John Wimber writes,
“In the Vineyard, we place a priority on being empowered by the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit empowers for a purpose-not just an experience. We seek the active presence of the Spirit to continue Jesus’ ministry. At times we almost lose the purpose; at times we seem to lose the power. From the beginning we have attempted, however inadequately, to keep these two together.
To continue Jesus’ ministry requires that we adopt His lifestyle. Unfortunately, Christians in the West would rather implement programs. We are blind to our mechanistic assumptions when we reduce ministry to reproducible components and try to apply them indiscriminately. There is nothing wrong, for instance, with a tool for witnessing like The Four Spiritual Laws. It helps believers communicate biblical truth. But should we use it every time? No. We must ask what is appropriate in each situation and learn the art of listening, even as Jesus modeled (see John 5:19, 30).” (the Way In is the Way On)
This has always been one if the characteristics that attracts me to the Vineyard movement… a concern for “doing the stuff” of the kingdom that takes the example of Jesus and the apostles seriously. We are not perfect at this, but we certainly try!
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.
Hi Luke, I’m with Wimber on this. And I think this is very relevant to the discussion on discipleship. If a disciple is one who is to become like the Master, this cannot be limited to character alone. Jesus also called His disciples to imitate His ministry by the anointing of the Spirit. I personally believe that discipleship that does not emphasize and model charismatic ministry falls short of the mark Jesus had in mind.
This is surely unobjectionable. The question becomes what they do – feeding the poor etc