What We Believe
The Vineyard Community of Churches affirm the historic creeds of orthodox Christianity. In addition, we share the Statement of Faith you see below. We are an association of Christian churches that is attempting to combine the best of historic Christian traditions, including an evangelical understanding of the power and purpose of the Bible, a charismatic belief in God’s active presence in the world, a high church view of the shaping power of liturgy and contemplative prayer, and a passion to see the world restored by the breaking in of the kingdom – a passion exemplified by the social-action focused branches of the Christian church.
All churches (like all families) have unique traditions, interests, histories and idiosyncracies. For a good look at what makes the Vineyard ‘tick,’ check out the video introduction below.
Video introduction to the Vineyard
Five Values of the Vineyard
Theology and Practice of the Kingdom of God
The central focus of Jesus’ teaching was the Kingdom of God. Rooted in the vision of the Hebrew prophets and inaugurated in Jesus’ life & ministry, the Kingdom is the suprise inbreaking of God’s future promises in this present world. It is heaven come to earth. Jesus taught his followers to pray, “let your Kingdom come, let your will be down on earth as in Heaven” and so we would describe Vineyard as a ‘down-to-earth’ church. God has given us the task of proclaiming the Good News of His kingdom as well tangibly bringing ‘heaven down to earth’ by doing the work Jesus did: healing the sick, caring for the poor, working to improve life for all, forgiving sin, bringing reconciliation to enemies, freeing people oppressed by evil systems and structures and bringing peace and hope to a hurting planet.
We believe that God is searching for lost humanity in order to draw us into intimate life-changing relationship with Himself. The primary place where this relationship is nurtured and developed is in the act of Christian worship – both private and public. Just as Jesus taught, we believe that life with Him will be marked by tangible experiences of his presence: sensing Him speaking to us personally, empowering us with supernatural gifts, and experiencing inside-out transformation through the working of the Holy Spirit.
The Christian church is meant to exist for those who are far from God. Each local Vineyard church is aimed at reaching people that are not presently being reached by other churches. We plant churches in a wide variety of settings domestically and internationally, and all look and feel a bit different as they seek to ‘speak the language’ of a particular culture. To this end, we celebrate creative, entrepreneurial and innovative approaches to ministry that remain faithful to Jesus teaching and expressive of his heart.
Jesus came to reconcile humanity to God and to bring restoration to all creation. The great miracle of the gospel is that natural-born enemies become brothers and sisters as there hearts are transformed by Jesus. As the kingdom comes, God’s will being done; the natural human hostility brought on by differences of gender, race, culture, class, nationality or politics is completely eradicated. To that end, we aim toward being a church that ‘looks like heaven’ by inviting people of diverse backgrounds to come together and experience healed relationships now.
Just as Jesus did, we welcome the lost, the poor, the outcast and the outsider with mercy and grace. We find creative and tangible ways to bring concrete help, hope and healing to people that are left out in society. We resist passing judgment, knowing that all we have – the family support, the hands with which to work, the abilities and resources – all are a gift from God and all of us are desperately in need of mercy. Check out more on our Seeds of Hope Compassion program.
Feature articles and videos on each of these topics available at vineyardusa.org
Vineyard Statement of Faith
- 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 Lining and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory. (Deuteronomy 33:27; Romans 1:20; Psalm 95:3)
- 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 mankind. God created all things very good. (Psalm 45:6; Psalm 145:13; Daniel 4:3)
- We believe that Satan, formerly 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. (Revelation 12:7-9; II Corinthians 11:14; Colossians 1:13-14)
- We believe that God created mankind in His image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth. Under 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. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9)
- 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. (Psalm 24:1; Psalm 96:10; Hebrews 1:3)
- 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 fulfill 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. (Exodus 15:3-18; Exodus 19:3-6; Romans 8:3-4)
- 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. (I Samuel 8:6-8; I Samuel 8:21-22; Isaiah 9:6-7)
- We believe that in the fullness of time, God honored 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 man 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. (Mark 1:15; Galatians 4:5; Romans 1:2-4)
- 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 Christ. (Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-4; I Corinthians 12:13)
- 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 the biblical gifts of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve in the Church. (Romans 8:9-10; John 16:7; John 14:26)
- We believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of the 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. (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; I Corinthians 2:12-13)
- 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 Savior. By this they are released from Satan’s domain and enter into God’s kingdom reign. (Luke 4:5-7; I John 5:19; I Corinthians 15:22)
- We believe in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior 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. (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 4:3-6; I Corinthians 3:16-17)
- We believe that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Both are available to all believers. (Matthew 28:19-20; I Corinthians 11:23:26)
- 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 conscious punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all in His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the the heavens and the new earth, created by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped. (Daniel 7:13-14; Matthew 4:23; Revelation 21:27)
For additional insights into our beliefs, check out a variety of feature articles and videos on vineyardusa.org.
Or pick up a copy of Empowered Evangelicals by Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson.