I love my family. I love that the second I’m with them, I can be myself. I don’t have to impress them, or put on some kind of personality facade. They’ll love me for who I am, and I won’t have to act a certain way. I can just be me.
I’ve always loved going to Vineyard Pastors Conferences for that reason. They functioned as family reunions. I would get to hang out with other pastor’s kids, who experienced the same kind of stuff as me, and it was just a blast. The worship was always phenomenal. The speakers were really cool too. But what I loved the best about these pastors conferences was that I didn’t have to explain what a Vineyard was to anyone. We all were coming together from different parts of the country, as brothers and sisters in Christ, for one big Vineyard family reunion.
Next week, there is going to be the biggest Vineyard family reunion ever in Columbus, Ohio. I have heard that the conference is already completely booked and that there will be 60 nations represented from outside the United States.
This is going to be huge.
And though it’s not super Vineyardy to hype it up, I’m going into this conference with a lot of expectations.
We’ve experienced some break-ups in the past year, which is hard for a family. We’ve experienced some hardships. We’ve lost a lot of great folks. We’ve had a bunch of really great pastors step down. We’ve had some difficulties that we’ve gone through.
We need this week.
I, for one, am super confident in the future of the Vineyard. There are a lot of great things going on. I think that our worship, though it has always been strong, is becoming stronger. Local church communities are creating outlets for worship. There has always been a strong correlation between worship and spiritual renewals (i.e. Azusa Street, Charles Wesley, and all the way back to Acts 2). I am encouraged by the Vineyard UK’s latest album Waterfalls. I absolutely love the Servant Wide Awake album. After attending this past year’s Society of Vineyard Scholars conference, I can also say that that is another good thing that the Vineyard is doing. I love that the Vineyard is consciously trying to find the balance between academia and the local church. Trying to think theologically about some of the things that the Vineyard does is important. The Vineyard has always tried to “do the stuff” that Jesus did. And at my local Vineyard, we have been partnering with a suicide awareness program in the Williamson County area. We recently did a walk to raise awareness where more than a 100 people participated. It wasn’t much, but it was an effort by a church to be with those who mourn (Romans 12:15).
Next week the Vineyard family will come together. It will be a really good experience. I am hopeful that the Vineyard will get another breath from God and that there will be a fresh move of the Spirit. If you are attending, please use these next following days to prepare your hearts for this family reunion. God is going to do something, and if you aren’t attending, please pray for the Vineyard at large and that God would have his way this week.
Come, Holy Spirit!