Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Road Trip

This past weekend, I was privileged to participate in the time-honored tradition of road trips with friends to places unknown, in this instance, the town of Nelson BC, in the picturesque Kootenays. The Nexus Vineyard Church started there three years ago, and a bunch of friends from the Penticton Vineyard were traveling down to help with their local outreach, and I was asked to tag along.

My main contribution to the church plant was helping with music at their Vineyard Cafe on Saturday night, which is their only public gathering. It was a very interesting mix of music, food, good organic coffee, Nooma videos, and generally a missional-meets-Wimber vibe.

One of the standout points for me was getting to know some of those who "belonged before they believed", and to hear their stories of meeting Jesus. There's always something remarkably life-giving in just hearing the stories of those who have had their lives changed (or, begun to have their lives changed) by Jesus.


This picture has absolutely nothing to do with our discussion of the Vineyard movement. It's an actual winery on Vancouver Island.
I just thought it was funny.
Another highlight would be the late-night beer-and-fellowship in the pastor's hot tub, where we talked about a whole pile of things, but inevitably, the Lakeland topic came up. And since almost all of us had significant history with the Vineyard during the Toronto Blessing years, we ended up reminding each other of the great times of encountering the Spirit in unexpected ways.

And yet, we also regrettably lamented how hype, hysteria, and really really bad theology (in our opinion) derailed what had begun as a genuine move of God (in our opinion) in Toronto. We all had many stories of how we had been blessed and encouraged, but we also had many stories of excesses and concerns.

But by the end of the evening, we were also unanimous in our desire to see the Spirit continue to work in surprising and powerful ways in our lives, and continue to stand firm against becoming possums of discernment. The little missional Vineyard church plant in Nelson may be a church to keep our eyes on, as they attempt to walk a charismissional path in that town.

And I hope that my guitar and I get invited back to the cafe again sometime!

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