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.
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."
· 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.
· 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.
· 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 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.
· 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.