- It’s our final authority; our approach to life and ministry is shaped by all the bible says. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- We don’t just listen to God’s word but try to put all that it teaches us, into practice. This is because James 1;22 clearly tells us, that we are only fooling ourselves if we don't actually do what it says!
- We don’t read our own views into scripture but allow the bible to speak for itself and are transformed as we bring our lives into line with and practice it.
The Pursuit of God
- Worship Him in an intimate and accessible way with musical restraint, that incorporates and utilises the arts, media technologies and many instruments. Psalm103:1,150:3-6 Rev 4
- We seek God and wait expectantly for his leading in all that we do, seeking it in corporate and individual prayer. Prayer always proceeds power. Prayer/ intercession must soak and cover everything we do. (John 4:34; 5:19-20)
- We pursue God's presence, character and calling as individuals, as a church and in our daily lives. We are a people who are…. “Getting to know God, so we can show God”
- Defines leadership – functional, not positional leadership – Drawing people closer to God.
Relationship and Reality (With God, ourselves and others)
- Being real, consistent and honest at all time. Non manipulative and hype free (Truth in advertising/integrity)
- We are defined through relationship – “Doing” from “Being” related to God for starters! We don’t know who we are, until we know Whose we are!
- Church defined through relationships. People stay for one reason only... Loving relationships are a revolutionary force in a loveless society! Therefore we do things in a relational way... Want to build community/family as opposed to have meetings/programmes.
- Understanding relationships – getting better at them (with God and each other), trying always to create an atmosphere of love, acceptance, forgiveness and grace.
- Having a servant heart, walking in humility (avoiding behaviour that draws attention away from God, to ourselves) and preferring one another. Phil 2:5-11
- Unity - our brothers and sisters in other churches, are not our enemies. We will love what Jesus loves: the whole church. (Ephesians 4:3-6)
The Individual (Grace and mercy - not law!)
- Practicing grace and mercy…….like the prodigal son (Luke 15) and avoid legalism.
- Operating out of the grace of God from our own brokenness and need of him. We don’t shoot our wounded. People who are not in touch with there own brokenness and deny any sense of failure in their own lives, are often cruel, superficial and arrogant in their treatment of others.
- Treating each individual as unique, made in the image of God, with great dignity, respect and compassion. We want to leave every person feeling loved after each encounter with us, with an enhanced sense of dignity and value. (Luke 6:36 Be merciful... James 2:13)
- Therefore, men and women, boys and girls are valued as individuals regardless of age, gender, race, social background or academic ability. They are invested in and encouraged to develop to there full God given potential (although each believer's growth is their own personal responsibility, not the leaderships!) by intentionally helping them to discover and develop their talents, gifts, and ministries. So developing people who, “Walk the talk and do the deeds” in a way that impacts our community and beyond. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
- Having compassion and mercy on the lost, poor, least, sick and lonely. Matt 25:31-46, James 1:27(e.g. the marginalised, oppressed, broken, divorced, orphans, widows and hungry, etc.
- Being inclusive and accessible in all we do in an informal and relaxed atmosphere.
- Healing, health and wholeness are God’s desire for everyone. Sickness, oppression, demons and death are expressions of evil.
- Healing is both an act and a process, therefore we have an environmental and wholistic (as opposed to holistic!) understanding and approach. We create a healing environment through self disclosure (sharing the gift of ones self), love, acceptance and forgiveness. Healing is the place where righteousness and mercy meet. We train people how to heal people in the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We expect supernatural signs and wonders and the gifts of the spirit to be exercised. We want to be 'naturally supernatural', avoiding again, behaviour that draws attention away from God and to ourselves. (1 Corinthians 2:2-5; James 3:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
- This healing and compassion must go beyond the church to the pain filled world or it is not the real thing! Through relationship and acts of social kindness (feeding the poor, visiting the sick etc.) we build bridges and earn the right to pray with people, for physical and spiritual healing.
Risk taking ’Doing the Stuff’ (of the Kingdom of God)
- Having God's heart for the lost in Andover, the surrounding area and to the ends of the earth. “God so loved the world….”
- Training people to do the stuff... Equipping the saints to Demonstrate God's love and power... People's gifting develops in an environment of trial and error, so we are willing to be patient with people's weaknesses and failures while they learn. (John 21:15-19; Galatians 5:22-23) Everyone in Andover Vineyard, is trained to naturally and effectively lead people to Jesus, heal the sick, prophesy etc. etc.
- Church planting. Reproduction is natural and important of growth and maturity.
- Giving – Time, Energy and Money. Being generous with God's gifts and resources (Matthew 10:8,39; 13:45-46). All that we have is a gift from God and so we must hold things lightly. We 'give, to get to give'. We want to give away what God has given to us in the Vineyard to the broader Church. This includes “doing” missions both locally further afield.
- Using simple everyday language and illustrations in the way we communicate God's love, truth and power to people inside and outside the Church.
- Valuing, incorporating and utilising the arts and media technologies.
- Excellence without extravagance - honours God, inspires people and gives credibility in a sceptical society.
- Simplicity and user friendliness e.g. DOS vs. Windows
- On going evaluation and change.