The Business End of the Hammer:
The Implicit Orientation of the Vineyard toward Ministry on the Margins
for the Society of Vineyard Scholars 2014
Being the Church in the Time Between the Times:
Suffering and Kingdom Expectation
Disciples of the Kingdom labor at the margins of society. The call of the Kingdom is a call to enter into the plight of those who suffer; to experience their suffering, to offer them our hope, and to bring the resources of the Kingdom to bear upon their lives. Like salt, light, and leaven, by our very presence, we carry the tools of the Kingdom into the tumble-down places of our world. A paradigm formed by the Kingdom of God leads to a simple, yet profound, pastoral response to suffering; we embrace it.
This has serious implications for the future of the Vineyard Movement; which would be to simply mirror it’s origins. At it’s inception, the Vineyard fed the hungry, prayed for the sick, and welcomed the spiritually homeless into it’s communities. From it’s birth among Southern California’s counter-culture, and it’s theological center as a Kingdom Movement, to it’s strong emphasis on practical demonstration, the Vineyard is uniquely equipped by God for ministry at the edge. How then, should Vineyard people respond to suffering?
We must be attracted to it.