History & Core Values
History of Vineyard Movement
The History of the Vineyard Movement
In 1974, after leaving Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, the Lord led Kenn and Joanie Gulliksen to Los Angeles to begin a ministry that had been on their hearts for several years. Starting as a small Bible study group in the home of Chuck Girard (from the musical group “Love Song”), the fellowship quickly grew, necessitating the beginning of other home studies; and the beginning of a Sunday service in Beverly Hills. God prophetically gave the name “Vineyard” to these gathered people. Musicians, actors, business people, students; people simply hungry to know and experience God; came together in small groups and large meetings as literally thousands received Jesus Christ. The church met in a gym or on the beach or in homes, especially, for those not “at home” in other churches. One third of the church was made up of Jewish believers, most of whom received the Lord at the Vineyard.
God worked through many mistakes and failures, as well as successes, as people were willing to take risks to become like Jesus, and to communicate the good news. Several couples went out and began other Vineyards in California, quickly growing churches with priorities of worship, relationship, healing and giving.
In the spring of 1982, John Wimber and several other pastors led their churches into relationship/identification with the Vineyard, as their vision coincided with and complemented that of the original Vineyard. It was obvious God had called John to pastor the pastors, to train and encourage and to plant churches internationally-providing comfort from comfort received. As a result, the people called the Vineyard have extensive and fruitful relationships with American denominations, the Church of England, churches in Europe and Africa, World Vision, seminaries like Fuller, and underground churches in Europe, Asia, and China.
The Vineyard Church at the Farm
Vineyard Church at the Farm is an independent church, but part of “Vineyard USA”. It is a church recognized by the state of Maryland & the federal government as a non-profit corporation. Each Vineyard is autonomous and independently incorporated, but joined by shared values, priorities, goals, style, and love to all other Vineyards. Our similar doctrine and philosophy, as well as our personal relational ties are what join the various Vineyard churches together. We also love and see ourselves joined by the Spirit to all other churches that profess Jesus Christ as Lord.
Vineyard USA is a church planting and missions arm that is associated with the 1,600 Vineyard Churches worldwide. It too is a separately incorporated non-profit organization based in Houston, Texas for the sake of mutual submission, training, and fellowship. The Vineyard Church at the Farm is part of and in submission to Vineyard USA of which Phil Strout is the National Director.
Vineyard Core Values
What are the five core values of the Vineyard?
- The Theology and Practice of the Kingdom of God
- Experiencing God
- Reconciling Community
- Compassionate Ministry
- Culturally Relevant Mission
Throughout its history, the Vineyard movement has fostered a conversation about the kingdom of God. This conversation is ongoing, and so it is important both to remind those in the movement of what these concepts involve and to introduce those new to the Vineyard to these distinctive emphases.
Kingdom Theology & Practice
The Vineyard is committed to the theology and practice of the kingdom of God—rooted in the vision of the Hebrew prophets and fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. The movement is distinctively rooted in a renewed understanding of the centrality of the kingdom in biblical thought. We view the kingdom of God as the overarching and integrating theme of the Bible.
From the beginning, the Vineyard has been committed to proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God and to bearing witness to the “already and not yet” of the kingdom in our words and deeds—through healing (physical, emotional, and social), doing justice, and delivering those held captive by evil. Since the kingdom of God is the future reign of God breaking into the present through the life and ministry of Jesus, we are a forward-leaning movement that emphasizes the ever-reforming nature of the church and engages the world in love.
Culturally Relevant Mission
The church exists for the sake of those who are exiled from God. We are called to bring the gospel of the kingdom to every nook and cranny of creation, faithfully translating the message of Jesus in language and forms that are relevant to diverse peoples and cultures.
The Vineyard seeks to plant churches that are culturally relevant in a wide variety of settings, both locally and internationally. Each Vineyard church is encouraged to reach those in its community not already reached by existing churches. To this end, we promote a creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far away from God.