What is Vineyard City Church?
About six years ago, 18 adults and their children restarted a congregation near the University of Arizona campus. From our beginning together, we became a wildly diverse group of people of all colors, ethnicity, economic and educational backgrounds.
We found, to our surprise, that we could all hang-out together because we shared an interest in getting to know Jesus better. And because we realized we were much alike in our hearts. As John Newton put it in the movie, Amazing Grace, “I only know two things: I am a very great sinner and I have a very great Savior.”
Over the last six years, we have united to pursue a simple and hard two-part vision: first, we seek to be a community of people from all backgrounds who are united only by Jesus; second, we seek to join Jesus in what He is doing today. We are not good at either one, but we are practicing! And we are trying to help each other.
We have grown steadily to 120 people on Sundays and have gotten to do a lot of extremely fun things. For instance, we recently sent our third construction team to New Orleans and our second team to minister to our three sister churches in Sri Lanka. We began to go to New Orleans after Katrina and to Sri Lanka after the tsunami. We pay about a third of the operating expenses of the Sri Lankan churches and are ridiculously blessed to be able to support our dear brothers and sisters there.
We also support a couple of TUSD schools and help approximately 60 people a year financially.
What are the characteristics of the Vineyard movement?
We are part of a 1,300 church association, about half in the U.S. and half abroad. We believe the same things Christians have always believed (see our statement of faith). We believe that while we are a small part of the global church, we do have a unique and valuable role to play. Some typical characteristics of Vineyard churches would include:
- A desire for heartfelt worship. We want to experience God! And we want to praise God for His magnificence and mercy to us. Biblical worship is wholehearted (Romans 12:1).
- We want to learn what the main topics of scripture are and practice them! We are more concerned with practicing what we understand from the Bible, than in scrutinizing what we don’t understand, although we want to learn from all of scripture.
- We believe that the central theme of the Bible has to do with the kingdom of God (see the Doing the Stuff article on this homepage).
- Jesus calls us to join Him in spreading His kingdom today. We don’t ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” but rather “What is Jesus Doing?” And we seek to cooperate with Him. We believe Jesus wants to do today what He did in the gospels.
- We are called to be a family of believers and explorers. Church is a place where people should be loved as they are. We are all “jars of clay” (II Corinthians 4:7) and all seek to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). Church can be a crucible for conflicts, but that is all part of growing in real relationships instead of playing Sunday morning “dress-up”.
- Our leaders serve to help equip us all to join Jesus in what He is doing. God has designed each of us (Psalm 139) for good works of His choosing (Ephesians 2:10) We seek to help each other grow into our unique destinies and callings (Ephesians 4:11-13).
- We choose to adapt our worship style to reach our culture. Therefore our services are contemporary and casual in style. But, we retain the timeless message of the Bible and share the beliefs of Christians all through the ages.
- We are called to love all of the church, not just our little bit. The global church is called the “bride of Christ” in scripture and we do not intend to criticize any part of Christ’s bride!
Visit Vineyardusa.org for more Vineyard Churches information