A Common Foundation for Missions
We believe that churches plant churches, and this is true of Vineyard Missions as well as Vineyard USA. Consistent with this belief, our primary missions activity around the world is the establishment of new churches expressing the values of the Vineyard with five common commitments that guide all of our work.
1. Empowering Local Church-Based Missions (LCBM)
There is a common commitment to the local church as pivotal to God’s plan for world evangelization, and agreement that the responsibility that evolves from this cannot be relegated to others. LCBM does not preclude the sending of long-term, cross-cultural workers (LTCCWs), nor working with mission agencies where that is appropriate. The critical issue is that initiative, responsibility, and vision reside with the local church, and that each church’s efforts should be focused and strategic. Local churches need to coordinate and communicate what they are doing internationally with others both inside, and outside, the Vineyard movement.
2. Building partnerships as a key strategy
Partnerships are groups of churches who join their strengths to develop the Vineyard movement in a nation or within a people group. Participation in a partnership allows churches of all sizes to be a part of ministering internationally. Partnership also expresses the collegial relationship between churches in different nations/people groups.
3. Establishing church planting movements
There is a commitment to the development of church planting movements by planting churches that will plant churches. With the commitment to develop new movements, there is a determination not to facilitate long term dependency by the churches of one nation on the resources (financial and otherwise) of another nation. It is possible to have multiple movements within a nation, each ministering among a different cultural group.
4. Raising up and releasing indigenous leaders
The commitment is to the raising up and releasing of leaders from within a nation or people group. While there exist differences in perspective and practice concerning the speed with which oversight should be given to “nationals,” the shared commitment is to do so in an expeditious manner.
5. Contextualizing Vineyard values in each culture
There is a common commitment to the Vineyard values being contextualized in each culture where a Vineyard church is being planted. A common model of contextualization has not been identified nor embraced (missiologists generally identify seven main models of contextualization: anthropological, translation, praxis, adaptation, synthetic, semiotic, and critical). Generally, the expectation is that people within a culture will have the primary role in the contextualization of structure, and Vineyard values, in their culture.