Monday, September 24, 2007

4ward: becoming a luke 4 community

Sometimes I like to get in my car and drive. Just drive. There may be a destination in mind, but that’s not as critical as the process. My dad liked to do that, too. I’ve got more than a little bit of my dad in me. Many years ago my mom and dad had some romantic rendezvous—at least I like to think it was—and in that moment there was a blurring of DNA’s, sporting a new cell that has a father’s eyes, a mother’s nose and a unique mix of personalities. That’s why many years later phrases can come out of your mouth that cause you to think “Whoa. That sounded just like my old man...”

Though we are all made in the image of God, that image has been terrifically abused, marred like a penny handled too many times. The worth of a vintage coin is not strictly based on its rarity; it loses value if the visage is too worn.

And that’s pretty much the state of humanity.

But somehow when God slipped into the Jewish skin of Jesus, mankind was in some way linked to Him. When He rose from the dead, the early disciples didn’t just see a man back from the dead; they had already seen that with Lazarus…and eventually that poor dude had to go through the whole mess again. This was very different—they didn’t just see a man back from the dead, they were eyewitnesses to the first New Man of the New Order, or what the Bible calls the Last Adam. The First Fruits of a new kind of species. As Adam was the prototypical human who fell, Jesus is the prototypical human who redeems.

When we receive His death in our behalf, when we surrender our demands and desires to die with Him, we are reborn to become part of this New Creation. New life. New affections. New views. The first deposit of the New Order. All things become new, the New Testament says.

Paul realized the enormity of it when he wrote to some friends in Galatia:

I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (Living Bible)

We have divine DNA coursing through our souls. And when you put a bunch of us together, the organism known as the Body of Christ begins to move.

What are the things you think are obvious about who we are…what the DNA of Vineyard Community Church is?


  1. is it me or am i the only one seeing an emerging pattern across the vineyard movement? the stuff you guys are drilling into in the 'nati right next to what we are doing in central in genesis: re-digging the wells and naming them the original names and discovering things anew (like values and vineyard dna...)..and it seems as i've talked with others from boise to anaheim to norwood to michigan to colorado...the Spirit of the Living God is at work doing something...something is emerging anew in the vineyard. anyway..thanks so much for posting this stuff dave!



  2. Thanks, Steven. Yeah, "there's something happening here" the poet said way back when.

    Hey folks, check out Steven's poetry at

  3. The DNA of VCC? Well, from my affiliation with VCC since 1999, minus a few years while I was living in Florida, this is what I've seen and experienced personally:

    1. A place where the Gospel of Jesus Christ has met me and others I know where we are in life. By that I mean I started coming due to addictions in my life and a broken marriage. No facades were necessary. Here, it's possible for me to say I love Jesus, and admit to others that I'm having a hard time living that out in my day-to-day life. Monday Night Growth and Healing as well as other avenues for fellowship, guidance, accountability are available when I choose to get involved. I can be real about my walk with God as well as when I've been walking away from Him.

    2. A place where the gospel of Christ and this thing called christianity is simplified. I know some people see that as a weakness and lack of maturity in our church. But to me, the truth is, I will probably spend my entire life trying to master the commandments to love God with all my heart and soul, and to love my neighbor as myself...let alone, worrying about some of the more debated theological issues in the Bible. Sometimes I wonder about such things as what exactly is Hell like, what happens to unborn babies, what will the end of this world be like, etc. But honestly, I believe that my job is to love God, my neighbor, and myself. If I will do those things with His help, then I am pretty sure God will work out all the other details. VCC has helped me focus on what is the heart of God's message to me.

    3. A place where I am continually reminded that we are not to be a closed-off community. We are to reach out to others who are lost and hurting, like the church in the New Testament did. I haven't done such a hot job of reaching out to others in the last few years, but thanks to VCC's culture, I haven't been allowed to forget that serving, reaching a helping hand out to others and sharing the love of Jesus with them is part of the reason I am here on this earth.

    I know of few places where I can be as transparent about my hopes, dreams, fears, weaknesses, victories and defeats as I am with my VCC family. That is the DNA that I've experienced and which has become part of me.

  4. Our small group just started to read and discuss Bill Johnson's book: When Heaven Invades Earth- A Practical Guide To A Life Of Miracles. The first statement of chapter 1 jumped off the page at me this morning. From the chapter entitled The Normal Christian Life:

    "It is abnormal for a Christian not to have an appetite for the impossible. It has been written into our spiritual DNA to hunger for the impossibilities around us to bow at the name of Jesus. "

    I believe this is who we are. It is the rightful inheritance of all blood-bought Believers. We at VCC are very blessed to learn and grow in this through a lifestyle of giving and "small things". Very blessed indeed.


  5. Cool idea! Using the modern metaphor of DNA to describe what we are as a church is not only creative, but accurate.

    This is especially true when you lift the DNA helix up and look at it from a different perspective--it resembles a vine. It reminds me that years ago it was spoken over our corporate body (the Vineyard as a whole) that we are like Jack going after the treasures that the Giant (Satan) had taken and horded. What did Jack need to make this happen besides pure audacity? A beanstalk--a vine. A vine that was wound with two very important elements: WORSHIP and COMPASSION. That is us. Then you look at the DNA model and add all of the ladder rungs--the diverse, gifted people keeping the strands together and making it useful.

    Wanna go for a climb?