Over the years we’ve tried to categorize the things that make the Vineyard really distinct, really Vineyard. We call these our distinctives. They’re the things that might stand out to you if you were visiting a Vineyard church for the first time.
As the Vineyard movement has continued to grow and develop, we’ve generated different lists at different times of what these distinctives are, and what they look like. Vineyard phrases like “everyone gets to play,” “the already and the not yet,” and “Come, Holy Spirit,” usually get included. What we’re really doing, though, is attempting to describe our family. You’ve probably noticed that we do tend to talk about our distinctives a lot, and that isn’t because we’re elitist or think our way is the only right way. We just love who Jesus has called us to be.
Recently, we’ve been approaching the distinctives from two angles. First, as my best friend Jack and I have been travelling around the country, Jack’s had the video camera handy. Not, as you might think, so we can shoot a buddy film, but so that we can record a really good cross-section of people talking about what makes the Vineyard the Vineyard. We’ve captured some great material, and it’s available for you here on the Multiply Vineyard Vimeo channel.
The second way we’re covering the distinctives right now is in a series of booklets from Vineyard Resources. These things have a really fantastic list of contributing authors, including Phil and Janet Strout, John and Eleanor Mumford, Rich Nathan, Derek Morphew, and my lovely wife Brenda Gatlin, just to name a few. They would be great resources to have on hand, since they explain the background for each distinctive really well, and they include some really great teaching material for sermons and classes on this stuff. You can read samples from each of the booklets, and you can order them individually or in sets for yourself or your church on the Vineyard Resources website.
Whether you’ve been in the Vineyard for a long time and want a cool refresher, or if you’re approaching the Vineyard and you’re interested in being a church planter or Vineyard pastor, these are some great ways to find out who we are and what we’re about.