Tuesday, June 16, 2009

vineyard u.k….the irish tribe

We flew over from Basel, Switzerland to Dublin on Thursday. Turns out Ryannair only allows about thirty pounds per checked baggage…as opposed to United’s (and everyone else in the universe) fifty pound limit. You can pay extra…like, twenty Euros per extra kilogram. We were all at the fifty pound limit, so we jettisoned clothes (I dumped all my t-shirts) and crammed as much as we could into out carryons, and just made it to the gate. Turns out everyone here makes fun of Ryannair—they charge for seatbelts. Okay, I made that part up.

There are now six Vineyards in Ireland. They had their regional meeting in Dungannon—five were able to make it. We did two sessions together; I spoke on developing outward-focused churches, had lunch, and then an extended Q&A time. Great guys…all with similar hearts.

Sunday morning I spoke at the two services at Vineyard Dungannon. My buddy Jason Scott (lead pastor) wanted to launch a new series: The Apprentice, about discipleship. Apparently there’s a British version of Trump's show with a hyper-successful, self-made businessman named Alan Sugar who doesn’t have a comb-over, but he does have an attitude. Jason asked me to speak about surrender…so I spoke on three levels of surrender in a person’s life: surrender for survival (“Lord, help me!”), surrender for service (“Lord, what can I do?”) and the surrender of self-denial (“I am crucified with Christ.”). Afterwards, we had lunch with all the ministry leaders.

A very, very cool thing has happened here. Last year they launched a campaign called Leaving a Legacy and raised over a 180 thousand pounds to create a great space for kids in after-school programs and teens on Friday nights, a center for ministry to the poor called The Storehouse, and their ongoing ministry to the Dalits (the lowest caste in India—“untouchables”). Remember, this is a church of only 130-150 people or so. I’m so proud of these guys.

Plus, a few weeks ago they launched their second service on Sunday mornings. Last October they were averaging 75-80 people on a weekend, so doubling their services nearly doubled their attendance. I love it when leaders move beyond what some consider “facility restrictions” or worse, “lack of volunteer leaders”. We decided recently that we would not launch a new ministry or program without asking the question, “What’s the maximum number of volunteer roles we could create for this?” I think people want to play in the game…and often they’re not asked.

Anyway, it’s been good to connect with our friends here and hopefully bring a little encouragement. What they’re doing ministry-wise is certainly encouraging to me.


  1. "I think people want to play in the game…and often they’re not asked." Exactly in my prior experiences at other churches.

    That is the key initiative for operating in a growth mode. The more you can enlist to serve ( play in the game) the more you will have interested in the "Body of Christ" Every one that is serious about Chirst wants to be a vital part in the big picture.

    The church that has opportunities for those people will certainly grow and win more to Christ. That is the main reason I think, is what has made Vineyard Cincinnati so successful. Plenty of opportunities to serve and "play in the game".

  2. Dave -

    I've flown Ryanair twice. I nicknamed it "Dieingair" because the seats were so cheap. My favorite memory while flying Ryanair: the flight attendants walking up and down the aisle, in-flight, selling scratch off lottery tickets. Totally crazy.


  3. Hey Dave, it was great having you over and loved the sessions on Friday.

    Yeah, Ryanair is a disaster!!

    Live the Dream


  4. I'm so proud of those guys, too, and so pleased to be on a similar journey with them. Glad to hear your time with them went so well--and you had gorgeous sunshine and relative lack of wind up at the coast!

    jennifer king

  5. Dave, I rarely venture outside of the Westside, ... at least without my shoes on, ... but I love to hear about Vineyards in Ireland.

    One of these days, Ireland, ... POW, right in the kisser!

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