PURPOSE & DISTINCTIVES

Equipping ordinary people for the work of ministry.

Our Journey Together

The Vineyard family of churches is a missionally-minded community, committed to carrying the words and works of Jesus into every arena of human life.

Joining the Father in what He is doing in the world, we have identified who we are, what we do, and where we are going as we take our place in the wider Body of the 21st century Church. The following three statements combine to communicate our purpose as Vineyard Churches.

Who We Are

The Vineyard is a God-initiated global movement of churches (of which the Association of Vineyard Churches South Africa is a part) with the kingdom of God as its theological center. The Bible is our rule of faith and practice. Our desire is to know the Bible, do what it says, and experience the way of living it describes.

We embrace a full range of kingdom practices from proclaiming the Good News of Jesus, to healing and deliverance, to ministry with the poor. Vineyard churches embody a praxis that includes intimate worship, actively equipping ordinary people for ministry, responding to the initiative and leading of the Holy Spirit, and joining God’s mission in the world.

What We Do

In light of this, we believe that God has called the Vineyard Churches to participate in the kingdom of God as it moves forward by:

    • Providing pastoral care, vision, resources and oversight to help local Vineyard churches fulfill their God-given calling.
    • Envisioning and motivating pastors and leaders to join God’s mission by multiplying churches both in the United States and around the world.
    • Training and empowering current pastors to disciple, train and send future leaders.

Where We Are Going

We will know we have succeeded in our mission when we see thousands of churches with the Vineyard theology and practices multiplied around the world – led by pastors who are theologically, practically, and spiritually equipped to pursue their unique calling to "the greater glory of God and the well-being of people."

God’s Mission Has Our Hearts

In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus begins to read in the synagogue words from the prophet Isaiah. He is announcing the inauguration of the kingdom of God, through Him, and sets the stage for God’s kingdom being within the reach of every man, woman, and child.

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor."

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

Like Jesus, we want to work with the Father in proclaiming the love and favor of God to every generation. Will you join us in this mission – to proclaim the Good News to a waiting world?

Click here to read about our Core Values & Beliefs.

Vineyard Distinctives

As the Vineyard has grown over the past 40+ years, certain distinctives of our movement have risen to the surface.

As a movement, we believe that all networks and associations of churches have a part to play in the wider Body of Christ. The Vineyard has some distinctives that define our personality in the wider Church, and carry our unique way of doing life as Christians.

Below are a few of our most important distinctives:

Reinventing Ourselves In Every Generation.

We never want to get "stuck" as a church movement, thinking every new generation should carry our distinctive personality in exactly the same way as the last. We embrace change, and seek to embody our distinctives in fresh expressions of the Church.

The Main & The Plain
The Main & The Plain

John Wimber would always look back to what the Scriptures say, right on the page. We base everything we do on the "main and the plain" teaching that Jesus gave.

The Already & The Not Yet
The Already & The Not Yet

In the Vineyard, we pray for people, and sometimes they are healed and sometimes they are not. Our theology and practice of the kingdom of God makes it so we can acknowledge both miracles and suffering.

"Come, Holy Spirit"
"Come, Holy Spirit"

This is our central prayer liturgy. As Carol Wimber used to tell us, "There should never be a time in our gatherings together that we don't invite the Holy Spirit." We all need a constant filling of the Holy Spirit.

Everyone Gets To Play
Everyone Gets To Play

We believe that anyone can do the work of the Kingdom. We don’t have an elite or superstar leaders – we are all commissioned – men and women, children, of every background.

Naturally Supernatural
Naturally Supernatural

We avoid all hype or emotional manipulation. Going about our lives naturally, we pray for healing and listen for God’s voice in all circumstances.

Come As You Are, But Don’t Stay As You Are
Come As You Are, But Don’t Stay As You Are

You’ll be loved no matter what state you’re in when you come to the Vineyard. But we also believe that Jesus intends to change us, so we say "Yes."

Remember The Poor
Remember The Poor

We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus. We are all in need, in some way.

Be A History Maker
Be A History Maker

We simply believe that God is speaking and acting through ordinary people today. We are the Vineyard – join the movement!

Faith Is Spelled "R-I-S-K"
Faith Is Spelled "R-I-S-K"

We believe the call to be the Body of Christ involves getting outside of our comfort zones. Adventurous faith is welcome in the Vineyard.

Worshippers Of God And Rescuers Of People
Worshippers Of God And Rescuers Of People

We are given to express worship and compassion in every part of our lives. This is our expression of loving God and loving our neighbor.

Plant Churches Who Plant Churches
Plant Churches Who Plant Churches

The very nature of the Gospel and the Church leads to reproduce kingdom outposts in the world – the planting of new churches.

Equipping The Saints
Equipping The Saints

We will continually invest ourselves in training and equipping God’s people to do what Jesus did, equipping the saints for ministry (Eph. 4:12).