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 old testament and fulfilled in the life, words and ministry of Jesus. We view the kingdom of God as the central message of Jesus and the bible.
From the beginning, the Vineyard has been committed to the good news of the kingdom of God and to living in the tension of the kingdom being here now in part and yet to come later in it's fullness.what we call the “already and not yet” of the kingdom is seen 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 reign of God breaking into the present through the life and ministry of Jesus, we are a movement that shows the nature of the church by engaging the world in love.
The Kingdom of God is defined by God’s rule and reign in our lives.
We believe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 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 direction.
We understand God’s presence as a 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 avoid 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.
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 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. Compassion should be the leading edge of our service to God, each other, and our broken world. With humility, we seek to avoid judgments of others, realizing that we suffer and struggle along with the rest of humanity.
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 crack and crevice of creation, faithfully translating the message of Jesus in language and forms that are understandable to many people and local 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, and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far away from God.
Jesus is reconciling people to God, to each other, and to the entire creation. He breaks down divisions between us. Therefore, Vineyard churches are committed to being communities of healing, engaged in the work of reconciliation wherever sin and evil exist. We also seek to be 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 the kingdom is in our midst.