Association of Vineyard Churches

The Vineyard Movement is a charismatic renewal and church planting movement and thus belongs to the area of Protestant Christianity. It describes itself as a movement of evangelical Christians, the gifts of the Holy Spirit practice, such as healing, speaking in tongues and prophecy.


The Vineyard Movement was founded in 1978 in the United States among others by John Wimber, who was their first pastor and longtime head. The first Vineyard church was the Anaheim Vineyard Christian Fellowship.

The first Vineyard church grew out of a Bible study at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa ( California ) in a district of Los Angeles. In 1974, five people met under the direction of Kenn Gulliksen in the apartment of the singer Chuck Gitard. The Jesus Movement ( Jesus People ) in California was then in full swing. From the circle was established in 1975 in Anaheim, the first Vineyard community. 1982, there were already five loosely connected Vineyard communities. Because of different teaching conceptions the Vineyard movement did not remain part of the Calvary Association. In May 1983, the VMI ( Vineyard Ministries International) was founded. In 1985 there were 129 Vineyard churches in July 1986 233 In the same year the AVC ( Association of Vineyard Churches ) was founded. John Wimber was in front of both organizations.

Using the first Vineyard church Bob Dylan came to faith in Jesus Christ.

According to John Wimber's death in 1997, the movement went through some hard times. Now growing but steadily, especially since Bert Waggoner in 2000 was appointed head of the movement. The Association of Vineyard Churches includes over 2,500 communities in all over the world, including about 45 in Germany, 21 in Switzerland and five in Austria. She runs a publishing house and the music label Vineyard Music.

The so-called Torontosegen originated in a community of Vineyard, the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship ( TACF ). This community was excluded in 1995 from Vineyard.

The first Vineyard church of the German-speaking world was created in 1994 in Bern, Switzerland by connecting the community to the global basileia Vineyard movement. The local manager Martin Bühlmann was coordinator of the Vineyard Movement for Germany, Austria and Switzerland ( DA- CH Vineyard ). From Berne since several Vineyard churches were planted in all of Switzerland. The first Swiss Vineyard churches date back to the Founded in 1983 basileia movement.


The theology of the Vineyard movement is based on a classic evangelical faith. This is complemented by specific, characteristic for the Vineyard, topics:

  • Adoration: The Worship of God, especially through songs, is one of the main concerns of the Vineyard movement. The songs produced in the Vineyard churches have strongly influenced the modern Christian worship music. Theologically, the importance of worship is justified in the Vineyard movement with the idea that worship of God is the real purpose of being human.
  • Being filled with the Holy Spirit: Although the Vineyard initially took over Pentecostal ideas, she declined soon after the thesis of a baptism of the Spirit, which should be done as a second step sometime after the conversion mandatory from. She instead goes on the assumption that every Christian is baptized with the Holy Spirit and that the manifestations of the Spirit show up as a breakthrough of his work.
  • Gifts of the Holy Spirit: According to the minds of many Christians, the Holy Spirit equips every Christian with one or more spiritual gifts.
  • Healing: This topic has been through John Wimber's employment with the healing through the power of the Holy Spirit for the Vineyard movement as a central element. Through Jesus' ministry in the healing service every disease can be cured, it is physical, psychological or spiritual kind whether such healing occurs but is always God's sovereignty reserved.
  • Evangelism: Evangelism is also a central element of the movement. The establishment of new communities is an important strategy to reach people who were these beliefs not previously known for the Vineyard churches.

" Unfortunately, many church planters begin developing an attractive program. But communities are not programs, but families. It's about people, not about entertainment or attractive, well- packaged ideas. Programs should always be an expression of vocations, talents and interests of people who are involved in the cooperation. For this they must be based on the people who still have no relationship with Jesus Christ. We have in a community have the freedom to establish programs, but they bury again. "