Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
1 Corinthians 4:2
A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly, and tends to occur subconsciously. Practice is a customary, habitual, or expected procedure—a way of doing. Both of these sensibilities have been used to describe the various rhythms of common life found in diverse expressions of Christianity over the centuries. Our experience in the Vineyard is that we are no different. There are traits that just seem to come naturally to those who are drawn into our Movement. It is a journey of discovery, more than a process of joining.
Stand with the Poor
We practice an ecclesiology where the poor in the eyes of the world, and the marginalized are welcomed into the centre of Christian community. We resist targeting, programmatic outreach, and tokenism. The key question is: "Are you willing to welcome?" not "How many food hampers did you deliver?" The posture of the "poor in spirit" allows us to welcome each voice, life perspective, and insight—no matter how vulnerable or weak—into the heart of communal discourse. We all wrestle with our idolatry, addictions, vices, and brokenness, discovering hope and freedom in Christ, so the truth is, we are all at some level, just one beggar helping another beggar find bread.
Walk with a Limp
Our desire is to practise the kind of vulnerability in community where none of us is afraid to "walk with a limp." This applies to leadership as much as to anyone else. This requires truth-telling and transparency in a way where no one feels they need to hide for fear of reprisal, rejection, or judgement.
Everyone Gets to Play
Our practice is to be intentional about creating generous spaces where everyone gets to play their part.
We practise the wide spectrum of prophetic ministry: personal, communal, and societal. We embody the message of the kingdom come. We are to be a prophetic presence in culture, speaking truth where there are lies, lament where there is pain, hope where there is despair. As we cultivate this prophetic ethos, we acknowledge that the presence, voice, and empowering of the Spirit comes like a rain, not like water from a single spout. He speaks to the church, through the church, to the world.
We practise a spirituality that is rooted in response to God's leading, not our initiation. This impacts all that we do, from missional engagement to liturgical expressions.
Come, Holy Spirit
It is our practice to invite the presence and empowering of the Holy Spirit in all our gathered spaces, ministry environments, and missional endeavours. Our go-to prayer is "come, Holy Spirit."
Prayer for Healing
Our desire is to practise consistent, persistent prayer for healing. We see healing at the core of the gospel of the Kingdom. The Triune God is Creator. The creation, both heaven and earth, are in process of being made new, aching for the return of Jesus and the liberation of all God's children—the final healing of the created order. We embrace an audacious faith, daring to believe this new creation is breaking in all around us, reconciling and redeeming all things. Therefore we see creation care and the healing of mind, soul, body, and spirit—both the miraculous and the misericordia—as central to our divine mission.
We practise expectancy in worship. We are a people of "presence", aware of both the "in us" and "with us," resident and manifest, empowering and sending, ubiquity of God. From His presence, we expect to become His presence in the world. Incarnating a new social order; challenging the powers and systems of the age; living the Sermon on the Mount; engaging in the hard justice work of the in-breaking gospel of the kingdom. Doing what we see the Father doing.
We practise a faith that is not without risk. We hold loosely to title, privilege, reputation, and resource—ready to lay it all down for the sake of obedience to Christ. This could mean everything from praying for a sick neighbour to global mission.
We practise a faith that is anchored to real life. We repudiate hype and over-spiritualized ministry. The incarnation of Jesus—His life on earth, His crucifixion and subsequent resurrection—really mean something. He is the way, all the way to the cross. His journey and vocation lead us deeper into what it means to be fully human, here, on earth. Receiving the dunamis of the resurrection and walking in Spirit-filled communion, we remain naturally supernatural.
We practise an expression of communal worship where the goal is intimate encounter and transformation, beyond mere experience. In the Vineyard, congregational singing has been integral to attaining this kind of intimacy. Those who are filled with the Spirit, sing. Those who have the Word of Christ dwelling in them richly, sing. More than stage presentation and band arrangements, we value the voices of the people. Though the song is key, it cannot achieve the entirety of the goal we desire. Visual art, the motion of dance, instrumentation, liturgy, the use of light, colour, and other gestures are necessary for giving full expression to our worship.