, I think removing the senior pastor requirement is great as it brings in another viewpoint into the board and means that they may have more time to give to the board (most young pastors I know are usually bio-vocational with young families, so adding yet another thing on their plate is not too smart).
All and all, I look forward to hearing who these new board members are and seeing what the Lord does through them and the new leadership of the Vineyard USA. Good times. 😀