V I N E   S T R E E T 
 
 
A Village Of Unconditional, All Forgiving,
Never Ending LOVE.
 
 
Feeling unchurched? Over-churched? Anti-churched?
 
So are we.
Check us out!
 
 
 
 
  
H O W   W E   W O R S H I P

Join Us Sunday Mornings

9:00 A.M. Village

Start your Sunday off in a casual, low-key gathering where we share breakfast and chat about Jesus and life. Small groups for all ages – Nursery Available!
 
 
This ain’t your old fashioned
Sunday School!
 
Join us September – May!
 
 
 

10:00 A.M. Worship

“A little something for everyone and a lot of Jesus” is how we worship. Come as you are and experience our energetic, spirit filled service with moving messages and music ranging from contemporary Christian to traditional hymns.
 
 
This service is geared for all
generations!
 
 

Teaching & Preachings

We teach and preach a Jesus that is real and authentic … Taken straight from the gospels with no biased or politics attached. Whether you’re an active participant or a “fly on the wall” listener, we have something for you.
 
 
Check out our calendar and see what
interests you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
B I G  I D E A 
 
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15).
 
Pastor Bob
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
C H U R C H   M E D I A

Recent Devotionals

July 2020

Journey Through James; Episode 12 — July 31st

“Journey Through James; Episode 12 — July 31st”.


Journey Through James; Episode 11 — July 30th

“Journey Through James; Episode 11 — July 30th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 10 — July 29th

“Journey Through James; Episode 10 — July 29th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 9 — July 28th

“Journey Through James; Episode 9 — July 28th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 8 — July 27th

“Journey Through James; Episode 8 — July 27th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 7 — July 26th

“Journey Through James; Episode 7 — July 26th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 6 — July 25th

“Journey Through James; Episode 6 — July 25th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 5 — July 24th

“Journey Through James; Episode 5 — July 24th”.


Journey Through James; Episode 4 — July 23rd

“Journey Through James; Episode 4 — July 23rd”.


Journey Through James; Episode 3 — July 22nd

“Journey Through James; Episode 3 — July 22nd”.




 
 
 
 
 
F R O M   T H E   B L O G

Recent Posts

Overcoming the World to Meet the Real Jesus

Every Wednesday morning at 9:00am, a little group of prayer warriors meets in the corner room behind the sanctuary at Vine Street Christian Church and talks about the concerns of the day, the worries on our hearts, and how to better live The Way of Jesus. To help us with The Way of Jesus thing, we have been reading through a little book by Henri Nouwen called “The Selfless Way of Christ.” As we read and talk our way through the book, page by page, we have come to realize how radically different Jesus was than the world around him. Today it’s much the same. We exalt and celebrate Jesus as our “Lord” and the “Savior of the World.” And in so doing, we make him into someone the world will respect and admire. We need a spectacular Jesus to attract more people to him and our churches. So it is shocking to think of him as a poor carpenter from a back water town who never asked, nor desired, to be powerful, relevant or spectacular … although he was offered all 3 of those things in the wilderness before he started his public ministry. But Jesus chose a different way. Not the way of the world, where powerful, relevant and spectacular would all be deeply desired. Jesus chose the selfless way. He chose the way of the powerless, the irrelevant, and the mundane. Of course, we don’t think about that much today because we are all caught up in the way of the world. Even when it comes to Jesus. We have gone so far as to create our own Jesus … one who IS powerful, and relevant, and spectacular! Now that’s a Jesus we can relate to … and admire … and honor … and worship … and maybe even, on a good day … follow! I mean frankly – who is going to follow a poor carpenter from a back water town who never exalted himself or desired to be spectacular? Obviously, not many! Most “Christians” today follow that other Jesus – the one they have created in the image of the world. That Jesus is powerful! He is most definitely relevant! And he is super-spectacular! All the while, there is (and always has been) a small band of Jesus followers who don’t need a label, or a denomination, or even a church for that matter, who are spreading the love of Jesus all around our neighborhoods, our communities, and our world … person by person, hug by hug, blanket by blanket … and yes … dirty foot washed by dirty foot washed. I’m often asked why this small group of love crazy Jesus followers not get with the program of the powerful, relevant and spectacular Jesus? And the simple reason is because they know that they are not of this world. You see, the followers of that worldly-created Jesus are deeply embedded in the ways of the world, they are invested in the world’s values and compelled by the world’s priorities. And they want their Lord and their Savior to be like they are. But the truth is … Jesus is not like that. Jesus did not come to lead us to greater standing in the world. Instead, he came to lead us to another kind of world … one not of this world … but a divine world he called the Kingdom of God. In that world … the divine rules … and the way of life and love are the opposite of the ways of the world. So, if you really want to follow Jesus, get on your knees. Confess and surrender your longing for the ways of the world and make a heart-commitment to follow Jesus. And then … wash someone’s dirty feet. And don’t tell anybody about it! And when you’re done, look around. You just might get a glimpse of the Kingdom of God that Jesus is leading you to. Overcoming the ways of the world to build the Kingdom of God, And call us whatever you want to, but …

