SESSION 4:  MINISTRY FRAMEWORK – HOW WE DO CHURCH AND MEMBERSHIP 

The Sociological Framework contrasted three models of ‘doing church’ and membership – we embrace the centered set with its values. We now examine the Ministry Framework through which we do church – key information for a responsible commitment to Following Jesus. We lay out our mission and vision; values, priorities and practices; leadership, structure and programs; and the specific expectations of belonging and membership (the content of the remaining 3 sessions).  Much of this key information, including our Vineyard history, is on our website http://followingjesus.org.za  

WHAT IS OUR MISSION STATEMENT?        Our “being”

Our mission is our identity, our essential reason for existence, sense of calling, answering the question: Who are we? (or Who are we following? Identity is defined by who you relate to)

Our mission statement is based on Matthew 4:19 cf. 28:18-20, and Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Following Jesus and making followers of him…

Learning to live a life of love just as Jesus loved us

WHAT IS OUR VISION STATEMENT?        Our “becoming”

Vision is a future-oriented picture of becoming – our broad-stroke goals. Vision gives us our direction, answering the question: Where are we going? (or What are we becoming?)

  • NB: Our church is currently being ‘replanted’ and the leadership team is developing a 2020 vision and plan, so we do not as yet have a definitive Vision Statement. However, we have…

An interim goal, 2015 vision:  To get our congregation into good health and growth in all aspects of leadership, community life, ministry and mission.

A medium-term goal, 2020 vision:  For Following Jesus to be strong enough to a) fully develop the Vineyard Community Center (VCC) with a worship hall and other needed facilities, b) to equip and coach the next generation of leaders, and c) to be a resource to help existing churches, plant new churches, and be fully engaged in various missions in our community, city, country and beyond.

A long-term goal, 2025 vision:  To responsibly and fully hand over the leadership of a vibrant worshipping, healing, equipping and missional church community, with a fully developed Vineyard Community Center, to the next generation of leading followers of Jesus.

WHAT ARE OUR VALUES?      (From Session One – see the diagram: Following Jesus Framework)

Values are our core principles and non-negotiables. They answer the question Why? we do what we do to fulfill our calling (mission) as we work to achieve our goals (vision). We take our core values from Jesus’ generic call to follow him as he followed his Father (by his Spirit and Word, in his disciple-community).     Based on Matt 4:19 (& 28:18-20) our three core values are:

Following God: Intimacy with God – the church exists for God, by God, through God.

Forming Community (be formed in): koinonia of the Spirit – we exist for each other as true family.

Fishing World: We exist for others – to impact our world with God’s saving presence and power, to make followers of Jesus and be agents of wholistic change at all levels of social and cosmic reality.

We add two other derived values (thus five values in total), based on Matt 3:17 cf. 22:37-40…

Fitting Context: We Follow, Form and Fish as Fits our personal, family, work and community Context.

Freeing Love: We Follow, Form and Fish with a view to being Free to be-loved, and thus to Love as God loves (to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and others as ourselves)

WHAT ARE OUR PRIORITIES AND PRACTICES?        (Derived from our three core values)

Priorities and practices are what we actually do… what we do first, of most importance, before we do other things. They answer the question of What? we do, and How? we do them… i.e. our basic disciplines and skills that we learn to do and practice on a regular basis – in order to live out our core values, in pursuit of our vision, to fulfill our mission under God.

Each of our three core values has four priorities & practices (disciplines & skills), see the diagram

 

Values Priorities Practices

HOW DO WE FOLLOW GOD INTIMATELY?      By prioritizing and practicing the disciplines of…

The Word of God: The Bible is the inspired record of God’s self-revelation, our final authority for faith and life. As Christ-followers we hold to his teachings as the truth that sets us free (John 8:31-32). We prioritize life-oriented teaching, equipping every Christ-follower to read and study, meditate and memorize, and more importantly to practice scripture – “to obey all I have commanded” (Matt 28:20). 

Worship: Worship is our highest priority, our only adequate response to God’s self-revelation. Worship embraces our whole lives – it’s both an event and a lifestyle (Rom 12:1-2), it’s both praise/celebration and adoration/intimacy. Our goal is to encounter God in worship, and to equip every follower of Jesus to be a true worshipper of God in both personal and public worship (John 4:22-24).

Prayer: Prayer is the natural response or overflow of worship. Prayer is answering God in what he says to us through his Word and Worship. Prayer is relational interaction with God, the native breathe of our souls. We practice and encourage all forms of personal and corporate prayer and intercession.

Holy Spirit Ministry: The result of these three is a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life and Church, where Jesus is the Head and the Spirit is the Administrator. We seek to honor and receive the ministry of the Spirit through equipping and releasing every Christ-follower to practice the Spirit’s enabling gifts, in the home, at Sunday services, in small groups, at work, on the streets – in all aspects of life.

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