Tag Archives: Bert Waggoner

No Women Bishops For The Church of England

Picture from BBC News

Today marks the end of a 12-year debate within the Church of England on whether or not to open up the bishopry to the female gender. Sadly, while the motion to allow female bishops past in both the House of Bishops (97%) and the House of Clergy  (64%), it failed in the House of Laity by six votes….

Current church law states that this issue can be brought back for another vote in the “same form” during the present general synod’s term – meaning that the issue is now off the table until after 2015 (unless the top six leaders in the church decided to allow an exception, which would be a rare move).

It should be noted that women have been allowed to serve as priests within the Church of England since 1994 (there are even some female bishops currently serving within the larger Anglican Communion). The main debate with female bishops is what to do with those parishes who do believe that a women should be in leadership. Should those parishes be allowed to ‘shift’ leaders and have a male bishops? If so, what does that mean to the historical boundaries and geographical areas of the bishopry?  As you can imagine, this is a very heated topic that I doubt will go away…

Interestingly enough, the Vineyard had to make a similar choice in the not so distant past. Being an family of independent churches (i.e. each local church ordains and chooses their own pastors), we had some church with women pastors – who, naturally, wanted to be included in the national conversation on the direction of the Movement. This lead the Vineyard USA National Board, led by Bert Waggoner, to release a statement in 2006 allowing women to serve at all levels of leadership (i.e. they can be a regional leader which is the Vineyard equivalent of a bishops – something that, by the way, that happened this year).

Sadly not everyone in the Vineyard liked this choice…leading several local churches and individuals to pull out of the Vineyard. Yet, happily, the majority of people stay within the movement – including myself and the Payette River Vineyard. (As a side note, I’m not an ‘true’ egalitarian as I believe that it is better to have couples ordained as pastors and bishops as any local or national body of believers needs the viewpoint of both genders).

Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

Ed Stetzer has a long and very impressive resume full of planting, revitalizing and pastoring churches across the USA. He has also taught and mentored tons of pastors over the years as well as spend many a hour researching and surveying in state of the local church. Currently he is the President of LifeWay Research and a member of the International Mission Board’s Church Services Team.

Accordingly, his comments on church planting in North America have some weight… as in, they are worth listening too and thinking about. Which is why I recommend reading this article detailing a recent interview with Vineyard USA.

To help spur you on in reading the interview, I have posted some quotes from Ed along with some of my thoughts below.

Reflections on the Church Planting Scene in North America

“I think church planting is exploding. But I think it’s also important to note that the focus of many of these movements, and even the methods that they have used, have been influenced by the gifts that the Vineyard gave us all: a heart for church planting, new network approaches and strategies, and a passion for reaching the lost.”

Yeah…I couldn’t pass up quoting this piece as it is nice to see such favorable press for one’s tribe. Granted, Ed is talking to the Vineyard USA so it could be a simple ‘don’t bite the hand that is feeding you’ statement…but I seriously doubt that as Ed, who is not part of the Vineyard, doesn’t have a motivation to suck up to the Vineyard. If he didn’t like us, he could simply say so and walk away.

Therefore, the fact that he, as a noted missiologist and church researcher, publicly acknowledged the influence that the Vineyard has had on the wider church is amazing! I personally think that one of the reasons the Vineyard, which at 554 churches in the USA is not a large denomination, has had such a large voice in the greater church is because of our love for the whole church. From the very beginning, John Wimber and all the braze souls who started the Vineyard constantly gave way the gifts the Lord in trusted to them to the wider body. It has never been just about the Vineyard; it has been loving Jesus and His Bride (i.e. the WHOLE church).

What Opportunities Would You Say The Vineyard Has Now?

“I think the opportunity here is, will the Vineyard rediscover its roots without feeling it necessary to relive its past? I think the roots of the Vineyard are birthed in a passion for the kingdom of God, church planting and evangelistic engagement, and yes, societal concern. And I think many would say that focus has been diminished and might have a desire to go back to the glory days…. So the underlying principles that made the Vineyard an explosive movement could be rediscovered, but perhaps some of the methodological practices would not be as helpful in the future.”

I think these comments by Ed are interesting to say the least. They seem to echo the words of warning given to the Vineyard years ago from Bill Jackson in his 1999 book “The Search for the Radical Middle” and Bert Waggoner in his address at the 2008 Northwest Leaders Gathering. The warning primarily being that we are to continue to follow Jesus wherever he takes us while being careful not to fall into a cycle of routine (i.e. “we do this because it’s what Vineyards do” vs “we do this because it is what God is doing at this time and place.”).

Continue reading Church Planting: An Interview With Ed Stetzer

A Heritage of Leadership: Vineyard USA History Overview

The Five: Current and Past Vineyard USA National Directors

A few days ago I mentioned that the Vineyard USA had recently installed a new National Director; well today, I have discovered (via Jason Clark) an amazing article on the Vineyard USA homesite giving a short history of the movement and the previous five USA national directors.

