I love our Vineyard value of looking for what Our Father is doing and joining him in that work. (Matthew 5:17 & 19) We believe He is actively at work in all people. Now to put this belief into practice is a good step in culturally relevant ministry.
We are all unique in our personalities and desires. Calling and desire go together. God uses our desire to call us, nudge us, or invite us in the direction that fits our unique personality. So another good step in being culturally relevant is to listen to that desire and calling and move forward towards those people we are drawn to. For my husband and I, that meant crossing oceans and living and working in and around China for close to 30 years. Now we live near Seattle and still operate from that principle.
Thirteen years ago, my wife, Samantha, and I walked into Hub City Vineyard in Hagerstown, Maryland for the first time. Within the week, we were prophesied over that we were going to be church planters and that we would become pastors. A little background for you—I was raised Presbyterian (Frozen Chosen whoop whoop), and my wife was raised Catholic, so the whole act of prophesying over someone was a foreign idea for both of us. Let alone, someone telling us we were going to plant a church. What did that even mean? To us, churches were…just there. Always had been. It was the east coast after all. Most of our buildings are older than many states, but I digress. It simply was something we did not understand, nor gave much of a thought.
Fast forward to August of 2017, and we were embarking on a 4,000-mile journey to plant a Vineyard church in Juneau, Alaska. Having sold many of our belongings, borrowing an RV and moving to a city by ourselves without knowing more than a couple of people. As William Cowper wrote, “God moves in a mysterious way”.