Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If I’ve never been a part of the Vineyard movement, how can I go about determining if I belong in the Vineyard?
There are several ways to do this. At least twice a year, there are Vineyard Values Boot Camps in different locations around the country where we introduce Vineyard values and beliefs to potential planters and pastors from other parts of the Body of Christ. These will be listed in Cutting Edge, the Vineyard church planting magazine (for subscription info, email firstname.lastname@example.org). They will also be shown in the upcoming events calendar on this page.
It also makes sense to find a Vineyard near you (or several of them, since every Vineyard has a different flavor) and spend some time visiting a service, perhaps talking with the pastor or attending a small group meeting, so you get a feeling for what everyday life in a Vineyard is like.
Q: I’ve never been a member of a Vineyard Church, but I’ve heard really good things and would like to plant a Vineyard in my area. What should I do first?
Vineyards are planted from Vineyards, so the first thing you need to do is to find a Vineyard church and become part of it. If you need help finding a Vineyard church that has a history of identifying, raising up and releasing church planters, you can ask the church planting coordinator in your area for suggestions. A list of the coordinators and their contact information can be found on this page.
Q: Do you offer weekend intensives that could introduce me to the world of Church Planting so I can decide if it’s right for me?
Yes. You have several options. If you are unfamiliar with the Vineyard, a Vineyard Values boot camp is a good place to start. These are less about church planting and more about who we are as a movement. If you are already part of the Vineyard and there is a church that offers Vineyard Leadership Institute Intensives nearby, you could ask when the intensive on church planting will be shown next; it usually comes around once every two years. Finally, the first of the three Church Planting Boot Camps is particularly designed for potential planters who aren’t sure yet. Many if not all the regions run these boot camps/intensives every year. Dates are listed on this page and also are usually available on the websites of the individual regions.
Q: I feel led to plant a Vineyard Church but I do not have a seminary degree and have not attended Bible College. Do I need to get my degree first?
While there are lots of things that church planters do that don’t require the specific training of a seminary or bible college, speaking every week and/or overseeing the quality of what is preached does require some further, specific training. This helps in two ways: it gives you a solid theological/biblical underpinning so that what you teach is sound, and it gives you a wealth of material from which to draw so that you don’t run out of sermons before you run out of Sundays in the year! For this reason we recommend (and some regions insist) that if you have not done seminary or bible college, you enroll in Vineyard Leadership Institute classes, which can be taken at a distance. For more information about this option, check out their website.
Q: I’m ready to become a church planter, so what kind of application process is there?
The application form, which can be filled out digitally, is located on the church planting page under Church Planting Forms. Once it is filled out, you can send it to the Regional Church Planting Coordinator for your region. (If you aren’t sure which region you are in, there is a map on the main page of the Regions section.) Your spouse should fill out a copy of the application as well, even if s/he is not planning on being a co-pastor with you. There is a list of RCPCs along with their contact info on this page. Email or mail your application to them, and ask your sending pastor (usually your home church pastor) to fill out the recommendation form and send it to them.
You will also want to fill out the Pre-Interview Questionnaire (located on the page with the forms) and send it to them, so that the church planting coordinator can schedule an assessment weekend for you (and your spouse, if you are married) with an assessor.
For more on the process we have for moving from application to starting the plant, you can read the article, Seven Steps to Planting a Vineyard Church.
Q: What are Church Planting Boot Camps?
Boot Camps/Intensives are our way of giving church planters the information they need to make good decisions and hone their plans before they launch. Each boot camp focuses on one aspect of planting, and they build from one to the next. Over the course of a calendar year, there is usually one boot camp per quarter, and one quarter off.
The less-linear benefit of Boot Camps is bonding with other future planters and their teams who are also attending the boot camp. Chances are you will all be launching within a year of each other, and having a cohort of friends who understand the agonies and ecstasies of planting is a unique blessing. You also get to see 3 different churches of 3 different sizes in 3 different kinds of locations in your region (urban, suburban, rural) so you get a feel for how church is done by a variety of personalities in a variety of settings. Plus you get to swipe ideas! If you are a planter who has begun to gather your team, the Boot Camps are great for bringing your team along. They hear the information with you and you can process it together.