The Viva story has its roots in a question.
It was a question that we hit after returning from over a decade working in Central Asia.
After settling back into life in Australia, we began to feel a little uncomfortable.
Our friends were all Christians. They’d all been Christians for many years. Jesus was still very much the centre of their lives.
But we began to look around and wonder, Where are the people our age that have only recently met Jesus?
As we looked around, our admittedly very limited circles, we couldn’t find any.
Yet when we read our Bibles we read about a God who was pursuing people, working mightily to bring them back into loving relationship with Him.
So was God just not doing that any more?
Interestingly, the data told us that the majority of Australians were keen to talk about religion or spirituality. Yet 1 in 29 Australians have never heard of Jesus. 28% know very little or nothing about Jesus.
We realised that we could point fingers at the church’s failure to do this and that. Or we could start with our own lives and simply ask, What needs to change so that we are having the conversations that matter with people who are keen to talk about what life is all about and are eager to explore Jesus?
So we decided to do an experiment. What if we took Jesus at his word and took a knife to our schedules?
We wanted to find a way for people to hear about Jesus without all the religious junk that so many people associate with the church.
We figured we’d follow Jesus’ lead.
Have lots of meals with lots of people, get to know each other and talk about what matters in life.
God met us in the experiment. Connections happened. Meals and picnics happened. Conversations happened. We began to find ourselves walking with friends discovering afresh relationship with God together. Alpha happened. A little community of Jesus followers began to form.
We started a Community of Northridge Vineyard Church. The Community grew little by little as people came to know Jesus.
The journey was slow and bumpy.
It reminded us much more of the fits and starts of our vege patch than the hyperbolic rise of a tech start-up.
Then this year, we felt God whispering to us that it was time for our little community to become an independent Vineyard Church.
So with the support and blessing of our Northridge Vineyard family, Viva Vineyard Church was born.
We love the word Viva. It’s a Spanish word. It means two things. It means alive and it means “live!” We come alive when we respond to Jesus’ invitation to live! The way we respond to his invitation is to follow his way.
Jesus said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10, The Message). Viva Vineyard Church is people learning, together, to live the way of Jesus. Jesus lived amongst people loving them and leading them home to God. That’s what we’re about.
Viva’s launch is, in a sense, then chapter two in this story. It’s a simple story, that dimly reflects the grand story of the universe: God at work lovingly, patiently restoring people and his creation back to himself.
Jesus lived amongst people loving them and leading them home to God. That’s what we’re about.
If you’re curious about Jesus….
We’d love Viva to be a place where you can come and join others exploring Jesus. Or if you’re new to the area and looking for a church, we’d love to connect.
That’s the Viva story. Viva isn’t the best, brightest, most cutting edge church.
We’re simply a small part of the big global Church family working together to see God’s incredible love made known to our beautiful and lonely world.
So that’s a little of our story. We’d love to hear yours.