To establish a church planting and renewal movement in Southern & Central Africa which is driven by a set of specific values, held together by adult relationships, and results in the planting of churches with a unique and recognizable ethos and style of ministry in pursuit of the mission given in Luke 4:16-18, Matt 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.
We want to be value driven and goal or purpose-directed. This calls for us as leaders to have a clear, firm grasp of our values, priorities and practices. The following is an attempt to elaborate on these, as we understand them at present.
1.1. WE VALUE A PROPER APPROACH TO THE BIBLE.
We highly value the Bible as the Word of God – it is living, powerful and active (Hebrews 4:12).
Therefore our approach is to encounter God through His Word i.e. the Bible is to be experienced and lived in as opposed to being analysed and evaluated. It was written to stimulate faith and bring into contact with God, rather than a vehicle for doctrine and argumentation of certain positions. (Matthew 4:4 – nourishment and strength comes as you enjoy the meal, not as you study the menu!)
We experience what the Bible really teaches when we lay aside our doctrinal, denominational, cultural and philosophical presuppositions, and read the Bible (with the Spirit’s help) in its own historical setting, in its own terms, categories and thought forms.
Being “Biblical” is not believing the right things, but rather becoming and doing what the Bible says.
1.2 WE VALUE JESUS CHRIST AS THE HEAD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT AS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CHURCH.
Jesus is the origin and owner of the Church and therefore anything that happens in the Church should be from Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16-20).
Because He has all authority, He delegates it to whom He wills for the fulfilment of certain functions; and because everything is answerable to Him we recognize and release these functions (Ephesians 2:20-23; 4:7-13).
The Holy Spirit resides in the Church to empower us to fulfil God’s purpose (John 14:16, 17 of Acts 1:6-8). Therefore His presence and ministry in our midst must be honoured and received.
The Holy Spirit will direct the affairs of the Church if He is released to do so. We have found Him using the following means:
- The inward witness of the human spirit which is recreated through the New Birth (Prov. 20:27; I Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 5:17)
- The confirming presence of peace through the direction of the Spirit. (Colossians 3:15; see Acts 16;6,7 for an example).
- The Word of God (Psalm 119:105; see Acts 15:13-21 for an example).
- The counsel of the brethren (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22; see Acts 15:6,7,28 for an example.
- Waiting on the Lord through worship, prayer and fasting (see Acts 13:1-4).
- Visions, dreams, visitations and gifts of the Spirit (see Acts 8:26, 29; 16:9,10).
God blesses, provides for and completes what He initiates; therefore we must wait, and see, and do only what He is doing and blessing.
1.3 WE VALUE RELATIONSHIPS AS PRIMARY, ON AN ADULT-TO-ADULT BASIS.
Building relationships are essential for “being” out of which flows “doing” Mark 3:14; “….they were with Him, and then He sent them out to preach …..”
Relationships take root in the soil of intimacy and accountability. Self-disclosure, the freedom to fail, acceptance and truthfulness are all essential factors in growing relationships e.g. Jesus’ relationship with Peter and the way He handled Peter’s failure (e.g. John 21:15-22).
Relationships are built on commitment. (God relates to us in the context of covenant commitment.) Relationships are an end in themselves and are not to be used, exploited or manipulated for selfish gain. (John 15:13; I John 3:16).
Relationships built on love one for another are an extremely powerful and revolutionary factor in society. People identify us, and are drawn to us, and remain with us because of relationships. (John 13:34, 35 of Acts 2:44 – 47)
Church structure is built on relationships, and not positions and tithes (Matthew 20:24-28). These relationships are conducted on an adult to adult basis, and not parent to child or vice versa. This brings about strength, maturity and flexibility in the Church as a whole and in the people as individuals (which facilitated effective functioning of every part; Ephesians 4:15, 16).
These relationships have a three-fold application:
- Our relationship with God
- Our relationship with ourselves
- Our relationship with one another.
1.4 WE VALUE THE DIGNITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL.
Each individual is valued and treated as a person. In every exchange we want to make them feel loved because that is what God does to us. (John 3:16 of Jeremiah 31:3)
Each believer has a special place in the Body of Christ – God has chosen it! (I Corinthians 12:13, 18; Romans 12:5). We avoid ecclesiastical adultery by asking, :Is God joining you to this body?” We are committed to those with whom God has joined us.
