One of the things that attracted me to the Vineyard movement was the fact that people seemed “real.” They seemed authentic and not phony. If you were having a bad day, you didn’t have to say, “Praise God. Everything is wonderful!” If you prayed for someone to be healed and they were not healed, you did not try to “hype up” what was happening. Being “real” is a great value.
I still love this about the Vineyard. I love that God attracts what seem to be “real women” living “real lives.” I think this is because we have a “real God!”
The Bible is filled with stories of people who messed up. David committed adultery and murder. Paul used to persecute Christians. Miriam spoke out negatively about her brother when she shouldn’t have. Their weaknesses give the rest of us hope that we don’t somehow have to be the perfect Christian.
God will work in us, through us, and for us. He works in the lives of ordinary people with weaknesses, flaws and problems. I think of myself as a very ordinary person. In high school, I was not a cheerleader or a star athlete. I was in the marching band. I grew up in a small town and I don’t have an earth shaking testimony. I feel like a very ordinary person and I know God loves to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things. God loves and wants to use all of us.
Jody Kingston, our Children’s pastor, used to be agoraphobic and could hardly leave her home. Now she is an amazing leader of hundreds of people. I know many people who had alcoholic parents who have pushed through the baggage of their families to make extraordinary differences in the lives of others.
I encourage you to jump into ministry at the Vineyard. See how God will take your very real life and your unique circumstances, and what extraordinary things He will do in and through you!