“Everybody Gets to Play”
The Vineyard Movement has taken the ‘Priesthood of All Believers’ to a new level of practical emphasis as we equip church members for ministry outside of the four walls of the church (“the meat is on the street”); and as we give away leadership and authority to those within our churches: 1) The central spiritual realities of poverty are impotence, the attendant shame and despair, the disintegration of the family, and the subsequent coping mechanisms of violence and addiction. The impartation of power, authority, and honor is at the heart of what is needed to heal impoverished communities. 2) Letting broken people engage in ministry is a recipe for disaster, but it is the kind of disaster that Jesus created when he recruited His disciples.17 This Vineyard practice gives us the theoretical orientation, practical framework, and shared experience, to effectively navigate the chaotic process of empowering individuals in impoverished communities.
The tangible experience of the Presence of God as we gather to worship Him is a hallmark of Vineyard praxis: 1) Among economically and socially stable communities the passion generated by experiencing God in such a tangible way can often be harnessed towards directing people into ministry to the broken individuals on the outskirts of their lives; “let worship be the fuel for mission’s flame.”18 In under-resourced communities the situation is reversed; the tangible Presence of God is the indispensable source of sustenance and hope for those overwhelmed by a desperate culture, and the brokenness that cannot be avoided. 2) Urban culture places a high value on music with strong emotional content. While there might need to be some translation from typical Vineyard worship forms into a more culturally appropriate form for the urban setting, the underlying Vineyard values in worship provide a strong platform for cultural relevance.