Each believer must take responsibility for his/her own growth and function in the Body (Ephesians 4:16, “… as each part does its work.”).
We honour the priesthood of every believer (I Peter 2:5). Every believer must minister, hear from God, and pursue his/her own calling in God.
We honour the freedom that every believer has in Christ (Galatians 5:1, 13). Everyone is free to choose for themselves; we do not want to control or be controlled.
1.5. WE VALUE THE MINISTRY OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS HEALING AND MERCY.
Health and wholeness is really God’s desire for everyone (Mark 1:40-42; Acts 10;38; 3 John 2).
We have a comprehensive and integrated view of healing. Healing is for the whole man and his environments. It begins with the spirit; past hurts and emotions are mode whole; mental and demonic disorders are healed; the body is touched, poverty is broken and social relationships are restored and blessed (Luke 4:18).
Healing is both an act and a process. It is recovery and change – growth into maturity and wholeness.
A healing environment is created and maintained through a ministry of mercy. Mercy is the spirit and attitude of healing, and results in “love in action” (Mark 10;47; Luke 17;11-14; Matthew 15:21, 17:15).
Healing is the place where righteousness and mercy “kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10)
We love mercy, and we always seek to extend it because God has been merciful to us (Matthew 5:7; 18;33 Micah 6:8, 2 Samuel 24;4).
We especially value the ministry of mercy to widows, the divorced, orphans, the poor, hungry and needy people, etc.
1.6. WE VALUE AN APPROACH TO THE CHRISTIAN LIFE THAT IS HOLISTIC, BALANCED, INTEGRATED AND INCLUSIVISTIC.
In our approach to the Lord, the Church and life itself, we need to constantly integrate everything into the whole scheme of things. The tendency is towards categorization and isolation which can lead to imbalance.
We integrate Biblical and secular knowledge in the discovery of truth (All that is in the Bible is true, but not all truth is in the Bible.”).
We integrate the experiential and the rational – this is how we come to know God. (John 17:3).
We have an all inclusive approach to the Church of Jesus Christ, and to what the Holy Spirit is doing in every part of it. We avoid an exclusive view of what God is doing in and through us.
1.7. WE VALUE HEALTHY, REAL RESTORATION AND RECONCILIATION IN CHRIST BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS AND PEOPLE GROUPS WHO ARE ESTRANGED FROM ONE ANOTHER, AS A NON-OPTIONAL ASPECT OF OUR COMMUNAL LIFE AND MINISTRY
We see this as a non-optional aspect of our communal life and ministry, i.e. every VCF shall have a goal of being multi-cultural in its worship, outreach and leadership profile. (Gal 3:28, 2 Cor 5:16-21)
In September 1992, at a pastor’s conference, John Wimber outlined areas that are essential characteristics of Vineyard churches. He called these the Vineyard Genetic Code because they are common traits that identify us as a family.
- The Bible taught as the Word of God with application for daily living
- Evidence of an ongoing ministry to the poor/broken/divorced etc
- Evangelism going on in all ways and at every level
- A strong emphasis on healing, signs and wonders
- Small groups of adults involved in ministry, discipleship and mutual care with responsibilities
- Effective training and equipping of the people for works of ministry
- Involvement and interaction with other churches for inter-church unity
- Good, meaningful worship through the singing of contemporary songs, giving and the preaching of the Word
- The encouragement and the exercising of spiritual gifts
- Missions – domestic & foreign, especially in the form of church planting.
Statement of Faith
This document is the result of approximately ten years of work. The need for a statement of faith arose shortly after the beginning of the Vineyard movement in 1983. On one hand, we felt obliged to set forth our biblical and historically orthodox beliefs; on the other hand, we wanted to describe the values and priorities that make the Vineyard unique within the context of Evangelicalism.
While many people have worked on this project, special thanks go to John Wimber out of whose calling and vision the Vineyard movement has emerged and matured. Also, to John McClure, senior pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship Newport Beach, California, who has shepherded the process along over this decade, and to Dr. Don Williams, senior pastor of Coast Vineyard in La Jolla, California, who rewrote our original statements into the cogent, biblical kingdom framework that follows.
