W hat is Vineyard Pilgrimage? I get this question a lot, and before I answer directly, I want to begin with this: Pilgrimage is not what it was, nor what it will ultimately be. Like the rest of us who are walking with Jesus, it’s a work in progress.
Over the last several months, we’ve invested countless hours studying how a Christian grows. The idea was, if we could understand how God shapes us, we could learn to cooperate with the process, and then we could pass it on. Today, we are developing curriculum, tailored experiences, and curated resources that are designed to connect us with God’s transformative power throughout our lives.
Our mission is to help pastors and leaders live fully and freely in God’s love, discover their true identity in Christ, engage in authentic community, and help their congregation do the same. In short, we want to help the church-at-large grow in what we call the Formissional Life.
As Dallas Willard might simply say, we are all being formed spiritually. Each of us is becoming more like something, whether that is Christ, or something or someone else. As Christians and followers of Jesus, our aim is to respond to the call of Christ. But what does it look like?
The Formissional Life takes the call of Christ, and breaks it down into two orders of calling: a first order calling, which is Jesus’ call into a personal relationship of love with God, and a second order calling, which invites us to join him in his work in the world.
The First Order Calling, according to Ephesians 3:17 and Matthew 22:37, must begin as a relationship which is rooted and grounded in God’s love for us, and which enables us to love him in reply. Our wholehearted, embodied, empowered love relationship with God is the foundation of the Christian life.
In this sense, being precedes doing, and loving precedes serving. Still, the Second Order Calling draws us out of a singular relationship, into partnership with Christ’s work here on Earth, commanding us to love others as we ourselves are loved.
Brought together, the Formissional Life is a way of responding to the call of Jesus by pursuing his invitation to relationship, and also by partnering with him in Kingdom-centered ministry.