Twenty years ago, John Wimber, founding pastor of the Vineyard Church Movement, drew up ten aspects of a healthy Vineyard Church. He called these ten character traits the “Vineyard Genetic Code.”
We know that genetics determines much of what makes us what we are as living beings. We get our hair color, skin color, size, shape, facial features and thousands of other characteristics from our genetic make-up. Every human being, in fact, every living creature, has character traits that make him or her unique but the same. As humans, we are all uniquely different but all share common features and qualities.
As John Wimber studied the scripture, he concluded that the following should be essential to New Testament church life. Even though every Vineyard Church would be different in many ways, these ten would be found in each and every Vineyard Church.
- Clear, accurate Bible teaching.
- Worship in the freedom of the Holy Spirit.
- The gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation.
- Active Small Group ministry.
- Ministry to the poor, widows, orphans and the broken.
- Ministry of healing with the expectation of signs and wonders.
- Commitment to missions and Church Planting.
- Unity with the whole body of Christ.
- Evangelistic outreach.
- Equipping of the saints in areas of discipleship, ministry, serving, giving, family, etc.
These ten make up what has been called the Vineyard Genetic Code. They are not rules to keep. They are values to live. And in every way, I embrace these aspects of New Testament Church genetics.
Now granted, there are some traits that we as the Heartland Vineyard Church are stronger and some much weaker. But I believe each one of these character traits is visible and operative in the Heartland Vineyard Church. As your pastor, I want us together to grow in these areas that define New Testament Christianity.
This Sunday, we are going to ask you to get connected to a Community Life Group if you aren’t already. This commitment will not be a lifetime commitment but an 8 – 10 week commitment. And as you attend a Community Life Group, you will be encouraged to grow in a number of these character traits. Not only that, you will make a number of new friendships that will be a blessing to you and those you befriend.
Let’s seek to live out the full blessing of a New Testament Church.