VALUES OF VINEYARD CHURCHES NZ
Being Disciples, Making Disciples
To build churches that grow disciples who reach the world for Jesus
3. Guiding principles
Jesus called us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:30-31). He also said to love one another has He loved us (John 13:34). Vineyard churches outwork these commands through three guiding principles, for which we use the analogy of the head (our theological centre), the heart (our relational centre) and the hands (our ministry centre).
Theological centre – kingdom theology and practice
Vineyard churches are committed to the theology and practice of the kingdom of God — which we view as the over-arching and integrating theme of the Bible. We are committed to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and to bearing witness to the “already and not yet” of the kingdom in word and deed through healing (physical, emotional and social), doing justice and seeing people released to enjoy a full relationship with God.
Relational centre – loving God and loving people
Vineyard churches welcome God’s presence, seeking in worship and prayer to hear His voice and to be obedient to His leading. As we become increasingly sensitive and responsive to the Spirit’s presence, we “see what the Father is doing” and pursue that with passion.
We also love people – inside and outside the church – with relationships characterised by respect and honour. “Being disciples, making disciples” spreads into every aspect of what we do, both with people who are part of our churches and those who are coming towards faith in Jesus.
Ministry centre – effective mission
Vineyard churches want to bring the gospel of the kingdom wherever we sense God’s leading, most often by planting culturally-relevant churches in a wide variety of settings. We are called to compassion and healing, leaning towards the lost, the poor, the outcast and the stranger as though we serve Jesus Himself.
4. Genetic code
Ten common factors that are high priorities in Vineyard churches:
- Clear, accurate, inspiring biblical teaching where we hear and obey God’s word to us.
- Contemporary worship in the freedom of the Holy Spirit, worshipping God with our whole being with Jesus at the centre as our Lord.
- Sensing the presence and power of God and using the gifts of the Holy Spirit, both in church and anywhere else we go.
- Physical healing with emphasis on signs and wonders as seen in the Gospels and the book of Acts.
- An active small group ministry with an emphasis on discipling believers.
- Holistic care for the broken, poor and needy, such as the homeless, the disadvantaged and single parents and their children.
- Commitment to church planting in New Zealand and missions throughout the world.
- Unity with the whole body of Christ and authentic, intimate, enabling relationships within our own churches.
- Preaching and living the Gospel of the Kingdom, always looking to what the Father is doing in bringing people to reconciliation with Him and participation in the community of faith.
- Training and releasing people into committed discipleship, ministry to others, serving, giving, responsible use of finances and healthy relationships.
5. Vineyard values
A church’s values are often unseen, but they are powerful drivers of how we relate to people – and to God. In Vineyard churches we value:
- The pursuit of God - We are hungry to know God’s presence, hear His voice and pursue Him (Psalm 63:1-3).
- Christlikeness - We desire that through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ love, mercy, grace, truth, purity, power and integrity will shine through all that we are and do (Ephesians 5:2).
- The mercy of God - Mercy is fundamental to all God does in salvation. We, therefore, aim to extend mercy to one another and to all to whom we minister (Colossians 3:12,13)
- Prayer - Prayer is a primary means of our communication and relationship with God (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Philippians 4:6).
- Integrity - It is important for us to speak the truth, deal honestly and live uprightly (Ephesians 4:15).
- Servant leadership - We aim to exercise leadership with humility, selflessness, grace, care for the people and a sincere desire to build up the Body of Christ (Mark 10:37,44-45).
- The individual - Single or married, we want to enable and support mature relationships and family growth (Romans 12:9-10).
- Relationships - We are honoured by every person God adds to the Vineyard. We aim to maintain mutual respect, open communication, determined co-operation and believe and speak the best about each other (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
- Unity - 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 relationship with all parts of the Church (John 17:21-23).
- Reality - We aim to walk in the Spirit and see supernatural works of God, while also valuing the intellect and our physical humanity (James 1:5).
- Simplicity - We wish to do nothing for “religious effect” but to act in natural, non-hyped ways. We desire to do the ministry of Christ with joy (Philippians 4:4).
- Cultural relevance - We aim to speak and act in ways in which our culture can respond positively. For example, we value worship music in a style that is relevant to our time and society, and the people our churches are reaching (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
- Fruit and gifts - We value living and expressing the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. We value character above giftedness.
- Liberty - We want to create freedom to follow Jesus rather than conforming to arbitrary standards. We embrace grace, not legalism.
- Sovereignty of Holy Spirit - We want to maintain flexible structures, traditions and practices to allow the Holy Spirit to move sovereignly.