A Letter from Phil Strout

Dear Vineyard Family,

One of the great goals of my life is to stay alive and healthy in Christ for all my days. I’ve seen too many people lose their fire as they age, too many pastors and leaders settle for the status quo, giving in to mere maintenance of their churches or ministries.

Many forces press us into this kind of inertia, and we need to fight back against them. Strategies to maintain vibrancy abound, but there is one central call that will keep us from coasting – the call to share our faith.

This is announcing to others the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins in his name, and the coming of his Kingdom. Alongside that announcement, we participate in the demonstration of his reign through the presence of the Spirit, the signs of the Kingdom, and the works that Jesus has called us to do.

What else could be more central to a vital faith than proclaiming and demonstrating the gospel? Sharing our faith takes many forms – preaching, prophecy, power evangelism, discussions, classes, and simple good neighboring.

All these have one thing in common – they require intentionality. We must intend and plan to share the good news of Christ with those who do not yet know him. Left to simply drift, we will tend toward mere maintenance.

As we continue to enter this New Year, let’s think about how we might boldly and purposefully orient our lives toward the sharing of the good news with those who do not yet know Christ. It will involve some cost, some risk. We will have to put some of our preferences aside, and perhaps be willing to look foolish at times for the sake of Christ.

But what cost is not worth paying to see our friends and neighbors enter into the Kingdom of God?

I pray for you regularly, and covet your prayers for Janet and myself. May we be united in one heart and mind for the purposes of the gospel.

For the glory of the gospel of God,

Phil

Phil Strout
National Director, Vineyard USA