Below is a copy of the paper I presented at the 2017 Society of Vineyard Scholars’ annual gathering (PDF can be found here). I essentially argue that sacramentality is essential for Vineyard theology and praxis, especially the regular celebration of Communion.
Of primary concern for pastors is spiritual formation, the combination of “nurturing and discipleship.” As Jeffrey Greenman has stated, spiritual formation involves “our continuing response to the reality of God’s grace shaping us into the likeness of Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit, in the community of faith for the sake of others.” If the Vineyard is anything, we are a community of people hungry for the work of the Spirit; thus, spiritual formation would appear to be a primary concern, especially for Vineyard pastors.
This commitment to spiritual formation raises crucial questions: What practices has the Church Universal collectively embraced in the pursuit of spiritual growth? How might Vineyard churches become more intentional toward creating (and maintaining) spiritually formative cultures? What can be embraced from other Christian traditions in order to “thicken” our borrowed commitment to creating space for and an experience of spiritual transformation via the work of the Holy Spirit?
This paper is an attempt to provide a pastoral, i.e., practical and somewhat anecdotal, combination of observations and suggestions toward a robust value for the Eucharist as it brings together sacramentality and spiritual formation. [Read more…]