Every house is built upon a foundation. Vineyard is built upon the foundation of our theology (how we think about God). Our values (the kinds of ideas and attitudes that we feel are important) are derived from that theology.
Values determine what a church feels like. Values affect the atmosphere of the church, the ethos. It is possible for two churches to believe exactly the same doctrine but to feel very different due to the differing value systems.
The five core values of the Vineyard:
1. The Theology and Practice of the Kingdom of God.
The Vineyard is committed to the theology and practice of the Kingdom of God – rooted in the vision of the Hebrew prophets and fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. The movement is distinctively rooted in a renewed understanding of the centrality of the Kingdom in Biblical thought. We view the Kingdom of God as the overarching and integrating theme of the Bible.
From the beginning, the Vineyard has been committed to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and to bearing witness to the “already and not yet” of the Kingdom in our words and deeds – through healing (physical, emotional and social), doing justice and delivering those held captive by evil. Since the Kingdom of God is the future reign of God breaking into the present through the life and ministry of Jesus, we are a forward-leaning movement that emphasizes the ever-reforming nature of the church and engages the world in love.
2. Experiencing God.
The triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is eager to be known and experienced by all. We believe that God is searching for the lost and longs to draw us into loving, intimate relationship with him. In Vineyard churches, we welcome God’s personal presence, we seek to be attentive to his presence, and we value the passionate pursuit of his presence in order to respond in obedience to his initiatives.
We understand God’s presence as a palpable reality. As we become increasingly sensitive and responsive to the Spirit’s presence, we too can learn to “see what the Father is doing” and support his work with our lives.
We value an approach to God’s presence that is respectful both of God and others. We eschew hype and other efforts to manipulate either God’s presence or the response of others to his presence. We distinguish between the Holy Spirit and the human response to the Holy Spirit, which shares in all the beauty and brokenness of our humanity.
3. Reconciling Community.
Jesus is reconciling people to God, to each other, and to the entire creation. He breaks down divisions between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, male and female. Therefore, Vineyard churches are committed to being communities of healing, engaged in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and evil hold sway.
We also seek to be diverse communities of hope that realize the power of the cross to reconcile what has been separated by sin. This requires that we move beyond our personal preferences and engage those whom we perceive to be unlike us. We must actively work to break down barriers of race, culture, gender, social class and ethnicity.
We are convinced that the church – locally, nationally and globally – is meant to be a diverse community precisely because Jesus is Lord over every nation, tribe and tongue. We are not satisfied with the status quo when it doesn’t reflect this kingdom reality. Instead, we pray eagerly for the coming of God’s Kingdom here and now and hope to see the reconciliation that is evidence that Kingdom is in our midst.
4. Compassionate Ministry.
We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus, knowing we are sinners whose standing before God is utterly dependent on his mercy. This mercy can only be truly received inasmuch as we are willing to give it away.
We believe that ministry in Jesus’ name should be expressed in concrete ways through the local church. The poor are to be served as though we serve Jesus himself. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of a church expressing the love of Christ in a local community.
In fact, in all forms of ministry, compassion is a hallmark of the One who was “moved with compassion” in the face of human need. This being the age of grace – and “the year of the Lord’s favor” compassion should constitute the leading edge of our service to God, each other and our broken world. With humility, we seek to avoid unauthorized judgments of others, realizing that we suffer and struggle along with the rest of humanity.
5. Culturally Relevant Mission.
The church exists for the sake of those who are exiled from God. We are called to bring the gospel of the Kingdom to every nook and cranny of creation, faithfully translating the message of Jesus in language and forms that are relevant to diverse peoples and cultures.
The Vineyard seeks to plant churches that are culturally relevant in a wide variety of settings, both locally and internationally. Each Vineyard church is encouraged to reach those in its community not already reached by existing churches. To this end, we promote a creative, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far away from God.
Value clarification from “Exploring Core Vineyard Values” by Ken Wilson
We are a passionate, Spirit-empowered community who follow Jesus, celebrate God and expect His presence. We equip each other to serve and impact our neighborhood and the nations.
A people for Christ, for the Kingdom of God, and for the world.
We are for WORSHIP
A people loving God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength
A people filled with His Spirit
A people celebrating Christ
A people of His PRESENCE
We are for the KINGDOM of GOD
A people experiencing His rule and reign personally and corporately
A people expecting the in-breaking of His Kingdom “now”
A people knowing the fullness of His Kingdom is “not yet”
A people receiving His healing POWER
We are for COMMUNITY
A people connecting to each other through small groups
A people reconciled to God and pursuing a ministry of reconciliation
A people extending grace and promoting a culture of welcome
A people gathering in PRAYER
We are for SERVICE
A people committed to loving and serving one another
A people equipping families and supporting marriages
A people loving children and enthusiastically meeting their needs
A people doing ministry, demonstrating committed PARTICIPATION
We are for STEWARDSHIP
A people living a Kingdom lifestyle by submitting to the authority of God’s Word
A people discovering and deploying the gifts of the Spirit
A people caring for God’s creation
A people giving time, energy and money contributing their PORTION
We are for GROWTH
A people becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ
A people intent on spiritual formation
A people committed to the balance of Word and Spirit
A people equipping one another for life, ministry, and Kingdom PURPOSE
We are for the CHURCH
A people embracing the wider church
A people dwelling in an atmosphere of grace
A people collaborating for the advancement of the Kingdom
A people unified and called to PARTNERSHIP
We are for the CITY
A people sharing the life and love of Jesus
A people serving the wider community
A people employing their talents to benefit others
A people blessing and impacting the neighborhood with PASSION
We are for SOCIAL JUSTICE
A people practicing mercy and justice with compassion
A people reaching out with hope and love
A people embracing and making a place for others
A people for the weak, the broken and the poor. We are God’s PROVISION.
We are for MISSION
A people committed to proactive and creative evangelism
A people reaching the unchurched in relevant ways that meet real needs
A people actively engaged in cross-cultural missions
A people gladly giving their lives and their resources for church PLANTING