Viewing entries in


Pentecost Takeover Part III: Where To From Here?


So, there’s a strong sense that we’re swivelling in our own prophetic story. We’re hurling toward this Pentecost feeling as though we’re becoming stronger, more open, and more willing to take on responsibility for the hurting world around us. Change is in there air and we’re reshaping the way we tell our own story.

Where to from here then? How does any of this change our daily, weekly, monthly rhythms as a community?

Well, here are three ways as a starting point that I see we can lean into this newness moment;

1. A New Story Requires a New Outpouring

Whenever the Spirit brings a new calling to a person or community it brings with it a deep sense of insecurity and self-awareness.

If the many of us in our community are to move from identifying as exiles finding a home to wounded-healers building a new home for others, we’re going to need some divine grace to grow in the gifting we need to see it happen.

Pentecost is about God’s empowerment partnering with our intention.

We need a new outpouring of the Spirit to invite those we’re not connected with yet into our midst, and then we’ll need the Spirit’s gifting and power to give us the courage and strength to heal them in the way they need it most.

This is God’s work from beginning to end and we will need a newness of God to achieve it.

2. A New Story Requires A New Language

Psalm 107 has given us a language - this North, South, East and West in-gathering of our generation to the table of hospitality. We’ve leant into that language and given ourselves and each other space to heal.

Now, we’re leaning into the latter verses where we can “establish a city to dwell in” (107:36) and “sow fields, plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. [that] By his blessing they will multiply greatly” (107:38).

Not because we haven’t done it, but because we’re now identifying it with our collective calling, not jsut the calling of the minority.

This means each one of us needs to seek a Spirit-empowered-prayer-dependant trust in God to build this community right. It means we start to build a common language of building a home for others, for divine hospitality, for divine encounter and for healing.

The shape of our prayers can continue to turn outward as they already are, and Tables, CR and Gratis can be ever further engulfed into our collective spirituality, allowing them to take the lead in showing us how to reach out to our own worlds.

Every one of us is responsible for this journey of language discovery.
We’ll only discover it together.

3. A New Story Requires New Practices

Starting with prayer.

There can be no new outpouring of God’s empowerment and no new language without first discovering it in prayerful imagination. We are not inviting people to our table, but to God’s and to do that we must first practice the Spirit’s hospitality ourselves.

If there is some kind of cost to owning new space and becoming more responsible for the world around us it’s surely first discovered in prayer. Where we take on the longing for healing and freedom and love of the world around us, on our knees, in the quiet spaces we’d otherwise give to entertainment and self-satisfaction.

Prophetic words are a co-artistry with the Holy Spirit, and prayer is the palette we paint with.

But that’s not all we have. These prayers should lead us into new habits of invitation toward family, workmates, colleagues and acquaintances to our own dinner tables.

Our prayers empower our actions, they don’t replace them.

To sum it all up, what we need to become is a community seeking the Spirits empowering for the good of the world around us, discovering a new language for the house we’re building, and praying our guts off to see God’s kingdom come in our midst.

You in?



Changing our story and living into God’s invitation takes intention and grace. We need a new Pentecost moment with every new call God brings into our lives because it’s his kingdom-power that delivers the goods, not our own energy. But by leaning into the language of where we’re going and seeking God in urgent prayer, we can partner with the Spirit to bring about newness in our community and city.


What areas of your life do you feel you need a new outpouring of the Spirit to see breakthrough in?

What could it look like for you to partner more intentionally with God in those areas?

What rhythms or ministries within Central Vineyard are you passionate about seeing empowered?

What practices do you have in your life currently that remind and prompt you to pray for God’s outpouring into yourself and the work you’re doing in the kingdom?

Take a minute to ask the Spirit whom in your life he may want to invite to his table in this season?


We need your power, Father,
now as much as ever.
Only you can change our story,
empower our community life,
and form us into a people of loving-prayer.
Teach us how to participate in your holy invitation,
To the world and to each other,
That we may build the kingdom your way,
in your strength,
and in your tender love.



Pentecost Takeover Part II: Learning To Tell A New Story


Earlier this year Rob Wiseman said something to me that really stuck. I was in the middle of making sense of a sudden change of life for the better. I’d gone from some incredibly hard years into a space where it felt like things were getting constantly better for me and the family. As weird as it may sound to you reading this, it was actually hard for me to lean into the idea that things were changing for good and that it wasn’t just some small interval before the next disaster.

Well, in the middle of my verbal processing with Rob he stopped me and said something really profound, “sounds like it’s time for you to change the narrative you’re telling about your life.”

He was dead right.

