Our beliefs are consistent with what most Christians have believed since the time of Jesus. To those familiar with contemporary Christian lingo, we say that Vineyard churches have made a conscious effort to blend evangelical theology with charismatic experience.

While we are far from perfect, we try to learn how to practically live out our beliefs in our everyday lives by following the example of Jesus, His words and actions, as best as we can.

Therefore we teach people to be open to the leading of God’s Spirit and to pray effectively for God’s Kingdom, His rule and His reign, to break into situations on earth.

Matthew 4:23 says, “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”

Later, he trained His disciples to do exactly the same things (Mt. 10:7-8), and after His resurrection He commanded them to make disciples everywhere by teaching everything that they themselves had been taught (Mt. 28:18-20).

So we try to do this, too.

For a formal description of our beliefs, please read our Statement of Beliefs.

Many people come regularly to our church and are valued parts of our community without a clear understanding or belief in every part of this statement (in fact we have tried very hard to create a place where people who are not even sure if they are Christians at all will feel comfortable and have a true sense of belonging), but our pastors and other leaders are in substantial agreement with its essence.

We believe that theology is very important, but we also think that God places a high emphasis on the quality of our hearts. This is in line with Micah 6:8--"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

Some of our values that guide what we do include:

· A deep appreciation of intimate worship. Worshipping God is something we choose to do in response to God’s revealed character. Worship is really for God and not for us, but the great mystery is how blessed we are when we do it. As we connect with God and express our love for Him, we experience His love for us. Most important is the condition of our hearts. Style or skill doesn’t matter much as long as it is an honest offering of ourselves to God.

· A caring, non-judgmental atmosphere where people are made to feel accepted as they really are.

· The creation of a place where people can learn how to grow spiritually in a safe and healthy way.

· The encouragement of practical and generous acts of love for people both inside and outside of the church community, with special care for those less fortunate than ourselves.

· Finding a balanced approach between Spirit and Word; that is, welcoming the presence of God into services and meetings and everyday life through worship and prayer, allowing space for the Holy Spirit to minister to the whole person (physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual); as well as teaching people how to live the message of the Bible in practical ways and building healthy church structures that will last and be able to serve people for years to come.

· A sense that loving God and learning to love people ought to be extremely rich and lots of fun. Celebration should be an important part of living the adventure of life with a loving God.

· An appreciation of youth (dress is informal, and most of our music is contemporary in style) and the creation of a place where children will feel happy and at home most of the time, even during services.

· A place for those who are broken and wounded to find love and healing; and for everyone to learn how to become more like Jesus and get better at hearing God's voice.

· A place where everyone is encouraged to find a meaningful role in the life of our community, where character is valued more highly than gifting.

· Taking an active role in spreading the good news of God's Kingdom around the world, both in words and in loving deeds.

· A desire to be genuine in all that we say and do, appearing to be what we are and being what we appear. Honest relationships are a safeguard from a phony church culture and from hypocrisy. We’re trying to become a little bit more like Jesus, trying to improve ourselves because we’re grateful for what He has done for us, not because we think it makes Him love us more. We value people and relationships over programs. Programs are created to serve the people. People don’t exist to serve the programs.

· An attempt to keep our message and practices as simple as possible (simple does not mean unintelligent). By keeping our focus on following Jesus, and telling His story we (and those who watch us), will be spared distraction over non-essentials. We value the Bible basics and aren’t keen on getting caught up in controversies.

· A desire to honour the whole Body of Christ, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox, and to gladly work together with other churches and other kinds of Christians, even though we do many things differently.

· A sense that even though we have chosen to do things in a way that makes sense to us as members of contemporary or postmodern culture, that we can always learn from and should always honour older Christian approaches.






 
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