As evangelicals, the Bible is our final authority for faith and practice. Therefore, the statements that follow reflect our best attempt to understand and live out biblical precepts. Upon further reflection, greater biblical insight, or increased wisdom through experience, these statements could be revised. Until such a time, The Association of Vineyard Churches Board of Directors formally adopts this document as our official statement of faith as of the board meeting in November 1994.
We now commend this for use by all our pastors in all our churches with the prayer that God will bless our sincere desire and humble attempt to be ambassadors of the rule and reign of His kingdom through our lives, that His will may be done on earth as it is in heaven.
–Todd Hunter, National Coordinator
–Association of Vineyard Churches, Anaheim, California
WE BELIEVE that God is the Eternal 1 King 2. He is an infinite 3, unchangeable 4 Spirit 5, perfect 6 in holiness 7, wisdom8, goodness 9, justice 10, power 11 and love 12. From all eternity 13 He exists as the One 14 Living 15 and True6 God in three persons 17 of one substance 18, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit 19, equal in power and glory 20.
WE BELIEVE that God’s kingdom is everlasting 21. From His throne 22, through His Son, His eternal Word 23, God created24, upholds 25 and governs 26 all that exists 27: the heavenly places 28, the angelic hosts 29, the universe 30, the earth 31, every living thing 32 and mankind 33. God created all things very good 34.
WE BELIEVE that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with him 35. He was cast out of God’s presence and, as a usurper of God’s rule, established a counter-kingdom of darkness 36 and evil on the earth 37.
WE BELIEVE that God created mankind in His image, male and female 38, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth 39. Under the temptation of Satan 40, our original parents fell from grace 41, bringing sin 42, sickness 43 and God’s judgment of death to the earth 44. Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God’s good creation 45. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam’s original sin 46. Human beings are born in sin 47, subject to God’s judgment of death 48 and captive to Satan’s kingdom of darkness 49.
WE BELIEVE that God did not abandon His rule over the earth 50 which He continues to uphold by His providence 51. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants 52 which revealed His grace to sinful people 53. In the covenant with Abraham, God bound Himself to His people Israel, promising to deliver them from bondage to sin and Satan and to bless all the nations through them 54.
WE BELIEVE that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt 55 and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfill it 56. The law’s purpose is to order our fallen race 57 and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility 58. By the work of God’s Spirit 59, it convicts us of our sin 60 and God’s righteous judgment against us 61 and brings us to Christ alone for salvation 62.
WE BELIEVE that when Israel rejected God’s rule over her as King 63, God established the monarchy in Israel 64 and made an unconditional covenant with David 65, promising that his heir would restore God’s kingdom reign over His people as Messiah forever 66.
WE BELIEVE that in the fullness of time 67, God honored His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation 68 by sending His only Son 69, Jesus, into the world 70. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary 71, as fully God and fully man in one person 72, He is humanity as God intended us to be 73. Jesus was anointed as God’s Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit 74, inaugurating God’s kingdom reign on earth 75, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation 76, preaching the good news of salvation 77, healing the sick 78, casting out demons 79 and raising the dead 80. Gathering His disciples 81, He reconstituted God’s people 82 as His Church 83 to be the instrument of His kingdom 84. After dying for the sins of the world 85, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day 86, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham 87. In His sinless, perfect life 88 Jesus met the demands of the law 89 and in His atoning death on the cross 90, He took God’s judgment for sin 91 which we deserve as law breakers 92. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers 93. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus’ birth from David’s house 94, His Messianic ministry 95, His glorious resurrection from the dead 96, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father 97. As God’s Son and David’s heir 98, He is the eternal Messiah-King 99, advancing God’s reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today 100.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power 101, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ 102 and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them 103. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us 104 for spiritual worship 105, personal sanctification 106, building up the Church 107, gifting us for ministry 108, and driving back the kingdom of Satan 109 by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus110 and doing the works of Jesus 111.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ 112 and that He is our abiding Helper 113, Teacher 114, and Guide 115. We believe in the filling or empowering of the Holy Spirit 116, often a conscious experience 117, for ministry today 118. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit 119 and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit 120. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit 121, for healing 122, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church 123.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture 124 so that the Bible is without error 125 in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments 126 as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith 127 and practice 128.
WE BELIEVE that the whole world is under the domination of Satan 129 and that all people are sinners by nature 130 and choice 131. All people therefore are under God’s just judgment 132. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God 133 and the work of the Holy Spirit 134, God regenerates 135, justifies 136, adopts 137 and sanctifies 138 through Jesus by the Spirit 139 all who repent of their sins 140 and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord 141 and Savior 142. By this they are released from Satan’s domain and enter into God’s kingdom reign 143.
WE BELIEVE in the one 144, holy 145, universal Church 146. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit 147 and form the living Body of Christ 148, of which He is the head 149 and all are members 150.
WE BELIEVE that God’s kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ 153, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church 154, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ 155 – His return to the earth as King 156. After Christ returns to reign 157, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works 158, the resurrection of the dead 159, the final Judgment 160 and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal conscious punishment of the wicked 161. Finally, God will be all in all 162 and His kingdom, His rule and reign 163, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth 164, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells 165 and in which He will forever be worshipped 166.
References – Section 1
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- Deuteronomy 33:27 & Romans 1:20
- Psalms 95:3 & Isaiah 43:15
- Psalms 143:5 & Job 11:7-9
- James 1:17
- John 4:24
- Matthew 5:48
- Isaiah 6:3 & 1 Peter 1:15-16
- Psalm 104:24 & Proverbs 2:6 & Isaiah 28:29
- Exodus 33:19 & Psalm 63:2 & Psalm 31:19
- Psalm 33:5 & Psalm 89:14 & Isaiah 30:18
- Exodus 15:6
- 1 John 4:8
- Isaiah 43:13
- Isaiah 45:5 & I Corinthians 8:4
- Psalm 42:2 & Psalm 84:2
- Jeremiah 10:10
- John 1:18 & John 10:30 & John 14:9 & John 14:16-17 & John 14:26 & John 15:26 & II Corinthians 3:17-18
- John 1:1 & John 1:14 & II Corinthians 3:17
- Matthew 28:19-20 & II Corinthians 13:14 & Revelation 1:4
- Revelation 5:13 & Ephesians 3:14-21
References – Section 2
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- Psalm 45:6 & Psalm 145:13 & Daniel 4:3
- Psalm 93:1-2
- John 1:1-3 & I Corinthians 8:6 & Colossians 1:15-16 & Hebrews 1:1-2
- Genesis 1:1 and Psalm 95:3-5
- Colossians 1:17 & Hebrews 1:3
- Psalm 103:19 & Psalm 104:24-29
- Psalm 96:4-6
- Psalm 89:11
- Psalm 103:20-21
- Colossians 1:16-17
- Psalm 104:5
- Psalm 103:22
- Psalm 22:28 & Psalm 47:8
- Genesis 1:31
References – Section 3
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- Revelation 12:7-9
- II Corinthians 11:14 & Colossians 1:13-14 & Ephesians 6:12
- Mark 3:22-26 & Ephesians 2:1-2 & I John 5:19
References – Section 4
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- Genesis 1:26-27
- Genesis 1:26
- Genesis 3:1 & Revelation 12:9
- Genesis 3:8 & Romans 1:21 & Romans 5:16
- Romans 5:12
- John 5:14
- I Corinthians 15:22
- John 8:44 & I John 5:19
- Romans 8:20-23
- Psalm 51:5
- Ezekiel 18:4 & Romans 2:5 & Romans 2:12 & Hebrews 9:27
- Galatians 1:3-5 & Galatians 4:8-9 & Colossians 1:13
References – Section 5
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- Psalm 24:1 & Psalm 96:10 & Isaiah 40:22 & Hebrews 1:3
- Romans 9:4
- Ephesians 2:12
- Genesis 17:3-8 & Genesis 12:2-3 & Genesis 15:4-6 & Romans 4:3-5 & Romans 4:16 & Romans 4:20-25 & Galatians 3:6-9 & Galatians 3:13-14
References – Section 6
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- Exodus 15:3-18
- Exodus 19:3-6 & Exodus 24:3-4 & Exodus 24:7 & Romans 8:3-4 & Romans 8:12-14
