Last weekend I led worship sessions at the Harvest Vineyard Prayer and Worship Summit in Edmonton, Alberta. One of the first things that struck me at this event was the angelic presence in the sanctuary. Sometimes I know in my gut that angels are present. Months of prayer offered up by the Harvest Vineyard beforehand made me feel like I was walking into an open, free space of connection with God.
This tremendous grace was present for me not just in the meetings but while I was alone—to hear from God and prepare for the meetings. It began a few weeks before I came to the event. That kind of thing happens because people have been doing the consistent plowing up of the spiritual ground, planting the seed through prayer and a lifestyle of worship and service.
I love how they employ the arts: their worship dance team is very unique and sensitive and really enhances the connection with God in the room. Another prophetic use of the arts was Rik Berry’s painting during worship. Rik is a Vineyard pastor and professional artist who skillfully brings forward God-themes through his work—done right before our eyes on the worship platform.
The Harvest Vineyard has a high value on regularly setting aside long times for corporate worship where they can open the door for anything God wants to say or do. (Once per month, they do an evening of extended worship and prayer with their community). They have a high value on going right to the holy of holies, listening to God and responding to his agenda, while holding their plans lightly. This has been a core value in the Vineyard from the beginning, but it’s easy to slip away from actually doing it in week-to-week church life.
There was a prophetic word about “The Northern Gateway.” It seems to me that Harvest / Edmonton Vineyard could be a gateway through which God wants to bring something precious to the rest of Vineyard Canada and probably to many other churches, both inside and outside of the Vineyard. They have a culture of prayer and worship that I think is rare in the Vineyard movement.
They are humble people who have been reaching out to the needy in their community for over 25 years, and this year was their 15th annual prayer and worship summit. There is no substitute for being a community that loves God and loves others, patiently building Kingdom—momentum over the long haul.