People often ask me “What makes a Vineyard church a Vineyard church?” There are a few things that come to mind. The DNA of the Vineyard is to be culturally relevant. To be known as churches that reach out to the community, showing God’s love in practical ways and we share the message of salvation and offer to pray for people. Those are the basics.
But perhaps the one thing Vineyard churches are known for is the worship. It goes beyond style or instrumentation, but it’s more the heart behind the worship. The value of spending time with God, giving Him space to do what He wants to do. We sing songs TO God more than songs about God. When we started the church in 1990, very few churches were doing the style of worship that we were doing. Now, it’s more unusual for churches to not be doing our style of worship. That wasn’t the case in the early days.
We do songs that speak to God’s nature and character (like “You Are Good,” “Good Good Father” and “Mighty Warrior”) but we also try to focus on His presence. That’s why we create space when we are not singing words, but there is instrumentation with space for prayer or reflection, when we don’t have to think about any particular words, but we can listen, rest and wait on Him. I think of songs like, “Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here” and “In Your Presence” that take us to a place in worship that doesn’t feel rushed or scripted. Our songs are often themed with love (When You Walk Into the Room), hope (For the Sake of the World) and grace (This is Amazing Grace).
I want our worship to be first-person, “Jesus We Love You.”
This weekend, I will be continuing our series, “FOCUS,” by speaking on our value of passionate worship. One of the key verses for me personally is this passage in Luke chapter 7: “Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him, and He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume.”
That perfume was worth a year’s wages. That is sacrifice. In another similar account, Judas asked Jesus why the perfume wasn’t sold and the money given to the poor. He didn’t understand worship, sacrifice or extravagance. I want to be an extravagant worshiper.
Also, if you haven’t signed up to help with one of our annual Easter Egg Hunts CLICK HERE. We are hosting Easter Egg Hunt outreaches at several locations this year. You can choose the location where you would like to serve!
Just a friendly reminder regarding our toiletries drive: If you took a bag home with you last weekend, you can bring it with you to church this weekend. We need all types of toiletries to give away in our pantry (Toothpaste, deodorant, soaps, toilet paper, etc).
I look forward to seeing you this weekend.