Beliefs

Core Values

Values affect how we think and consequently, what we do. Here at The Vineyard Church our values are an intrinsic part of who we are and play a critical role in the life of our fellowship. These ten values are a driving force, not only in our present ministries, but also in the ministries that are yet to be developed.

At The Vineyard Church, we value: 

1. The Pursuit of God ~ The depth of God's relationship with us is inexhaustible (Ps.41:1;  I Cor. 2:6; Phil. 3: 8-10). Therefore, we seek Him and wait expectantly for his presence in all that we do (John 4:34; 5: 19-20).

2. The Bible ~ The Bible is our final authority over opinions, dreams, revelations, visions, and any other authoritative source that we may look to for direction. 

3. Relationship ~ Caring for people is our highest priority after submission to God. To the best of our ability we will treat each person with respect, dignity and loving patience.

4. The Equipping of Individuals ~ God calls and enables believers to express the talents, gifts and ministries that He has set aside for them. The orientation of all ministry is toward the integration of biblical truth into everyday living that impacts our community and beyond, not limited to individual improvement or self-fulfillment (Eph. 4:11-13). 

5. Compassion and Mercy ~ We desire to accept into our fellowship any sincere believer who is attempting to walk in obedience to God, is repentant of his or her sins and is in submission to the authority of the church. 

6. Unity ~ Our brothers and sisters are not our enemies. Therefore, we relate to one another honorably, seeking to preserve the bond of peace.

7. Family ~ We deeply value the building up of families and believe in the priority of children.

8. Generosity ~ We are stewards of God's gifts and resources (Matt. 10:8, 39; 13:45-46). This means that when God directs, we will be willing to give away what we have and to risk the security of current success in order to advance the kingdom on earth in greater ways.

9. Simplicity ~ We want to be "naturally supernatural," avoiding behavior that draws attention away from God and to ourselves. Simplicity affects our worship style, how we pray for the sick and minister to the poor, carry out discipleship, teach the Bible and so on (1 Cor. 2:2-5; James 3:13; I Thess. 4:11-12).

10. Risk-taking ~ We are willing to let people make mistakes as they grow in their gifting. We know that 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; Gal. 5:22-23).
Core Beliefs
 
1. God the King and the Holy Trinity
WE BELIEVE that God is the Eternal King. He is an infinite, unchangeable Spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, goodness, justice, power and love. From all eternity He exists as the One Living and True God in three persons of one substance, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in power and glory.

2. God the King: The Creator and Ruler of All Things
WE BELIEVE that God's kingdom is everlasting. From His throne, through His Son, His eternal Word, God created, upholds and governs all that exists: the heavenly places, the angelic hosts, the universe, the earth, every living thing and mankind. God created all things very good.

3. Counterfeit Kingdom: Satan and Demonic Hosts
WE BELIEVE that Satan, originally a great, good angel, rebelled against God, taking a host of angels with Him. He was cast out of God's presence and, as a usurper of God's rule, established a counter-kingdom of darkness and evil on the earth.

4. The Kingdom in the Creation of Man, the Fall and The Doctrine of Original Sin
WE BELIEVE that God created mankind in His own image, male and female, for relationship with Himself and to govern the earth. Under the temptation of Satan, our original parents fell from grace, bringing sin, sickness and God's judgment of death to the earth. Through the fall, Satan and his demonic hosts gained access to God's good creation. Creation now experiences the consequences and effects of Adam's original sin. Human beings are born in sin, subject to God's judgment of death and captive to Satan's kingdom of darkness.

5. God's Providence, Kingdom Law and Covenants
WE BELIEVE that God did not abandon His rule over the earth, which He continues to uphold by His providence. In order to bring redemption, God established covenants, which revealed His grace to sinful people. In the covenant with Abraham, God bound Himself to His people Israel, promising to deliver them from bondage to sin and Satan and to bless all the nations through them.

WE BELIEVE that as King, God later redeemed His people by His mighty acts from bondage in Egypt and established His covenant through Moses, revealing His perfect will and our obligation to fulfill it. The law's purpose is to order our fallen race and to make us conscious of our moral responsibility. By the work of God's Spirit, it convicts us of our sin and God's righteous judgment against us and brings us to Christ alone for salvation.

WE BELIEVE that when Israel rejected God's rule over her as King, God established the monarchy in Israel and made an unconditional covenant with David, promising that his heir would restore God's kingdom reign over His people as Messiah forever.

6. Christ the Mediator and Eternal King
WE BELIEVE that in the fullness of time, God honored His covenants with Israel and His prophetic promises of salvation by sending His Son, Jesus, into the world. Conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, as fully God and fully man in one person, He is humanity as God intended us to be. Jesus was anointed as God's Messiah and empowered by the Holy Spirit, inaugurating God's kingdom reign on earth, overpowering the reign of Satan by resisting temptation, preaching the good news of salvation, healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. Gathering His disciples, He reconstituted God's people as His Church to be the instrument of His kingdom. After dying for the sins of the world, Jesus was raised from the dead on the third day, fulfilling the covenant of blessing given to Abraham. In His sinless, perfect life Jesus met the demands of the law and in His atoning death on the cross He took God's judgment for sin, which we deserve as law-breakers. By His death on the cross He also disarmed the demonic powers. The covenant with David was fulfilled in Jesus' birth from David's house, His Messianic ministry, His glorious resurrection from the dead, His ascent into heaven and His present rule at the right hand of the Father. As God's Son and David's heir, He is the eternal Messiah-King, advancing God's reign throughout every generation and throughout the whole earth today.

7. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Church at Pentecost in power, baptizing believers into the Body of Christ and releasing the gifts of the Spirit to them. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.

WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the filling or the empowering of the Holy Spirit, often a conscious experience, for ministry today. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all of the biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the Church.

8. The Sufficiency of Scripture
WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit inspired the human authors of Holy Scripture so that the Bible is without error in the original manuscripts. We receive the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments as our final, absolute authority, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

9. The Power of the Gospel Over the Kingdom of Darkness
WE BELIEVE that the whole world is under the domination of Satan and that all people are sinners by nature and choice. All people therefore are under God's just judgment. Through the preaching of the Good News of Jesus and the Kingdom of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God regenerates, justifies, adopts and sanctifies through Jesus by the Spirit all who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. By this they are released from Satan's domain and enter into God's kingdom reign.

10. The Church: Instrument of the Kingdom
WE BELIEVE in the one, holy, universal Church. All who repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord and Savior are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and form the living Body of Christ, of which He is the head and of which we are all members.

11. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ committed two ordinances to the Church: water baptism and the Lord's Supper. Both are available to all believers.

12. The Kingdom of God and the Final Judgment
WE BELIEVE that God's kingdom has come in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, that it continues to come in the ministry of the Spirit through the Church, and that it will be consummated in the glorious, visible and triumphant appearing of Christ - His return to the earth as King. After Christ returns to reign, He will bring about the final defeat of Satan and all of his minions and works, the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment and the eternal blessing of the righteous and eternal conscious punishment of the wicked. Finally, God will be all in all and His kingdom, His rule and reign, will be fulfilled in the new heavens and the new earth, recreated by His mighty power, in which righteousness dwells and in which He will forever be worshipped.
 
Click here for a complete list of biblical cross-references.

History

The Vineyard Church began in the basement of a home in November of 1995. God called Mark Pope (our Lead Pastor) to plant a church that would reach out to the lost of our community on behalf of Jesus Christ. Our first meetings were simple. A few families met for worship, prayer and teaching on Saturday evenings. Soon we rented an auditorium from a local church. We still met on Saturdays, but this new place gave us room to grow. It was the beginning of establishing a new church in our community. During this time we were known as Community Fellowship.

Our church made its jump to Sunday morning celebrations on Easter Sunday 1998. We rented a small reception hall in downtown Mishawaka and packed in almost 100 people that first Sunday. We worshiped with a band and established our children's ministry. That summer we experienced one of our most joyous moments in those early years, our first baptism service. It was a taste of what was to come and the first of what has become a great tradition at our church.

It was during this time that we were blessed by establishing relationships with several Vineyard churches. Those relationships grew and ultimately we felt God's call to link up with the Association of Vineyard Churches. On Christmas Eve 2000, we officially became Vineyard Community Church and moved into our first full-time facility on South Merrifield Avenue. We quickly kicked off our Small Group Ministry, Media and Technical Teams, Hospitality Teams, and in 2002 we launched our Student Ministry. We saw God develop skilled teams of individuals joining together to better promote the Gospel in our community.

In 2004 we began the process of looking for a long-term place to call home. We established our first building fund. During this time we also experienced a surge of numerical growth. We responded to this move of God by offering two Sunday Celebration times. December 5th, 2004, (our first Sunday to offer two services) we served almost 300 individuals. God was expanding the family that called Vineyard Community Church their home.
In November of 2005 we closed on 11.4 acres of land on the south side of Mishawka/South Bend. Within a year, God provided through his people, the finances needed to pay off the land. In March of 2008 we broke ground on our new church facility on Jackson Road, at the corner of the US 20 Bypass and Bremen Highway. Our builder estimated that it would take a year to compete the building so during that time God continued to keep our attention focused on ministry to people rather than building buildings. We launched several new small groups, reached out to the community through SOS service projects, and partnered in the development of churches and orphanages in the Sudan.

On March 1, 2009 we had our first Sunday Celebration in our new building and simplified our name to The Vineyard Church. In just the first few months we saw a couple dozen people come to Christ, our attendance exceeded 700 people and we saw small groups and ministry teams come alive with excitement! That summer we baptized 25 people who had made commitments or recommitments to Jesus. And later that fall we held our first Art for the Heart of Africa benefit raising a total of $15,000 to support the New Generation Dreamland Children’s Home in Yei, Sudan.

Not even a year later, we were experiencing another surge of numerical growth. We would find ourselves scrambling to set up folding chairs in the auditorium along with having children meet for small groups in hallways. As a result of this growth, we added a Saturday Celebration on January 23, 2010 and attendance for that weekend soared just over 1000 people. God was doing a mighty work among us so we worked hard to be faithful in shepherding His people. We added several new staff members, launched a number of new small groups and sent mission teams to Haiti and Sudan. At our annual Lake Blast & Baptism, we baptized 40 people and partied the afternoon away with 520 people.

In November 2010 we ended what had been called our “City on a Hill” campaign—a three year building and capital campaign. 117 individuals and families significantly sacrificed their hard earned dollars to make our building a reality. Praise God for their gifts, their prayers, and their commitment to The Vineyard Church. Countless lives have been changed, prayers have been answered, marriages have been restored and supernatural healings have taken place. God is at work among us! 

In 2011 we added a third service time on Sunday mornings. And in 2012 we added a second service time on Saturday evenings. We have experienced steady growth to the point where we are now averaging over 1100 adults and children in attendance in five weekend celebrations. At The Vineyard our history is rich, but our future seems even brighter!

The Vineyard Church has grown since those early years in that cramped little basement. With the development of staff, leaders, teams and volunteers, we now look forward to even greater impact. Although our location has changed and our numbers have grown, our hearts are still the same as when we started. We want to continue to reach out to our community on behalf of Jesus Christ.

Church Plant

In order to reach the greater community, Northpoint Vineyard Church was planted in 2013 on the north side of South Bend.