As someone who has been in the Vineyard movement for a reasonably large chunk of my adult life, but who missed out on the early years and founding fathers like Kenn Gulliksen and John Wimber, I am interested in the history of this tribe, as well as the words and work of those who have contributed to the renewal and refreshment of the Church of Jesus. This book, by Marty Boller (read more about him and his wife Sandy here) represents some good reflections on the key themes of Wimber’s ministry and teaching (And the inter-relation therein) on a range of key subjects.
The format of this book is a mixed bag. Whilst it puts Wimber’s reflections (Selected by the author) centre-stage, no quote is particularly long and so the reader is often left wanting more from Wimber. Boller is an able pastor, and a talented thinker, and puts his reflections on Wimber’s ‘wisdom’ immediately after the quote. Boller’s own passion, for moving from a ‘growth’ mindset to a ‘kingdom’ mindset in terms of pastoring and leading churches, is admirable, and comes across powerfully in this book. For those of us who didn’t meet or hear Wimber, this is a helpful book in terms of original source material, and an interesting one in terms of reflections upon some of his big ideas. The format, however, is slanted towards the ‘as I see it‘ of the book’s subtitle.
The content and heart of this book, however, is excellent. Putting Wimber’s words front and centre, Boller does give newcomers to the Vineyard like myself a helpful introduction to the thought of one of our founders, whilst also not accidentally (or deliberately!) making it more than what it is. Couched as a leadership book, this would be a helpful read for anyone in charge of, or shepherding, a group of Jesus-followers, from the megachurch pastor to the small group leader.