Many different people are part of the Vineyard. From the person who’s just tentatively checking out Jesus to the one who has been following Jesus all their life – we welcome everyone at whatever stage of the journey they’re at. Members are simply those who, at this stage in their journey, have embraced the vision and mission of the Vineyard. Membership isn’t the same thing as belonging. If you’re not a member you can still belong!
Membership has a few privileges. Members can vote (on items like new elders). Membership is also a consideration for leadership. Mostly, being a member means that the Vineyard is your family and that the community can count on you and you can count on the community. Every charity in Canada is required to have a membership roster.
>>What is a member of the Vineyard?
Members of the Vineyard are those who Belong, Serve and Give.
Members are part of a small group of other people in WCV that is focused on growth along the lines of WCV’s Core Practices. Triads in the Outer Circle process and House Groups are the best organized examples of this. However, there are other small groups that can accomplish similar goals. The main point is that members are:
- Intentionally and regularly gathering with a small group of people,
- Knowing and being known by those people, and,
- Actively engaging in spiritual growth as described in our Core Practices.
Core Practices that deal with Belonging: Relationship & Rhythm.
Members are actively engaged in God’s mission. Each contributes in some personal and practical way in WCV and/or in the Kingdom of God at large. We view service as a privilege and an opportunity to cultivate humility – especially those tasks nobody else wants to do.
There are times when we, like the Musk-ox, need to take some time in the centre and we’re just not able to serve for a season. We also recognize that some people will be serving diligently and faithfully in areas not directly connected with WCV and may not have time or energy to contribute in this way to WCV. We want to cultivate a generous and expansive scope in this regard and encourage all contributions to the Kingdom of God! However, many hands are needed to accomplish the activities WCV has been called to do.
Core Practices that deal with Serving: Circles of Sharing & Gospel.
Members support WCV financially with generosity and joy (2 Cor. 9). There are three reasons we give:
- Giving money away is an act of resistance and a demonstration of trust. We resist the pull of self-sufficiency and materialism that our culture swims in. We also demonstrate that any money we have is the Lord’s and that we are his stewards of it. It is a practical act of worship that indicates where our hearts are at. In short, financial generosity is a discipline that forms us spiritually in a good way.
- WCV has practical operational needs. These are taken care of through gifts from members and others.
- When we pool resources through giving, we are able to share a portion of what comes to WCV with those in need.
Core Practices that deal with Giving: Generosity, Devotion and Circles of Sharing.
Membership is renewed at the beginning of each year. One Sunday in January all new members are welcomed and all previous members re-affirm their membership to WCV – that they belong, are serving and giving.
Members will be contacted at the beginning of the year during the renewal process to see if they’re in again. The annual renewal is meant to encourage healthy self-reflection. It’s a moment in time to say, “yes, I’m in this!” again.
For us, membership is much more than just getting your name on a list. It means actively engaging in the vision and mission of WCV. In seasons of strength, this means being involved and offering that strength to others. In seasons of weakness, this means being taken care of and receiving support, healing, etc.