We’re not very far now from the Wimberisation of at least a wing of the Church of England and via Alpha, Catholic renewal, ARM etc possibly a lot more. We’ve gained much (while losing some – another post) but the key thing now is:
The grandchildren get to play together
Wimber met Watson, helped transform HTB and via David Pytches chose to influence the UK through the institutional church rather than creating a competitive brand (Vineyard Uk came later and wasn’t Wimber’s first idea). Even after Vineyard churches began here Wimber would always give prime attention to his CoE friends. What a legacy. What a legend.
Now New Wine and the HTB Focus churches are full of church shaping leaders right into the echelons of establishment hierarchy. To be sure many clergy fuse numerous other influences from tradition, scripture, reason and experience with the basic Worship, Word, Ministry vineyard model with its expectation of encounter and power, and it is vital that we don’t lose that heritage/ discover new patterns / think for ourselves. But I think it’s undeniable that a Wimberisation has occurred and set us free for the Spirit to ‘make thy chosen servants joyful’.
For various reasons, practical, scale etc Wimber’s UK establishment children (HTB/ New Wine) have taken different paths. New Wine has embraced many non denominational, vineyard and other church leaders (often with a similar gentle Anglican feel) whereas HTB has had its biggest influence through multi denominational Alpha and now a church planting spearheaded by ++Justin and +Ric Thorpe both Alpha/HTB/Wimber graduates.
But now the grandchildren are in charge and both movements are being asked by Bishops to embrace nation changing church planting. There are two ‘princes’. Archie Coates is heading HTB Focus. Paul Harcourt at New Wine.
We know from families that even when siblings have rivalry the next generation has a new chance.
The grandchildren get to play.
Need. To. Play.
Must work together to build on their heritage and legacy deposit. Must plant and strategise together. Must love and meet and support and grow in unity.
Cmon. Lord Jesus
Let your church be one.
Let your Kingdom come
Let this land be won.
Love this! 🙂
Firstly we love New Wine and usually attend, missing this year because of big family celebrations. Have also been really blessed by HTB and their Leadership Conference. And really enjoy your blog! But blog posts like this make me nervous. I think it is a very human tendency to glorify leaders, name names akin to Peter wanting to build tents on the mount of transfiguration, or the many times humans build memorials to other men. I’m not sure it is the Kingdom way. I’ve been reading Acts and wondering why we hear very little about the churches planted by the disciples, struck again and again by Paul who is always gospel first and himself last.
By naming names and celebrating ‘Wimberisation’ what do we achieve? I don’t think it is particularly accurate church history (see 3.1 in the best short summary of charismatic renewal published by EA http://www.eauk.org/church/resources/theological-articles/upload/Charismatic-renewal-in-Britain.pdf) as it is clear the Holy Spirit was blowing the winds of renewal into the English church well before John Wimber’s ministry. From what I read of Wimber’s ministry I think he too would have not wanted his name but only Jesus’ name raised up. It is one of the peculiar ‘bingo effects’ of New Wine listening out for a ‘Wimber encounter’.
The Holy Spirit is blowing winds of change and renewal across the land and the denominations, so many will be hidden from us at the moment. I’m not a church leader – I’m a primary school teacher – so not half as qualified to comment but had to as something sticks in my throat when we praise humans as the next best thing that is going to change us/church – that’s God’s job with our consent, alone. I’m praying for the New Wine and HTB leadership, but they are humans and there will be many others unknown to us who are -like the first disciples – unheralded but faithfully serving.
Not sure it’s the best thing published (not least for its relative brevity). Renewal was clearly a thing pre- Wimber but interviewing many of the key practitioners (eg John Collins) they’d identify try Wimber era as a key leap ahead – a paradigm shift from where they were previously. I don’t think it glorifies or dishonours to identify key historic figures. Inevitably their legacy is mixed but in this case clearly lasting. The interesting question is whether it is only through the enduring influence of the Toronto Blessing via Alpha weekends that wimberisation continues (despite his possible antipathy to some of what it branched out into)
Also come back next year!! It’s been brilliant and would love to see you all!!