Some of the highlights of the article – which I encourage everyone to read in full – as listed below:

The Five
  • Kenn Gulliksen (late 1970’s-1982)
  • John Wimber (1982-1995)
  • Todd Hunter (1995-2000)
  • Bert Waggoner (2000-2012)
  • Phil Strout (2012-Present)

As a side note, I love the fact that they mentioned Kenn as he was very foundational in starting the Vineyard Movement. Yet, sadly enough, his leadership is sometimes forgot due to the huge shadow cast by John Wimber.

Todd Hunter’s Leadership Years

The late 1990’s were a turbulent time full of controversial prophetic and renewal meetings and shifting worldviews, not to mention the fact that John Wimber died in 1997, causing more uneasiness… Talk about getting handed a hornets nest!

Having not been there (I joined in 2003), I can’t comment on how well or not-so-well Todd navigating these waters…Yet, what I can tell you is that Todd was on the forefront of the shifting worldview in the USA. This came to light for me a few years ago when I was studying the emerging church. His name (along with some others in the Vineyard) kept popping up time and time again from different sources and denominations. God really used him to spark a worldwide movement that goes beyond the Vineyard; we were just blessed enough to have him journey with us for a while (he is now an Anglican Bishop and author).

Continue reading A Heritage of Leadership: Vineyard USA History Overview

It’s Official!!

Phil Strout and Bert Waggoner

Six days ago on September 12, 2012 the leadership mantle of the Vineyard USA was officially passed from Bert and Evelyn Waggoner to Phil and Jan Strout. [cue the applause and rejoicing]

While there are many things on Phil’s heart as he starts this journey, he took some time today to remind the Vineyard family of his top three priorities:

  • Presence of God
  • Proclamation of the Gospel
  • Practical hands on living

Everything will fit in and around these three items – which I think are good anchors to have.  🙂

Phil also asked the Vineyard family if they could pray for him and Jan to have wisdom, courage and kindness. May the Lord granted those prayers and bless them both as they start a new adventure as National Director of the Vineyard USA.

Reflections on the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference

I’m back and wiping the cobwebs off my keyboard as I have not touched a computer in a week and a half. Scary, I know…but it was also very refreshing as I attended the Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference in Vancouver, Washington, at the end of June before enjoying a week at the Oregon coast with the family (a much needed vacation and soul rest).

Now that I’m back, I would like to take a few days and post some reflections on the conference and the Vineyard Movement as a whole.

The theme of the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference was “Convergence: For Such a Time As This” as everything is changing this month. The Northwest Region has effetely been split into two separate regions as of this month with Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South and North Dakota becoming the “Big Sky Region.” The theme of convergence also points to the changes on the national front as Phil Strout takes over as National Director on September 13th.

As one could expect, all of the main sessions (and some of the workshops) were focused on this theme. Below is a quick summary of the five main sessions:

Current Vineyard USA National Director and Acting NW Region Overseer Bert Waggoner kicked off the conference with a look back at the landmarks in our history. Pulling from Joshua 4:1-9 where the Lord tells the Israelites to take twelve stones from out of the Jordan River and create a memorial for the people, Bert listed eleven ‘stones’ that God has given to us as a Vineyard Movement and as a region. While the full list is a tad long to list here, I want to mention the two stones that really touched me:

  • Stone #6: “Do you remember…how freeing it was to grasp the message of the Kingdom?”

Ah…yes…I can remember this day very, very clearly. It was during a small group in 2003 when the hosts invited Kevin Thienes, a Vineyard Boise lay pastor, to come and share with us all about prayer and healing. At some point during that Q&A, my view on the Bible and Jesus began to change and a new way of living came into view. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in miracles or healings as I came from a Charismatic background in which all kinds of stuff used to happen… no, it was the theological underpinnings to the experiences that finally made sense and jived with the Scripture. The rabbit hole was opened at that point and there was no going back.

Continue reading Reflections on the 2012 Vineyard Northwest Regional Conference

New Vineyard USA Regional Overseers

As many of you know the Vineyard USA is in the middle of a leadership transition as Bert Waggoner retires after 12 years of leading the Vineyard Movement in the USA. Part of this transition is shrinking of the current eight regions and the creation of eight new ones to better help the regional overseers foster effective relationship among the pastors of their region. As a local pastor, I think this move is awesome!

One of the difficulties in the past has been the geographical challenges of getting to know to people within a region that may stretch across multiple states and hundreds of miles. By splitting up the regions and making them smaller, I believe that the new regional overseers (RO) are going to have a easier time of things. Which is not to say that it will be a cake walk…by no means! Each RO is still a pastor of a local church in addition to having the below responsibilities, so they will have their hands full.

  1. Establish and cast a Regional vision that follows and underscores the vision of the National Director for Vineyard USA.
  2. Care for and coach the Area Pastoral Care Leaders (APCLs) in the Region.
  3. Facilitate care for the pastors in the Region through the APCLs.
  4. Communicate with the pastors in the Region on a regular basis.
  5. Help local Vineyard churches in the Region to become strong, healthy churches through resourcing.

