Since Life Church began in April 2006 we have not been a part of any association, denomination or larger body of churches. It hasn't been that we didn't want to associate with anyone, it's that we've been waiting for God to direct us to the right group with a common heart and vision. Over the last two years we have been connecting with a group of pastors around Indianapolis from a community of churches called Vineyard. Vineyard is a community of churches around the world that have existed for over 30 years, and Life Church has now joined the Vineyard.
Here are some highlights on why we have taken this step:
1) Resources - the Vineyard is very mature as an organization. They have weathered many storms, adapted to changes in culture, different movements of God and grown under different leadership. Due to their rich history, diverse churches, depth of talent, theological maturity, and heart for the Kingdom of God they have a wide assortment of resources that we can now access.
2) Relationships - this may be one of the most important factors, but relationally our DNA is closely aligned with who the Vineyard is. Our heart to serve, reach those that are far from God, create environments and opportunities for God to intersect people's lives, and focus on the Kingdom of God are all key elements of both Life Church and the Vineyard.
3) It's Biblical - there does seem to be a Biblical model of individual groups of believers being a part of something larger. I believe there is strength, covering, support, encouragement and greater potential in being a part of something larger then ourselves.
4) We Need It - We cannot do everything on our own that God is calling us to. To answer the call and vision God has given us as Life Church we must work closely with other churches and like minded people.
So what will change at Life Church? Not much. Our name stays the same, and we will remain independent from a government and financial standpoint. There will be no changes to leadership or staffing. In the months ahead you will see resources such as conferences, training and opportunities to serve as we work alongside other Vineyard churches.