It’s not always easy to change the way you’re telling our own story because more often than not there are no clear page turns or new chapter titles - we transition through seasons slowly. That’s what makes prophecy so beautiful.

When God speaks prophetically into our lives he gives us a new story to hook into, one that can change the way we speak about our circumstances and the small decisions we make in our immediate hours, days and weeks.

Prophecy opens up a new space in our imagination so we can tell another story. The story of who God is helping us become.

Well, five weeks ago we felt God say the same thing to us as a community as Rob had said to me. We were drawn back to relook at our story in Psalm 107, to see where God leads these exiles once they’ve been gathered from the four corners of the earth. As we reflected we felt the Spirit calling us to rediscover our lives in this new city we find ourselves in. To retell our narrative as the gathered people and not no longer the still-gathering.

As we prayed it through he showed us that once this generation were drawn together where “he let’s the hungry dwell, and establish a city to dwell in” (107:36) they were then called to “sow fields, plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. [that] By his blessing they will multiply greatly” (107:38).

In other words, they changed the story they were telling about their journey.
It may sound like semantics, and it’s not like we haven’t been putting our roots down these years anyway, but when wanderers begin to take responsibility for the land they’re settling in they take ownership of the space of hospitality.

They pivot from the mentality of those in need to those reaching out to others who need.

What that doesn’t mean for us, is our creating new programs and changing the way we are in order to become more “evangelistic” in whatever sense you may hear that word. But what it does mean is that we need to be willing to change our own narrative from being a people who are gathering from the four corners of spiritual doubt, cynicism, pride or woundedness to a people setting a table for a world that feels all those things without the hope of Jesus.

That will be easier for some of us reading this than others.

It means us re-looking at our practices and how we live them out with even more intention and love. It means taking on responsibility for our part in the table setting of divine love.

If we start building our community without stepping out of our exile identity as a generation, we’ll probably never even think to imagine we’re ready to begin playing our part in that table setting.

It’s not impossible to get addicted to healing up and to being given space to rest and time to get your bearings. But we can’t live there. Not if we want to keep healthy.

What’s meant to be a stage in our coming back to communion with God can quickly become a lifestyle. But if we primarily identify with our hurts, doubts, and aches, we begin a process of blinding ourselves to the needs of others.

That’s why the ending of Psalm 107 is so important to us, and why we based an entire series “Faithful Presence” on it. Because ultimately, this North, South, East and West gathering of ours was for a purpose - it was to become wounded-healers, the hospitalised becoming the hospitable, the hungry now becoming the table setters for the great banquet of love that is the kingdom of heaven.

How do we go about this as a community? You’ll have to wait until the next blog post for that. What’s important today is that we consider the shift. That we look deep within ourselves as individuals and as a community and to ask ourselves if we’re willing to open up, to accept that we are no longer a generation of cityless people, but that we’ve found a home, and it’s time to open it up to the world with new eyes.

That’s not assuming you’re not already doing that by the way - our living this way is one of my great prides in our community. But as I learn’t in my conversation with Rob, it’s not only about what we’re doing or not doing, it’s about starting with a story change and allowing the prophetic Spirit to move in us through that as we tell a new story together.

So, are you ready to respond to the Spirit with us and help us change the story of Central Vineyard?




[As part of our preparation for Pentecost I’ve created some questions and prompts to pray through individually and in whatever circles you’re gathering in these next few weeks. Each blog post will end with an opportunity to allow the Spirit to prompt you in your own journey and your place in the whole as we work toward our Pentecost evening on June 9.]



Sometimes it takes us a while to catch up with what God is doing and to find language for it. Every now and then we have to choose to change the story we’re telling about our lives before we’re even ready to accept it - a prophetic decision to lean into the future God is designing whether we feel ready or not. We feel the Spirit telling us that we’re in this moment as a community. That he has gathered us from the four corners of our generation and that it’s time to respond to him in discovering how identifying as welcomers, and not exiles, in God’s tomorrow looks like.


What are some moments or seasons in your life you’ve felt God calling you to “change the story you’re telling about your life”?

How have you responded to this invitation over time? Or have you not?

What do you think it looks like for us as a community to respond to this invitation?

What part do you play - large or small - in helping us lean into this prophetic moment?

What do you feel the Spirit might say to us to encourage us at this turning point?


God of ever-flowing newness, make us your newness people too.
You have gathered us and healed us,
At times in part, and at times in full,
At times in minutes, and at times with patient longevity.
Make us wounded-healers just like you,
Gatherers of thirsty, hurting and disoriented souls,
Table setters in the wilder-places,
Courageous ushers of your kingdom.
You’re changing our story, you’re writing new history,
Teach us how to build with you,
As you prophesy to the uncertainty within us.