- Deuteronomy 5:1-3 & Deuteronomy 30:15-18 & Galatians 3:23-25
- Psalm 25:8-10 & Romans 7:7
- John 15:26 & John 16:8-11 & II Corinthians 3:14-17 & Romans 7:13 & Galatians 3:19 & Galatians 3:21-22
- Romans 2:1-11
- Galatians 3:24 & Philippians 3:8-9
References – Section 7
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- I Samuel 8:6-8
- I Samuel 8:21-22 & I Samuel 9:15-16 & I Samuel 10:1 & I Samuel 10:24 & 2 Samuel 7:11-16 & Psalm 89:34-37
- Isaiah 9:6-7 & Isaiah 11:1-5 & Jeremiah 23:5-6 & Ezekiel 34:23
References – Section 8
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- Mark 1:15 & Galatians 4:4
- Romans 1:2-4
- John 1:14
- John 1:17-18
- Luke 1:30-35
- John 1:14 & Philippians 2:5-7
- Romans 5:19 & I Corinthians 15:22 & I Peter 2:22 & II Corinthians 5:21 & Romans 8:29
- Luke 3:21-22 & Luke 4:16-21
- Mark 1:14-15 & Luke 11:20 & Luke 17:20-21
- Luke 4:1-13
- Luke 4:43
- Luke 4:40
- Luke 4:41
- Luke 7:14-17
- Mark 1:16-17
- Mark 3:13-15
- Matthew 16:18
- Luke 9:1-2 & Luke 10:1-17
- John 1:29 & John 6:51 & John 4:9-10
- Mark 8:31 & I Corinthians 15:3-5
- Galatians 3:13-14
- Acts 3:14-15 & Hebrews 4:15
- Romans 5:18-19
- I Peter 2:24
- Galatians 3:13 & II Corinthians 5:21
- Romans 1:18 & Romans 1:32 & Romans 2:12 & II Thessalonians 1:6-10
- Colossians 2:13-15
- Matthew 1:1
- Luke 1:68-72 & Luke 2:10-11 & Matthew 9:27
- Acts 2:24-28
- Acts 2:29-36
- Romans 1:1-4
- Hebrews 1:1-3
- I Corinthians 15:24-26 & Ephesians 1:19-23 & Revelation 5:5
References – Section 9
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- Acts 1:8 & Acts 2:1-4
- I Corinthians 12:13
- I Corinthians 12:4-7
- John 14:16-17
- Romans 12:1 & Ephesians 5:18-20
- Romans 8:3-4
- I Corinthians 14:12 & I Corinthians 14:26
- Romans 12:4-6
- Luke 11:20 & I John 3:8
- Ephesians 6:10-20
- John 14:12-13 & Romans 15:18-19 & I Corinthians 4:20
References – Section 10
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- Romans 8:9-10
- John 16:7
- John 14:26
- John 16:13-15 & Romans 8:14
- Luke 24:49 & Acts 4:31
- Acts 8:18-19 & Acts 19:1-2
- I Corinthians 2:4-5 & II Corinthians 4:7 & II Corinthians 6:4-7
- Joel 2:28-29 & Acts 2:15-17
- I Corinthians 12:7-11 & I Corinthians 14:1 & I Corinthians 14:5 & I Thessalonians 5:19-21
- Acts 8:14-17 & Acts 19:6
- Mark 1:41 & Luke 6:18-19 & Mark 16:18
- Acts 13:1-3 & I Timothy 4:14 & II Timothy 1:6
References – Section 11
–Back to Section 11–
- II Timothy 3:16-17 & II Peter 1:20-21 & I Corinthians 2:12-13 & John 14:26
- Psalm 19:7-9 & Psalm 119:11 & Psalm 119:30 & Psalm 119:43 & Psalm 119:89 & Matthew 5:17-18 & John 3:34 & John 10:35 & I Thessalonians 2:13 & Revelation 22:6
- Luke 24:44 & II Peter 3:15-16 & Revelation 22:18-19
- Isaiah 40:8 & Matthew 24:35
- Matthew 7:21 & Matthew 7:24 & Luke 1:38 & James 1:22-25
References – Section 12
–Back to Section 12–
- Luke 4:5-7 & I John 5:19
- I Corinthians 15:22 & Ephesians 2:1-3
- Romans 1:21-23 & Romans 1:32
- Romans 1:18 & Romans 2:5 & II Corinthians 5:10 & Ephesians 5:6
- Mark 1:14-15 & Acts 8:12 & Acts 28:31 & Ephesians 5:5
- John 16:7-11
- John 3:5-8
- I Peter 1:23
- Romans 5:1-2 & Romans 5:9
- Romans 8:15 & Galatians 4:6
- Ephesians 5:25 & Hebrews 13:12 & I Peter 1:1-2
- Acts 2:38
- Romans 10:9
- I John 4:13-15
- Colossians 1:13-14 & Philippians 3:20
References – Section 13
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- John 17:20-21 & Ephesians 4:3-6
- I Corinthians 3:16-17
- Matthew 16:17-18 & I Corinthians 1:2 & Ephesians 2:18-19 & I Peter 2:9-10
- Titus 3:4-7
- Romans 12:4-5
- Ephesians 1:22 & Ephesians 5:23
- I Corinthians 12:27
References – Section 14
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References – Section 15
–Back to Section 15–
- Daniel 7:13-14 & Matthew 4:23 & Matthew 12:28
- Matthew 6:10 & Matthew 10:7-8 & Matthew 24:14 & Mark 13:11 & John 15:26-27 & Romans 14:17-18
