Central Vineyard was planted with a ministry philosophy of celebrating united-diversity. Simply, we see in the letters of the New Testament that communities were encouraged to be united together around their cause of Christ, but each person is to play their unique part with their unique gifting. Like a good sport team, or a body, or a menu at a restaurant - diversity is good, and when it’s unified, it’s even better. Maybe a helpful image is this: a flotilla. When a dozen of us first met to pray about the new church God was calling us to plant, one of our team had a picture of a flotilla heading down a river – a diverse bunch of unique boats all heading in the same direction together. This picture has been an important vision for us,
In starting this church, Dan and Gabrielle have been the planting-leaders. They gathered a team and through these leaders, released all kinds of ministry in all kinds of direction. The result has been that Central Vineyard has become a diverse place to belong and minster, but as leaders they can only hold so much, and Central Vineyard has out-grown their ability to hold all of it by themselves.
During this year we have felt that we were no longer a “church-plant” but to become a “church-in-formation”, realising that we are now to grow up together into a healthy and flourishing community. To do this we want to honour diversity. No one leader can lead Central Vineyard fully into its future, it has taken a team so far, and will take a team to go on.
As the planting-leaders, Dan and Gabrielle have been the ones responsible for stewarding our journey together, and while they have always done this with a team of leaders around them, we feel a more intentional move needed to be made. It was time to make room for more and share the responsibility. To bring further safety and structure, we have restructured Central Vineyard leadership to itself reflect unified-diversity and will now be co-led by two couples - the Sheeds and the Wisemans - each couple gifted with their own unique gifts but united in responsibility to care for the journey of our whole whānau.
As we walk into the future, we do it together, and we think that’s a pretty beautiful way to do this.
Dan, Gabrielle, Rob and Alisha