The Vineyard Initiative

My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill.
He protected the land,
removed its stones,
and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle of the vineyard he built a watchtower    
and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes.

~Isaiah 5:1-2

In this Old Testament passage found in the Book of Isaiah, we witness the first time in Scripture that God refers to his people as a vineyard.  Almost 800 years later in the New Testament we will see Jesus directly quote this verse on multiple occasions (Matthew 21, Mark 12, Luke 20, John 15) as he rebukes the religious leaders of the day for precisely how they had failed to teach God's people the two most basic elements of discipleship:  who God is, and who he created us to be.  The vineyard parable serves as a simple description of the ideal environment required to establish a healthy relationship with the Lord.  Based on this environment, and more importantly the actions it takes to create and maintain such an environment, we see that effective discipleship can occur in seven practical action steps.