In just a matter of days we will be in Columbus, Ohio for what will be a gathering unlike any other. We will be participating in the 2015 National Conference that, this year, will bring Vineyard church leaders from all over the world to the heart of the Midwest. For some I suspect it will be a homecoming of sorts. For others, it will be their first time visiting the U.S. or perhaps the first time out of their home country. But as I contemplate what it means to assemble our international Vineyard family in one location for four days, the word that keeps coming to mind is opportunity.
- An opportunity to learn about what God is doing across the Vineyard movement and across the nations
- An opportunity to hear the triumphs and recognize the challenges that exist for our brothers and sisters around the globe
- An opportunity to engage and act in ways I perhaps haven’t previously considered
- An opportunity to forge new and long-lasting relationships
- An opportunity to pray for my sister and encourage my brother
- An opportunity to break bread and be in community in a way that doesn’t come along often
- An opportunity, for all of us, to wait patiently on the Lord and see what He has in store
And for me, personally, it’s an opportunity to connect with many of the people whom I’ve come to know through my work with Vineyard Missions.
Of course, it is also an opportunity for us to share the important cross-cultural work of Vineyard Missions that makes the idea of a global family a reality. This is perhaps the perfect opportunity for us, and especially our director, Mark Fields, to share the important work that is being done by local churches here in the U.S. to raise up our brothers and sisters who are establishing and seeking to multiply their Vineyard church in their home country.
Knowing that I will have an opportunity to see some of our local church leaders meet their international partners, some for the first time, will be a tremendous gift.
Through my Vineyard Missions lens, this is what the conference is all about: relationship, engagement, connecting, learning and building deeper relationships. For those who have not yet made a relational investment in missions, my hope and prayer is that they see missions in a new light – one in which everybody and every church gets to participate.
I hope hearts are stirred and the conscience is reawakened to the fact that our global family is a direct result of the men and women who said yes to missions – as there is more to do. So much more.
While I’m eager to see what transpires over four days in Columbus, there is no questioning this fact: opportunity awaits all of us.
Christie Costello has been part of the Vineyard since 1996. In 2004, Christie and her husband, Chris, were part of the team that launched out to plant the Neighborhood Vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga, California where she later pastored for a few years. Christie now serves at the Inland Vineyard in Corona, California. She has been on the Vineyard Missions team since 2008, specializing in event and meeting planning, travel coordination, and special projects. Getting to utilize more of her business degree, she is now leading a team of marketing and organizational professionals in building effective communications support structures for Vineyard Missions as the Communications Coordinator. Chris and Christie have been married for 18 years and have two adorable doggies, Lucy and Lexi.