The Vineyard Movement originated in the United States in 1974, with the first Vineyard Church growing rapidly and attracting a wide range of mostly young people with a desire to know, experience and share their faith in God.
Before long several other Vineyard Churches were planted in California, with priorities of fostering worship, evangelism, relationships, healing, training and church planting.
In 1982 John Wimber and several other pastors led their existing churches into the Vineyard Movement as their visions were complimentary and before long John became leader of the Movement. Initially Vineyard restricted its church-planting thrust to North America, limiting its operation in other countries to renewal conferences and training. However Vineyard has now recognized a clear call to plant churches throughout the world including New Zealand.
Vineyard’s first impact in New Zealand came when John Wimber held the ‘Signs, Wonders and Church Growth Conference’ in 1986, which had a significant effect on many denominations in this country. It provided an alternative theology and practice for healing and other Holy Spirit empowered works through emphasis on Kingdom theology and ‘only doing what you see the Father doing’. Vineyard Churches New Zealand was launched in March 1995 when the 10 New Zealand Harvest Christian Centres became Vineyard Christian Fellowships.
Harvest had been styled on the purposes, values and priorities of Vineyard Churches since its inception in 1989, but had not been given permission to use the Vineyard name, nor formally be part of the Movement till March 1995.
The first Harvest Christian Centre was planted in Mahurangi in October 1989 by Lloyd & Victoria Rankin. It quickly grew & was instrumental in the planting of the next 9 Harvest Churches. The growth has continued with more churches being planted, and more people finding a living faith in Jesus Christ. We are committed to taking our place in the body of Christ in NZ and the world. To fulfil the calling that God has given us as a ‘tribe’ within the family of God – to bring our flavour, and in so doing enriching the body of Christ and being enriched by the body of Christ. Vineyard Churches typically emphasize:
- Biblical Teaching
- Contemporary Music
- The centrality of Jesus Christ
- Mercy, Compassion and Grace
- Concern for the poor
- Prayer for the sick
- Respect for the whole body of Christ
- Small Groups