The Main and the Plain
The Vineyard has historically de-emphasized theological oddities, unnecessary controversy, confusing topics, and arcane or obscure texts and teachings; opting instead for a practical emphasis on the clear and obvious teaching from Jesus, and the broad narrative of Scripture as a whole: 1) This often brings a credibility to Vineyard teaching in any cultural setting, but this is uniquely important in communities where there is little value for highly intellectual and irrelevant theology. Impoverished communities need to engage with the fundamental realities of the Kingdom, the ‘meat and potatoes’ of repentance and redemption, discipleship and deliverance, faith and freedom.
“Doing What the Father is Doing”
Spirit-Led ministry is a practical emphasis in the Vineyard both in personal ministry (ie the Spirit giving me unction for personal guidance) and in community life (the Spirit giving direction to the strategic direction of Church life and ministry): 1) Life and ministry in impoverished communities is marked by instability and a dearth of economic, social, spiritual, and mental resources. Flexibility and ingenuity are essential characteristics for a thriving ministry in such a setting; particularly in entrepreneurial initiative, collaborative partnerships, and creative resourcing strategies. 2) The culture of urban poverty (as well as immigrant and refugee populations typically present in such places) tends toward relational orientation, as opposed to task orientation. The Vineyard operates with a similar ‘relaxed’ orientation. 3) This also breeds a ‘pragmatism’ that aids ministry in under-resourced communities; there is less likelihood of wasting precious resources on initiatives that aren’t bearing fruit.