We are – Followers of <>< The Way

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JESUS ASKS VINE STREET: “Where’s the Love?”

Ouch! Talk about some “in your face” preaching! These words of Jesus come from the last book in the Bible: Revelation. Chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation are the visions of Jesus delivered to the 7 churches of the world by a prophet named John. In Chapter 2, Jesus says to the church in Ephesus: “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” Interestingly enough, the church at Ephesus was one of Paul’s most significant Jesus communities, and his letter to this church is in the New Testament as “Ephesians.” It’s clear that Paul treasured this church and that it had important standing in the secular world as a powerful voice for the Jesus movement. In that sense, it probably wasn’t much unlike our little Jesus community at Vine Street. Both churches have a legacy of strong faith and service to the needy in their communities. Both churches have solid institutional structures and strong lay leadership. They are both pillars in their communities and respected for their devotion to the way of Jesus. But, alas, both the church at Ephesus and the church at Vine Street are lacking in the one most important quality of a Jesus community: the unconditional, all-forgiving, never-ending love of Jesus Christ. These churches, like so many others, begin to look more like a good civic club rather than a school of the love of Jesus. Jesus knew well this danger. Jesus never started an institutional church movement. He never built a church building. He never made decisions by committee and he never ever called a board meeting. He could have. But he didn’t. Jesus knows what happens when a church loses that one most important quality that distinguishes it from all the other “do-good” clubs and organizations in secular society ~ the love! You might be wondering what I’m doing reading the Book of Revelation. Every other Thursday at the Eberhard Village assisted living center, I help lead a group of wise and faithful ladies in Bible study. This Thursday we started studying the Book of Revelation. Ironically, perhaps, they call themselves the “Circle of Love.” And it’s a good name! For certainly, they love each other with the same divine agape love that Jesus loves them with. But the truth is, ladies, Jesus wants more than that. And from all of us! Jesus came into the world and spread his love across all the earth so that somebody (anybody?) would decide to live like him. Jesus’s plan rests on the hope that some small community of devoted and faithful followers would actually decide to throw the world’s ways aside … leave judgment for God and others, and make their default response to every single child of God on the planet ~ unconditional, all-forgiving, and never-ending love. That’s why, in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Revelation, Jesus praises the church at Ephesus for being patient, for enduring, for calling out heresy, and for claiming the truth of Jesus. He does the exact same for this little church at Vine Street. But it’s also why he has something against us.

