Back in January 1998, we planted our Vineyard church here in Cedar Rapids by gathering a few folks in our living room. Over the next 13 years, we worshipped, prayed, and faithfully served Jesus throughout our community, working out of several different buildings throughout the Cedar Rapids area. By 2008, our church had grown to over 350 people, but sadly, as a pastor who could only measure success through the eyes of numerical growth, I kept pushing our people toward more growth and expansion.
If you’re familiar with my recent writings (www.pastorboller.com), you know that about that same time (2008), as we were celebrating our tenth anniversary, God began dismantling my ‘successful’ church, speaking clearly to me through this season of desolation about my addiction to church growth. I was very slow to respond, but by 2011, when I finally took a much-needed sabbatical, I sensed the Master inviting me to no longer view the success (or failure) of our church by measuring what I now call the 3-B’s…(B)uilding size, (B)ucks in the offering, and (B)utts in the seats.
In January of 2015, our increasingly-difficult financial crisis hit the fan, and on Sunday, March 1, 2015, Father’s House Vineyard Church of Cedar Rapids lost its building. Now while that situation might seem scary to some, I believe now, that this was the very best thing God could do to help our church transition from a 3-B church growth mentality to a whole new way of doing church. Today, it’s my hope that our church family will now unite around a new vision God is giving us. One that focuses exclusively on building up people for Kingdom purposes rather than sustaining a worn-out, costly facility where we do the ‘same-old-same-old’ on Sunday mornings!
So, from this point forward, Father’s House Vineyard Church of Cedar Rapids has now become Vineyard at Home. A simple & sustainable church community meeting in homes throughout the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City corridor. Kayla’s picture* (above) in so many ways represents the vision of where we believe God is taking us in the days ahead. We’re young and old together, moving out of our traditional worship settings into new wide open spaces, in homes across the corridor of Cedar Rapids/Iowa City. Come join us in our new adventure with Jesus!
Marty Boller (a ‘recovering’ 3-B pastor) & Sandy Boller