Pentecost Takeover Part I: Our Prophetic Journey


When I first stumbled into the Auckland Normal Intermediate hall where Central Vineyard was meeting at the time I was at the end of myself spiritually speaking. Katie and I had been visiting churches for well over 9 months trying to return to local church after a three year hiatus where we’d been meeting in home churches, prayer gatherings and through local and international travel.

We were exhausted. Exhausted because we were tired of walking into church communities that felt foreign to who we’d found God to be. But also exhausted inside. We were wondering whether to give up hope that there was a community that felt as if the Spirit would be free to lead us as a people, together.

Walking out of ANI that day, out of that small gathering of forty people, Katie and I didn’t even discuss it, we just knew we’d found our home.

We felt at the time like we were exiles who had found a table to eat at, sojourners who’d finally found a place of acceptance. A place we could rest. We’d found our home now not only in God’s kingdom, but in a particular local community that understood.

This story and this language has been a consistent theme over the years when we’ve asked newcomers their experience of walking into one of our gatherings. From day dot we’ve been walking in a story of homecoming, and on our first birthday the Spirit confirmed it when he told us through a prophetic word that we were and would become a Psalm 107 community.

Psalm 107 depicts a people - an exile people - being gathered from the four corners of the earth, being healed by God and welcomed back into his family. It’s the only Psalm or small body of writing in the entire bible that repeats the same phrase four times only to represent the four navigational points of both our physical and spiritual worlds.

for us, This Psalm is an all-embodying statement that God was bringing us home from spiritual malnourishment, disappointment, hurt, cynicism, depression, pride and loneliness. it was our homecoming.

This word and Psalm were the foundation of our Faithful Presence series which helped us lay a foundation of hospitality, gratitude and spiritual expression in the worlds around us. Many of us felt like we were re-building the basics of following Jesus together through the months and years that followed.

As we slowly grew into who God was inviting us to become we became living proof that “He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water” (107:35).

From that first birthday of around 80 people or so to the next we doubled in exiles finding their way home. Now, as we head toward our fourth birthday we’ve tripled that and then some the size of our table with people who have met us over dinner, found us in our aching to overcome, sat with us in our desire to beat numbness and celebrated with us in the new life that God has brought.

This Pentecost, we remember that god spoke, then transformed us. He made a highway in the wilderness for us. he made a people where there had been no people.

On our first coming of age he told us he would bring in more of us, and he did. He kept his promise because it was his pleasure and longing to do so. That’s so much of what the prophetic is.

In our story so far, the Spirit moved among us to do what so many people thought would be impossible - he brought in hundreds of us from a “lost generation”. One we’re told were doing little more than leaving religion behind for cynicism and hurt.

So maybe our own prophetic Psalm could go something like this:

“God saw us out there in the far reaches of our liminal spaces,
and he loved us too much to leave us in our wandering.
He drew us in, little by little,
until the deserted city became a flourishing garden -
One not full of overconfidence and self assured know-how,
but full of the meek,
the unsure,
the recovering.
God brought us together and blessed us so that we could heal,
so that we could re-understand his love for us
and his promise to make a Way.
Now, Central Vineyard has become a gather place
for the North, South, East and West of a lonely generation.
Our own little monument to hope,
in the midst of a world experiencing a crisis of faith.”

But God is speaking to us as a people in a new way again.
The Spirit is on the move - as he always is - and we’re not about to stop following him.
This Pentecost we’re preparing for a change, a pivot, a swing into something new, discomforting and exciting.

And we hope you’re ready for the adventure.




[As part of our preparation for Pentecost I’ve created some questions and prompts to pray through individually and in whatever circles you’re gathering in these next few weeks. Each blog post will end with an opportunity to allow the Spirit to prompt you in your own journey and your place in the whole as we work toward our Pentecost evening on June 9.]



God is the welcomer of exiles. He goes out to find any person who is lost, overwhelmed, exhausted or dehydrated by their own mistakes and by the worlds. He has drawn us all into a particular spiritual family in a particular place - Central Vineyard - and now we have a particular story together. God is restless until he has met us kindly in the wilderness. We remember and we celebrate him in our communal awakening story this Pentecost season.


Read through Psalm 107

Where do you find yourself in the story of the exiles coming home?
What was it like for you before you joined the Central Vineyard whanau?
What’s changed since you have?
Who has God revealed himself to be in this journey?


Father of the four corners of our hearts,

  our world,  

     our cosmos;

we celebrate your welcoming disposition toward us;

       your drawing us in and your making us a home together

               in this place of hope and healing.

We remember our unique collective story -

 That you have given us a family,

    And that you have built us a home.

May we never forget it.