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Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

Micael Grenholm, a Swedish charismactivist, apologist and author.

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Christy Wimber: Taking the Vineyard back to its roots

When John Wimber died in 1997, he left behind a movement with hundreds of churches (in fact, they’re over 1500 now) that strived for the radical middle between evangelical faithfulness and charismatic power. The Vineyard movement was here to stay. Unfortunately, parts of the movement has walked away from the charismatic theology that John introduced. But Christy Wimber, John’s daughter in law, fight the good fight to keep the Holy Spirit in the centre of the Vineyard. This is an excerpt of an awesome text she has written.

Christy Wimber

Christy Wimber

I have been in service after service throughout the world these past few years where miracles are taking place and the response of the people is one of surprise, not expectation. In fact, I heard a Vineyard pastor say not that long ago that he didn’t really know John, and his model and influence comes from a different Movement. He in fact said he doesn’t particularly like the whole signs and wonders part. And I know this Movement that’s influencing him doesn’t move in the gifts.

That’s fine to me, except it left me wondering as to why he is a pastor and leader in the Vineyard Movement? What is happening now in the Vineyard that he signed up for and bought into?

Isn’t the defining reason as to why the Vineyard was asked to leave another church Movement [in fact a few] was due to the Holy Spirit moving? If we stayed ‘seeker sensitive’ there would have been no reason for the Vineyard to be birthed.

I’m not against seeker sensitive models; I just don’t get where it fits in the Vineyard. That model is so opposite of how we began. We’re pioneers doing Kingdom stuff. And Kingdom ministry is messy. And in the long run I wonder if we aren’t calling people to die to themselves, but rather to a convenient Christianity? Are we actually doing a disservice because we aren’t showing people the high cost of following Jesus? I’m afraid we may not be equipping people to learn what it means to sacrifice. Jesus wasn’t a car salesman; He told people upfront they would lose their family and friends and people will hate them. What’s comfortable about that?

Remember, were called to make disciples, not Christians. It’s a death sentence.