John Watson, who, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, is the driving force in the ministry of Vinesong, did not assume the office of itinerant minister on a mere whim. Behind him lie generations of faithful servants and his own apprenticeship of serving in pastoral ministry. His parents, were missionaries in Zimbabwe and then latterly Pastors in Durban, South Africa. Before Vinesong, John was also called to pioneer Churches in England, Holland and America. It was at that time that he came to see how Worship and the Word could be used even more widely, in the context of ministry.
Working with the Vineyard team and about to embark on a new church plant in Norway, John discovered the Lord had other plans. As he took a vacation in South Africa God clearly showed him that He was about to birth Vinesong and so for four years, from 1982 to 1986, the ministry took on the form that has become so familiar today.
It was clear in the purposes of God that John was to have a major input into leadership in many countries across the world and he now has a recognized ministry as a Pastor amongst Pastors. Away from the stage or the pulpit, many hours are given to listening to Pastors, Worship leaders, and their wives, as they seek counsel in their respective situations. This pastoral side of his ministry, has not been used to start a new church stream or grouping; John has been heard many times to say how important it is “not to leave your own fingerprints on the door handle” of your life. He is always mindful that Jesus is building His Church and that he should stay faithful to the original call. Leaders from across the world have publicly observed that Pastor John and Vinesong have not tried to change sound or grow into something other than that which God originally called them to.
The thing that establishes Pastor John Watson and Vinesong Ministries as being so unique on the world stage, is that they are a team of ministers, dedicated to the proclamation of the gospel and the building of the Church in line with biblical teaching. They are not a group of musicians desiring to entertain and win awards amongst the Christian community. Vinesong have always taken their commission directly from, Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.