When did you launch?
Our first church service was held on October 17, 2010. When we launched our church gathered inside Heritage Church in Sterling Heights and met on Sunday nights (thanks to pastor Jeff Forrester and the rest of the leadership of Heritage for being so openhanded with their building!). In October 2011 we transitioned from church at night to church in the morning and moved to Shelby Junior High School (thanks to Utica Community Schools for opening their doors to our church!).
What ways do you serve the poor?
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6). This Bible verse is the heartbeat of our church, and is the reason we show our love for God and people in practical ways. Individuals, families, and small groups at our church volunteer in both the inner city and the suburbs — mentoring underprivileged children,
feeding the homeless, clothing the needy, providing assistance to the elderly, and raising awareness to help abolish things that break God’s heart… like human trafficking.
What is your church service like?
First of all, come as you are. Jeans are just fine! The Sunday service is 75 minutes long. Before you walk into our sanctuary, be sure to stop by The Eastside Cafe for a fresh cup of coffee (we use fair-trade), a bagel (from Big Apple Bagels), or an assorted mix of homemade goodies. Our service begins with a time of praise and worship. (Others may choose to worship God during this time through connecting in community out in the lobby drinking coffee, eating bagels, talking to old friends, and meeting new people). After worship, there is an in-depth teaching from the Bible. Then we have a “response time” where everyone is encouraged to respond to God in some way while the worship team leads us. Some respond by coming forward to take communion. Some respond to God by standing and singing. Some choose to respond to God by sitting and reflecting. Finally, at the end of the service, there is an opportunity to come forward to receive 1-on-1 prayer in any area of a person’s life where he or she needs God to show up.
Where is your church located?
Sunday Mornings at Wiley Elementary School
47240 Shelby Rd., Utica, MI 48317
Click here for a Map
What time is your church service?
What programs do you have for kids?
Every Sunday during church we offer Vineyard Kids for newborns through 5th Grade. Our goal is to join you in identifying, developing, and encouraging the God-given potential in every child. It is our prayer that every lesson, activity, and interaction that takes place in Vineyard Kids will help unleash the beauty of God written on the hearts of our children. For more info click HERE.
What programs do you have for teens?
If you’re in 6th-12th grade we’ve got something for you! On the second and fourth Sundays of each month, our youth hold small group during service. Come hang out with other kids your age, learn about God, and have fun! For more info click HERE.
Where did your church get its name?
Our church is part of the Association of Vineyard Churches which is made up of 1,500+ churches around the world, 550 of these are in the United States. The “Vineyard” language comes straight from the gospels where Jesus talks about how He is the vine and we are the branches and we need to stay connected to Him because apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15). Vineyard churches are typically named according to the city or location they are in. Vineyard churches in our region include Almont Vineyard, Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor, and Vineyard Columbus to name a few. Instead of including a particular city from Macomb County in our name we decided to call ourselves The Eastside Vineyard Church. And there is room for “Westsiders” at The Eastside Vineyard!
Do you have a mission statement?
Joining God in His Work to Make His Kingdom Come and His Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven. We like this language because it reminds us that God is already at work in the world and we simply need to join Him in what He is doing. God’s Kingdom comes to earth and God’s will is done on earth whenever the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, the sick are healed, and relationships — between us and others and us and God — are reconciled and repaired.
Do you have small groups?
Small groups are the primary way that we go out and “be the church” all week long. Small groups are a great place to meet new people, connect with God, hang out socially, and serve the poor. Groups meet in a “seasonal” format – Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer – and each season lasts 8-12 weeks. For more info click HERE.
Is your church all about the money?
We do not mandate that our attendees give a certain percentage of their income to The Eastside Vineyard Church. We’re never going to ask for your W-2 forms to make sure you are tithing. We’re never going to guilt you into giving. That being said, we doencourage people to be radically generous with how they live their lives – how they spend their time (serving those in need) and how they spend their money (supporting organizations and people who advance the Kingdom of God on earth). When it comes to giving, you may choose to give to your local church, the single mom down the street, or any of the dozens of amazing charities that exist – giving to each of those advances the Kingdom of God and that is our passion. If you consider The Eastside Vineyard Church to be your church home, we hope that giving to it plays a part in your overall giving equation. The percentage or amount you decide to give to our church is between you and God. Click HERE for ways to give.
Is your church affiliated with a denomination?
Over the past few years whenever we talked about planting a church, we assumed we’d go the non-denominational and independent route. But then in March 2010 we were invited to attend a church planting “boot camp” with the Vineyard association and realized their vision and values were the same as our vision and values. Joining the Vineyard brought a number of positives as compared to being an independent church. They provide the following: accountability and oversight without the bureaucracy that is often associated with those things, a relational network of like-minded pastors, mentoring and coaching for new churches like ours, and access to a vast number of resources including books, audio, and conferences. In the same way that it is good for an individual Christian to be part of a local church, it is good for an individual church to be part of an association of churches (something bigger than itself).
I’m not familiar with the Vineyard. Can you give me an overview?
The Association of Vineyard Churches was founded by John Wimber in 1982. They are a worldwide movement with over 1,500 churches around the globe. 550 of these are in the United States. While the Vineyard’s initial focus centered on healing prayer and worship, over the past 30 years the movement has matured and their emphasis has
broadened. Five core values define the Vineyard of the 21st century and as you read them you’ll see the heartbeat of Jesus:
The Theology and Practice of the Kingdom of God – This is the first, the most fundamental, the most crucial core value of the Vineyard. From the beginning, the Vineyard has been committed to proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God and to bearing witness to the “already and not yet” of the kingdom in our words and deeds — through healing (physical, emotional, and social), doing justice, and delivering those held captive by all forms of evil in the world.
Experiencing God – In Vineyard churches, we welcome God’s personal presence, we seek to be attentive to his presence, and we value the passionate pursuit of his presence in order to respond in obedience to His initiatives.
Reconciling Community – We must actively work to break down barriers of race, culture, gender, social class, and ethnicity.
Compassionate Ministry – We lean toward the lost, the poor, the outcast, and the outsider with the compassion of Jesus. Ministry in Jesus’ name should be expressed in concrete ways through the local church.
Culturally Relevant Mission – We promote a creative, entrepreneurial, and innovative approach to ministry that is faithful to Jesus and expressive of his desire to reach those who are far away from God. As such, no two Vineyard churches are the same.
Where did your pastor go to seminary?
Our lead pastor Dan Kopp attended the International School of Theology (ISOT) in southern California from 1999-2002 where he received his Master of Divinity degree. In 2007, Dan enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Denver Seminary and advanced to candidacy status in 2009. He put pursuit of his doctorate on hold in order to plant this church.
Which Bible verses are foundational to your church?
The primary verse we keep going back to again and again as we discussed what we want this church to be about is: “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6b). Other verses that have influenced us include: Matthew 22:37-39; Acts 1:8; Mark 1:15; Galatians 4:19; John 14:12; Matthew 25:37-40;
Ephesians 6:12; Acts 2:46-47; Matthew 28:18-20.