I also really liked the process that Phil Strout, the National Director Elect, used to choose these new ROs.  At the beginning of January each local pastor was asked to nominate someone in their new region that they thought would make a good RO. These nominations were then passed on to Phil who made the final decision – meaning that the choice was not a popularity election per say, but a combination of hearing the voices of the local pastors on the ground combined with the view from the ‘top’ of the leadership structure. The process also left room for the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and raise up perviously unknown leaders within each region.

Continue reading New Vineyard USA Regional Overseers

Vineyard USA Leadership Transition: Comments on Phil Strout’s Recent Update

Phil Strout, the new Vineyard USA National Director Elect, posted an updated on the leadership transition on his blog this morning. At a little over nine minutes, it is a fairly short video – so I would recommend wandering over there and watching it.

In the meantime here are some of my thoughts about the what Phil said:

First off, I just realized that the full leadership transition is going to take a full 12 months instead of the six or nine that I originally thought. This means that both Phil and Bert Waggoner will be working together throughout 2012 (it is the here and not yet of national leadership!!) 😛

Secondly, in the video Phil talked a bit about focusing the actions and personnel of the Vineyard instead of chasing too many ministries… the example he told was of an eagle who tried to catch two rabbits at the same time. In the end, the eagle was left hungry as its attention was divided.

While I can understand the point Phil is trying to make…I also have concerns about what that looks like.

One of the jewels of the Vineyard is that we have tried to be a center-set movement welcoming anyone who is chasing King Jesus. This means that we have a wide range of people with different church backgrounds, theological viewpoints, culture worldviews, passions, etc. There is no ‘in’ or ‘out’ boundary so much as we try to operate as a family help each other follow Jesus (emphasis on the ‘try’ as this is a hard tension to live in).

As such, my concern with Phil’s comments on focusing is that I hope it does not lead to an ‘in’ or ‘out’ mentality in which churches or individuals are judged based upon the way they look, the ministries they have or whatever boundary marker is chosen.

Continue reading Vineyard USA Leadership Transition: Comments on Phil Strout’s Recent Update

Introduction by the Newly Proposed Vineyard National Director

In case you haven’t heard, Vineyard USA is in the middle of choosing a new National Director as Bert Waggoner announced that he was retiring near the beginning of the year. The process that the National Board decided to follow is an amazing one that bridges the gap between organizational oversight and Spirit lead.

The process started off in the month of May with each senior pastor nominating someone (besides themselves) that they thought would be a good National Director. The top 13 candidates (men and women) were then asked if they felt God calling them to the position. Of those 13, four of them felt compelled to walk forward – leading to a three month application and review process with the National Board, who would then choose a final candidate.The last phase of the nomination process is a movement wide confirmation of the nominated National Director by each of the local churches.

It is too this last phase of the process that I would like to draw your attention as the National Board has proposed Phil Strout as the next Vineyard USA National Director.

As he awaits the final confirmation for the local churches within the movement, Phil has posted a video introducing himself and sharing his heart for the Vineyard. I would highly recommend everyone (inside or outside the Vineyard) to watch this video as I believe it caries a message for the church in general.

Continue reading Introduction by the Newly Proposed Vineyard National Director

Reaching the Unreached: VUSA National Leadership Conference 2011

Vineyard USA just released the audio sound tracks of the 2011 National Conference.  I highly recommend that you wonder over there and give the main sessions a listen as they are powerful (yes, this means folks both within and without the Vineyard – God’s word knows no boundaries).

  • Brian Anderson The Kingdom of God: The mandate for reaching the unreached: A great overview of the Kingdom Theology that drive the Vineyard Movement.
  • Homero Garcia The Community for Reaching the Unreachable: Powerful message on getting the church healthy so that it can be a light to the people.
  • Dianne LemanThe Power for Reaching the Unreached: This is the session most people have talked about, the one where Dianne lets the “kids out of the car seat” and the power of the Spirit crashed the place.
  • Dave Workman The Community for Reaching the Unreachable: Thinking outside the norm and creating new nets for a new time and culture.
  • Bert WaggonerReaching the Unreached: Keeping Micah 6:8 (act justly, love mercy and walk humble before God) before our eyes as we lead.

Who Is Going To The Vineyard USA National Conference?

Next week is the 2011 Vineyard USA National Conference in Phoenix, Az.  It should be a happening conference concerning that Bert Waggoner, the current director of the Vineyard, is stepping down this year….

Add to that, the fact that this will be Emily and mine first National Conference as Senior Pastors  (A HUGE shout out to the PRV family for seeing the value in sending us both!!) .

So yeah, it should be a interesting and full week. 🙂

Which leads me to the questioned posed on the title, who out there is going to the conference?

If you are going, leave a comment or drop me an email as I would like to connect with you while in Phoenix.