Family Reunion – Vineyard USA National Conference
About a dozen of our Vineyard Pastors are back from the National Vineyard Conference in Anaheim, CA. In all, the conference hosted over 1,500 adult leaders and about 800 children and youth from all over the USA. It was exciting to see the 600 Vineyard USA churches come together for a common focus, encouragement, and wonderful fellowship.
The theme of the conference was “Together Leaning Outward”. In other words, it was working as one big family to achieve the mission on which God has sent us. A sense of enthusiasm, high morale, and momentum were all realized among the participants.
Our Major Themes
The Vineyard is known for a number of major initiatives both here in the USA and around the world. Let me mention a few that were on display during the week.
The Holy Spirit: Everything in Christianity revolves around the “who and what of the Holy Spirit”. Ministry times were the best in many years at the national conference. People were empowered, healed, and set free in many ways.
Worship: A brand new album is being released by Vineyard Worship (This includes one song by our own Daniel Goulet). These songs were emphasized during our worship sets. However, whether new songs or the old ones, there was robust worship at every session.
Children & Youth: Ever since Phil Strout has become our National Director, children and youth have quickly moved to the forefront of our attention. Under the leadership of Rick & Becky Olmstead, we are seeing a resurgence of resources aimed at this generation. The results are impressive.
Diversity: In the last 10 years, we’ve made giant strides in becoming a more diverse movement. We had two powerful messages on the topic of diversity. Geno Olison, who planted the South Suburban Vineyard from our church in 2009 (?) delivered a powerful prophetic word that challenged us to be intentional in our approach to diversity and Rachel Connor, the Executive Pastor from the Sugarland Vineyard in Houston, also had a powerful message on the experience of African-American women in the church. Most Many of our larger churches are now reflecting the diversity of their communities in the areas of age, gender, and race which includes African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Caucasians.
Leadership Training: This is another major initiative of the Vineyard. We want to develop the leaders for the next generation. Leader are being trained for church planting and multiplication, worship, spiritual development, and much more.
Education: Any growing movement needs to be educated. Through the wonderful resource of Vineyard Institute, the School of Kingdom Ministry, Project Timothy, HLI and others, the Vineyard participants are being trained. The resources are available for every age and focus.
The Vineyard’s Future
Originally God gave the Vineyard the assignment of taking worship and ministry to the entire Body of Christ. As we have done that, we have slowly added additional aspects. Today, we are very blessed to be in a Vineyard that has a very wide array of resources and endeavours. I would say the future is bright as long as we stay the course led as by the Spirit.
It’s good to be part of a movement of 600 churches in the USA and another 2,000 around the world. Our influence is growing across the globe. I’m proud to be part of a movement that welcomes the Holy Spirit lead and take us to a deeper partnership with God.