VINEYARD THEOLOGICAL AND PHILOSOPHICAL STATEMENTS
OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH
A. GOD THE KING AND THE HOLY TRINITY
WE BELIEVE that God is the Eternal King. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power and love. From all eternity He exists as the One Living and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.
B. GOD THE KING: THE CREATOR AND RULER OF ALL THINGS
WE BELIEVE that God's kingdom is everlasting. From His throne, through His Son, His eternal Word, God created, upholds and governs all that exists: the heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the universe, the earth, every living thing and human beings. God created all things very good.
C. COUNTERFEIT KINGDOM: SATAN AND DEMONIC HOSTS
WE BELIEVE that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with him. He was cast out of God's presence and, as a usurper of God's rule established a counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.
D. THE KINGDOM IN CREATION, THE FALL & THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN
WE BELIEVE that God created mankind in His image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth.3Under the temptation of Satan, our original parents fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and God's judgment of death to the earth.Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God's good creation. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam's original sin. Human beings are born in sin, subject to God's judgment of death and captive to Satan's kingdom of darkness.
E. GOD'S PROVIDENCE, KINGDOM LAW AND COVENANTS
WE BELIEVE that God did not abandon His rule over the earth which He continues to uphold by His providence. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants which revealed His grace to sinful people. 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.
WE BELIEVE that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfil it. The law's purpose is to order our fallen race and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility. By the work of God's Spirit, it convicts us of our sin and God's righteous judgment against us and brings us to Christ alone for salvation.
WE BELIEVE that when Israel rejected God's rule over her as King, God established the monarchy in Israel and made an unconditional covenant with David, promising that his heir would restore God's kingdom reign over His people as Messiah forever.
F. CHRIST THE MEDIATOR AND ETERNAL KING
WE BELIEVE that in the fullness of time, God honoured His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation by sending His only Son, Jesus, into the world. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, as fully God and fully human in one person, He is humanity as God intended us to be. Jesus was anointed as God's Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit, inaugurating God's kingdom reign on earth, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation, preaching the good news of salvation, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. Gathering His disciples, He reconstituted God's people as His Church to be the instrument of His kingdom. After dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham. In His sinless, perfect life Jesus met the demands of the law and in His atoning death on the cross He took God's judgment for sin which we deserve as law-breakers. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus' birth from David's house, His Messianic ministry, His glorious resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father. As God's Son and David's heir, He is the eternal Messiah-King, advancing God's reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today.
G. THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.
H. THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
I. THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL OVER THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS
WE BELIEVE that the whole world is under the domination of Satan and that all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people therefore are under God's just judgment. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God regenerates, justifies, adopts and sanctifies through Jesus by the Spirit all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. By this they are released from Satan's domain and enter into God's kingdom reign.
J. THE CHURCH: INSTRUMENT OF THE KINGDOM
WE BELIEVE in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Saviour are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and form the living Body of Christ, of which He is the head and of which we are all members.
K. BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord's Supper. Both are available to all believers.
L. THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND THE FINAL JUDGMENT
WE BELIEVE that God's kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ - His return to the earth as King. After Christ returns to reign, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all and His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped.
A. We value THE PURSUIT OF GOD. We are hungry to know God's presence, hear His voice and follow hard after Him.
B. We value CHRISTLIKENESS. We desire that through the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus' love, mercy, grace, truth, purity, power, and integrity would shine through all that we are and do.
C. We value BEING SPIRIT-LED. We honour Jesus as our Head and the Holy Spirit as our Counsellor and the Administrator of our churches. We seek to be actively responsive to the Holy Spirit's daily leading of our personal lives and ministries and of the local church.
D. We value PRAYER. We believe that prayer is essential, because it is our primary means of communion with God, and because of our personal lives and ministries and of the local church.
E. We value DISCIPLESHIP. Our intent is to teach all believers to believe Jesus' words, obey His commands and do His works. We aim first to grow as disciples of Christ ourselves and then to make disciples of others.
F. We value THE KINGDOM OF GOD. We aim to move in the signs of the present fulfilment of the kingdom, invoking the Spirit's powerful presence, ministering through the Spirit's gifts, and seeing God heal and work wonders.
G. We value the MERCY OF GOD. We believe that mercy is fundamental to all that God does in salvation. We, therefore, aim to extend mercy to one another and to all to whom we minister.
H. We value INTEGRITY. It is important for us to speak the truth, deal honestly, and live uprightly.
I. We value SERVANT LEADERSHIP. We believe that Christ has put significant leadership authority in the hands of the pastor and associates. We aim to exercise that authority with humility, selflessness, grace, care for the sheep, and a sincere desire to build up the Body of Christ.