  • Let us not pretend that we are everything that Jesus calls us to be.
  • Let us not deny that we still lack the love that Jesus calls us to.
  • Let us not settle for anything less than giving to all people the love the Jesus gives to us.
  • Let us not be content with looking like a “do-good” secular club or organization.
  • Let us not put this off any longer!
What if we had one chance to live a life? What if we knew that our one life was redeemed by the love of Christ? What if we also knew that our Creator wanted nothing less than for us to take that love that we received from the Son and to share it with everyone else? Well, church, we know all of that! So today … let’s love. Let’s make a choice to turn from the ways of the world that teach us to make an entitlement out of our propensity to judge others and to determine their worth. Let’s throw all that in the rubbish heap where it belongs. Just for today, let us make love our default response to every person and situation. And let it all start right here at Vine Street … a little “mustard seed” of a church that Jesus is calling to more love. Let us begin by loving each other unconditionally, all-forgiving, and never-ending. And then, let’s share that love with the whole world!    
 
Not only will it bless others, but it will bless us most of all.  And then, there will be one less thing that Jesus can hold against us!
One life ~ One love ~ One chance
 
Casting the ways of the world aside and taking up the call to love like Jesus,                                                                 
I am, in His name, Pastor Bob

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JESUS ASKS THE CHURCH: “DO YOU WANT TO BE MADE WELL?”

The story in the 5th Chapter of John about the lame man who has sat by the healing waters of Bethesda for years (38 years!) waiting to be healed, offers us a ready-made metaphor for the American church in the 21st Century. whole time about having no help to get into the healing waters or always getting bullied away from the help that is available right in front of it. The only thing the church won’t do after all these years waiting to experience the renewal and revival that awaits it in the healing waters is to do the one thing that it refuses to do: CHANGE!                                                                                               Try something different. Stop being the victim! Or … as Jesus so bluntly puts it to the lame man: “Pick up your mat and walk!” Read the story for yourself and see how the lame man can be such an accurate metaphor for many churches today. John 5:1-10 The Message (MSG) Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?” The sick man said, “Sir, when the water is stirred, I don’t have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in.” Jesus said, “Get up, take your bedroll, start walking.” The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off. That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, “It’s the Sabbath. You can’t carry your bedroll around. It’s against the rules.” Have you noticed that Jesus has been asking our church if it wants to be made well? It’s an important question, because many churches today (most?) might answer in the affirmative but surely do not want to do anything different than what they’ve been doing for the last 38 years! Those churches still think that one day we’re all going to be transported back to the 1960’s and people will once again begin flooding into our buildings.                                                                             Folks … those days are gone and they ain’t comin’ back! What happens to churches that don’t change is probably the same thing that happened to the lame man by the pool – they become beggars. And frankly, becoming a beggar is not the end of the world. It can keep a church busy … and focused … and praying, for many years! Maybe even 38 more years! Like this lame man, the begging church has run out of options with friends and family. The man (the church) is forced to look outside itself just to get by. And so, it begs. PLEASE come to our church! PLEASE bring your children! PLEASE drop a pittance in the offering plate! Just tell us what you’d like us to do, and we will make it happen. We are willing to do anything that would appeal to you, if we can still be ourselves, and still be OUR church. And so, the time comes when someone asks the church … how’s that working for you? And usually, like a man who would sit by the waters for 38 years, the answer is … good enough for now. But the future may not be looking too good. Then, at some point, Jesus comes along and asks the church that one critical question: “Do you want to get well?”                                                                                              And most churches respond … “That depends … can we get well without changing?” Here at Vine Street, we did something different. We did just as Jesus said: 1) we got up; 2) we picked up our bedroll: and 3) we started walking. And ever since then, it’s been quite a spirit-led journey with Jesus into the 21st Century church. Keep on walkin’ – no turnin’ back, no turnin’ back,The church continues to sit and wait, whining the


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L E A D E R S H I P

Meet Some Of Our Team

 
Bob Silvanik
 Pastor
 
Beth Jones
Office Manager
 
Ruth Ann Lowder
Music
 
 
Ed Coller
Moderator
 
 
Candi & Bryan Thomas
Cleaning Crew
 
 
 
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Contact Info

Address: 249 S. Vine Street Arthur, IL 61911
Phone:217-543-2292