History of the Vineyard
The Vineyard Movement
In late 1976, a small group of believers began to meet together in a home to seek the Lord. None of them realized their true state of spiritual ill health. They knew they were weak and tired, but had no idea how weak. Some of those who gathered had been trying for years to serve the Lord. Others were excited in their new faith, but not really going anywhere. God in his mercy opened their eyes so they could see who they really were. It was a painful experience for them to realize how spiritually desperate they had become. When they gathered, their only goal was to seek the Lord. As they worshipped, they sensed the presence of the Lord and felt a renewal of spiritual strength. This small group grew from 12 people to 50 people in a few weeks. People were coming back to the Lord who had been wandering spiritually for years and eventually over 125 people were meeting in a home group. On Mother’s Day, May 8, 1977, 150 people gathered in a gymnasium for the first time as the "Calvary Chapel of Yorba Linda. The late John Wimber began to teach on the subject of “Giving the Church Back to God” and asked pointed questions, like “When does God get what he wants out of the church?”
John challenged this new church to apply the Scriptures to their lives as both hearers and doers of the word. He constantly taught on the Kingdom of God and how Jesus not only taught about the Kingdom of God , but also demonstrated the workings of the Kingdom of God . Five years later, on Mother’s Day 1982, a young “Jesus People” evangelist by the name of Lonnie Frisbee came to speak on a Sunday evening and at the end of his talk he said, “For years now the Holy Spirit has been grieved by the church, but He’s getting over it. Come Holy Spirit.” And He came. What happened in the ensuing months was a major outpouring of the Holy Spirit on that congregation of 700.
From that outpouring, the Vineyard churches were started. The Association of Vineyard Churches became a movement of over 1200 churches in several countries. AVC is a community of fellowships who have like-minded values and vision. Each fellowship is autonomous in its government, policy, structure, finances, church discipline and style of ministry, yet are banded together for mutual encouragement, support and partnering together to advance the Kingdom of God. Through many localized expressions, Vineyard churches aim to:
- Worship God and stand on the ancient truth of Scripture, the guide for life and service;
- Grow as a people of both the Word and Spirit, imbued with power for the purpose of making and nurturing mature disciples of Jesus Christ;
- Create reproducible communities of worship, discipleship, evangelism and service;
- Serve the Father in the power of the Spirit, following Jesus’ example of proclaiming and manifesting the kingdom of God
Today, the Association of Vineyard Churches consists of over 600 congregations in the United States and over 50 new churches being planted every year. There are also Association of Vineyard Churches in England, South Africa, South America, Australia & New Zealand. For more information about the Vineyard check out their website at http://vineyardusa.org.
Many people may not know of the Association of Vineyard Churches but are very familiar with the abundance of worship music that was birthed in the Vineyard movement. At the onset of the 1970s, young generation churches such as Calvary Chapel, Hope Chapel & Vineyard Christian Fellowship captured the new music of the “Jesus Movement.” John Wimber, a former recording artist with the Righteous Brothers, knew the value of planting churches that could relate musically to the generation of young people who were essentially “unchurched.” Therefore, a music publication company (VMG) was established to chronicle the worship songs of the Vineyard. Vineyard Music Group now hosts an on-line training and equipping website located at www.VMG.com.
Several Vineyard songs have been written and incorporated into the worship repertoire of many denominational and non-denominational churches. Here’s a partial list of some of the better-known songs of the Vineyard:
- Sweetly Broken
- Come Now is the Time to Worship by Andy Park
- In the Secret by Andy Park
- Breathe by Marie Barnett
- Spirit Song by John Wimber
- More Love, More Power by Jude Del Hierro
- Change My Heart, Oh God by Eddie Espinoza
- You Alone Are Worthy of My Praise by David Ruiz
- Every Move I Make, by David Ruiz
- Light the Fire Again by Brian Doerksen
- Hungry By Kathryn Scott
|John Barnett's Article on Worship & the Church||