J. We value THE INDIVIDUAL, single or married, and we want to enable and support mature relationships and family growth.
K. We value UNITY. We are convinced that all who belong to Christ are one in His Body, the Church. We aim to maintain unity by honouring all who call on Jesus' name and by seeking reconciliation with all parts of the Church.
L. We value COLLEGIATE RELATIONSHIPS. We are honoured by every person whom God adds to the Vineyard. We aim to work together to build the Church through maintaining mutual respect, open communication, determined cooperation, and believing and speaking the best about each other.
M. We value REALITY. We aim to walk in the Spirit and see real supernatural works of God. We aim also to function on the natural plane based on God's leading in conjunction with excellent, rational thinking.
N. We value SIMPLICITY. We wish to do nothing for "religious effect" but rather to operate in natural low-key, non-hype patterns. We desire to do the ministry of Christ with joy.
O. We value being CULTURE CURRENT. We aim to develop an atmosphere of ease, and to speak, act, and dress in ways in which our culture can respond positively. For example, we reflect this value through worship music that is of a popular style.
1. We desire to worship God with our whole being. We want Jesus at the centre as our Lord. We hunger for the fullness of the Spirit... His glory resting upon us!
2. We desire Spirit-enabled worship in a style that is intimate, dynamic, culture current, and life changing.
B. THE WORD
1. We want to hear the Word of God taught in a practical, inspiring way, in conjunction with His current prophetic word.
2. We aim to hear and obey God's Word to us... to be "doers of the Word" who are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.
1. We are the family of God, one Body in Jesus Christ, joined together as brothers and sisters forever.
2. We seek to develop real, intimate, enabling friendships together, built on covenant love, mutual responsibility and faithfulness.
1. We believe that all Christians are called to serve Christ in the power of His Spirit, in ways that build up the local church.
2. We are called to do the ministry of Christ in the world today, for example, to...
a. preach the Gospel of the Kingdom
b. persuade people to repent and believe in Jesus
c. heal the sick
d. care for the poor and those in need
e. counsel those in need of God's wisdom
f. teach believers to follow Christ
g. give our resources to the work of Christ
h. train Christians to serve the Lord.
1. We believe that all Christians should be trained to "do the works of Christ."
2. We are committed to the "show and tell" model of "on the job" training, in which trainees are introduced to doing ministry functions with trainers and then are taught during and after the training experience.
3. We aim to provide training for all aspects of responsible Christian life and ministry.
1. We aim to renew, refresh, and enable existing churches by sending trained personnel out on short-term ministry trips.
2. We aim to build the Church of Jesus Christ by sending trained personnel to plant churches around the world.
THE PRACTICES WE AIM TO INSTILL
A. PRAYER SKILLS
1. Prayer of praise and adulation
2. Prayer of petition
3. Prayer of intercession
4. Prayer of tongues
5. Prayer of faith, in healing and expulsion of demons
B. MARRIAGE AND FAMILY SKILLS
4. Financial planning
5. Life management
C. GENERAL MINISTRY SKILLS
1. Communication skills - the ability to speak
a. the ability to witness - sharing your experience with others
b. the ability to counsel - sharing God's Word with others
c. the ability to teach - sharing God's Word with others
2. Community skills - the ability to relate
a. ministry to the Lord in...
3) obedient service of all kinds
5) personal Bible study
b. ministry to the Body
1) giving and receiving forgiveness
2) laying on hands
3) exercise of gifts
4) fellowship - sharing and relating to one another
5) healing the sick - spiritually, socially, emotionally, bodily, demonic
c. ministry to the world
1) care for the poor
2) care of the lost
3) care of the sick and broken-hearted
OUR LEADERSHIP PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS
A. Sincere love for and pursuit of Jesus Christ demonstrated in regular personal worship, meditation on the Word, and prayer.
B. Demonstrated fullness of the Holy Spirit, of faith and of wisdom.
C. A perception of leadership not as grasping for position, or title, or power, or authority, or respect, or privilege, but as a commitment to humble service and self-sacrifice.
D. Personal exposure, loyalty and commitment to their pastors, and to those whom they are pastoring.
E. Trustworthiness, with the ability to resist being bribed or bought.
F. Commitment to the "Barnabas-style" of open, loving communication, to solving relational problems, to processing anger constructively, to encouraging and building up and maintaining confidences strictly.
G. Willingness to be a "team player" and to help one's pastoral associates to succeed.
H. A strong, loving marriage in which both the husband and wife sense the call to minister.
I. Willingness to be judged by strict standards and to accept reproof.
K. Love for people and for Jesus, without desire to benefit personally at the expense of the sheep.
L. Commitment to equipping others for ministry through active recruiting, training, deploying, monitoring and nurturing.
M. Commitment to doing excellent work, taking responsibility seriously, being proactive, planning and executing well.
N. A committed, cheerful giver who tithes regularly to the fellowship.