- Mark 13:26 & Acts 1:9-11 & II Thessalonians 2:8
- Revelation 19:11-16
- Matthew 25:31-32 & I Corinthians 15:23-25
- Revelation 20:10
- I Corinthians 15:51-52
- John 5:28-30 & Revelation 20:11-15
- Matthew 25:31-46
- I Corinthians 15:24-48
- I Timothy 6:13-16
- II Peter 3:13 & Revelation 21:5
- Revelation 21:27
- I Timothy 1:17 & Revelation 7:9-12
In 1974, after working as an assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California and planting a church called Jesus Chapel in El Paso, Texas, Kenn and Joannie Gulliksen moved to Los Angeles to begin a ministry that had been on their hearts for several years. Starting as a small Bible study, the fellowship quickly grew into a church. God prophetically gave the name “Vineyard” to those who initially gathered together.
“A vineyard of wine, sing of it! I, the Lord, am its Keeper; I water it every moment lest anyone damage it, I guard it night and day”. Is. 27:2-3
“I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; and for apart from Me you can do nothing”. Jn 15:5
In the next few years literally thousands received Jesus Christ through the ministries of the church. God graciously worked through the many mistakes and failures as well as the successes, as people were willing to take risks to become like Jesus, and to communicate the God News. Several couples went out and began other Vineyards in California: quickly growing churches with priorities of worship, relationship, healing, training and giving.
John WimberIn the Spring of 1982 the late John Wimber and several other pastors led their churches into relationship/identification with the Vineyard, as their vision coincided with and completed that of the original Vineyards. It was obvious that God had called John to pastor the pastors, and to train and encourage men and women to pursue what God had given them.
As a result, the people called the Vineyard have reached out to bless and encourage churches all over the world, as well as planting churches. The Vineyard has extensive and fruitful relationships with many American denominations and pastors, the Church of England, and many other churches in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, Latin America, and the South Pacific. These relationships include parachurch organizations like Y.W.A.M., World Vision, seminaries like Fuller, and underground churches in Europe, Asia and China. Many of these relationships are through the personal ministry of John Wimber, others are relationships with various local Vineyard churches.
In 1982, John Wimber visited South Africa for the third time, having received a clear word from the Lord to plant a church in Johannesburg. The Parkview VCF was planted in October 1982, and since then the movement in South Africa has grown to about 40 churches and plants in progress, which are connected through a formal church association called the Association of Vineyard Churches.
The churches are self-governing, but overseen and encouraged on a voluntary basis by experienced pastors. The Association of Vineyard Churches in each nation is led by a National Director. Each area is overseen by an Area Pastoral Coordinator (APC). The Board of AVC (SA) is also responsible for the oversight of missions activities in the 16 African nations in which we are currently involved. In March 2005 there were an estimated 1400 Vineyard churches world wide, in more than 68 countries.
God however, has shown us not to seek to build the Vineyard, but instead to seek His Kingdom and to build His Church, to bless what He is blessing, to love what He loves, and to give ourselves away freely. We want to be like Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our plan is to seek God and to cooperate with Him as He reveals Himself in the process.