Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
We have shifted the posts for this site over to the FB page as this seems to be a good place for the most people to hear about what we are doing:
You can also become a follower of our Main Page on Facebook here:
The ultimate goal is to get our website up and running and have that replace our blog entirely.
I will post some of the items from the Facebook page over to this blog, but not every time.
Thanks for all the prayers and support you guys and gals have been giving to this point! God is moving and it is exciting to see where he will go in the future with this church!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
The Vine will most certainly be an important piece to our passion to proclaim the Gospel and see disciples commit to Jesus.
I will say this right now, however. We are not interested in just starting another "church". A Sunday event where people show up, punch their spiritual time card and leave for their weeks. A place with every conceivable program driven to satisfy all the consumers and the potential "felt needs" they might have. There are plenty of these kinds of churches in Spokane, and they are fulfilling what God is calling them to do. I am not knocking them, just saying that we are not interested in that model of "church".
Most of our ministry will take place in The Branches. Here is our passion for what this vital aspect of our ministry is:
So lets unpack this idea a bit.
Again, first and foremost, it is the great love that Jesus has for us that compels us to love others for His sake and His glory. Without loving people, we are not ministering or communicating the transforming message of the Gospel.
What we envision with the Branches are community specific, community driven ministries. "Community" can be a misunderstood term in Christian circles. At The Vine and the Branches, we view community from 2 angles: the place where you physically live and the place(s) where you live out your life. With this definition in mind, a Branch grows from the Vine into the area you live, bringing the life-giving Gospel of Jesus to everyone who shares in that community with us.
The main "Branch" will grow into the communities where our people live. From there, offshoots will grow into other communities (where we live out our life); each one tied into the Branch for nourishment, which in turn is connected to the Vine.
The forms that these Branches take on will vary from community to community. There is no "one size fits all" approach to this. That is because as ministers of Jesus, He has uniquely gifted us to serve the people around us and to share with them the Gospel.
Here is what we mean:
A branch grows from the Vine into the Manito area (a community in Spokane). God's people in Manito unite together to minister to this unique community. This could take on many forms based on the passions/gifting of the people there, balanced with the needs of the community around them. Those are the offshoots. They are still connected to the Manito branch, which is still connected to the Vine; but the ministry is focused on where they live, and the areas they live out their lives.
The really cool thing about this is that because we are all connected to the same Vine, each Branch is very much tied into each other, modeling what believe the Body of Christ should be doing.
I will flesh this out more in another post for sure, but hopefully this gives you all some more understanding of what we are trying to do.
God is Good!!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Vine will function as the place where we will gather together for corporate worship. Here is our Mission Statement for the Vine:
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Mission statements all seem to sound kind of the same. Because in reality, we are all shooting for the same target. Well, usually.
We thought and prayed about how we can summarize what we feel God is leading us to do in one sentence. We wanted to incorporate both our passion for how awesome Jesus is and our dependence on Him with the Vine and Branches terminology. After many re-writes, here is our mission statement:
Fully dependent upon Jesus, the Vine and the Branches exists to proclaim His Gospel, making disciples that will go out and bless the city of Spokane for His glory
Let me break this down briefly.
As stated in the last post, we are all about Jesus and His Gospel. Everything we do is to give Him glory and focus people to the one hope for all humanity. He is the reason we have hope for eternity and joy for living. Therefore, we are fully dependent on Jesus and exist to proclaim His Gospel.
Our mission, our mandate, our job, is to make disciples. Jesus told us as much in His Commission. We believe that the Scriptures teach this is a lifelong process, not one that starts after a certain level of maturity is reached.
If you think about it, for most people who come to know King Jesus, the process of discipleship starts before "conversion". They are friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who see our transformed lives and something stirs in their hearts to know more. What is so great about this is that we get the opportunity to introduce them to Savior of the world. The true hope for humanity. God's Spirit grips them and the Rebels throw down their weapons and fall down at God's matchless Grace given to us through Jesus.
But discipleship does not end there. We are called as a people to shepherd each other in the new life we have been given. Some need to learn the basics of our faith, as newborns need milk. Some disciples are ready for solid food and growth from just milk. Some are mature and need to step out in faith to disciple others. This is a lifelong process, happening all around us. Our goal is to make disciples.
We also have a strong desire to bless Spokane. A great city, coming into its own identity. But like any city, there is more work to go around than bodies to do it. We are a part of the city, we receive good things from the city, we participate with the city as it grows and changes. As good citizens of an eternal Kingdom, we have the opportunity to bless our city and our neighbors by engaging with them to make Spokane a more beautiful place.
Ultimately, it all goes back to Jesus though. It is for His glory that we do all of this. Not ours. It is His story, not ours. It is His mission, not ours. Everything we do should be a spotlight pointing people to Jesus.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
What is the Vine and the Branches all about?
First and foremost, we are all about Jesus and His Gospel. We truly believe that Jesus is the only hope for the entire creation. We believe that through His work on the cross (his life, death and resurrection), He is in the process of restoring all things back to the perfection we had before sin entered into the world.
He is reconciling broken rebels back to their Father, restoring us to relationship with the Creator of the Universe.
He is creating a new humanity, tearing down the man-made dividing walls our cultures have created and making a new people whose lives are identified in Christ and His Kingdom.
Ultimately, He will also restore the creation back to the balanced perfection it had before sin subjected it to futility.
The Gospel contains all this in glorious depth. It is His power for salvation to all who believe. Everything we do: every sermon we preach, song we sing, program we form, outreach we attempt, and gathering we have, are to proclaim the Gospel in a relevant way to the people God has placed in our lives.
Therefore, The Vine and the Branches is first and foremost all about Jesus.
We draw our name from Jesus Himself in John 15:1-11. Jesus is our source of life. If we attempt to live as a church apart from Jesus, we will bear no eternal fruit, and eventually wither and die. If we stay rooted in the Vine:
we will be secure when trials and hardships come,
we can ask God for miraculous transformation in Spokane and He will answer,
we will glorify God.
There really is not much secret to having a lot of people show up on a Sunday morning and grow a "Church". Get the most dynamic speaker possible who tells people how great they are, have a rocking band, and set up every conceivable program to appeal to the consumers. Use established business models to accommodate the budgets and growth and Bob's your uncle. Mega-church.
Not interested in that.
The next posts will describe how we are taking this Vine and Branches thought and applying it to church ministry.