In 2015, I was invited to an event with Carl Tuttle at Sanctuary, a Vineyard Church in Lancaster, PA. Unfortunately, my schedule did not allow me to make the event. Thankfully, I was able to join Carl Tuttle at Micks All American Pub, with some others, after the worship gathering.
If you are not familiar with Carl Tuttle, allow me to offer an introduction. Carl became a follower of Jesus in a Southern California Quaker Church during the mid-1960’s, as the result of a relationship with, and invitation from, John Wimber. By the mid-seventies, a small group of those Quakers and other individuals, started meeting in the house of Carl Tuttle’s sister. Carl Tuttle quickly became the worship leader of this group, and as the group grew under the leadership of John Wimber, this group would became one of the most important foundations of the Vineyard Movement. Throughout the next twenty years, the Vineyard Movement spread out across the globe. Carl Tuttle would become a worship leader, a church planter, a teacher and eventually, Carl would become the Associate Pastor and right hand man of John Wimber, and then even the Lead Pastor to replace John at the Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Anaheim. Sadly, what is more known about Carl is the breakdown he experienced years later in his ministry.
My own journey brought me into the Vineyard Movement in 2003, through the Lancaster Vineyard Church. After attending our introductory classes (V1, V2, V3), I was intrigued and interested in researching the stories of the Vineyard Movement. I went on to read any book I could find on it’s history. I studied theologians that shaped its theology, and I even interviewed those who could share with me firsthand accounts of those beginning years. Early on, I learned of Carl’s name, songs, impact and story. My experience in the Vineyard has been one of the most forming, discipling and shaping experiences in both my life and faith. So, obviously, I jumped when this chance to converse with Carl Tuttle at Micks All American Pub was extended to me.
I still hold fond memories from that conversation, and celebrate encouragements that I received that night. In addition to learning more history and wisdom, I found Carl Tuttle to be extremely humble and honest about his personal story and struggles. That night, I encounter his gentle spirit that readily encourages others.
Recently, Carl Tuttle has written a new book, Reckless Mercy. In Reckless Mercy, Carl is even more open and transparent about his story and struggles. Though this book is extremely short and simple, far from exhaustive, it serves as an amazing and humble look into the early years of the Vineyard Movement, as well as Carl’s journey. In doing so, it also serves as a contagious, courageous and consistent reminder of God’s deep and compassionate mercy for us, despite our brokenness. I highly recommend this book.
From the back cover of Reckless Mercy,
Carl Tuttle has been a recipient of God’s lavish love. In Reckless Mercy, Carl shares his story of experiencing God’s ceaseless mercies through his journey of international acclaim, public downfall, and eventual restoration. As an integral leader in the birthing of the Vineyard Movement, Carl shares unique insights into the movement as well as its founder, John Wimber, a personal mentor and dear friend to Carl. In his characteristically disarming style, Carl shares the heartaches and humors of his story and takes the reader on a journey of exploring the unending and reckless mercies of God.
As Carl points out in the introduction to his book, “Broken shards of a life can be reassembled into a story of love and mercy that needs to be told.” I found this to be the most accurate review of this book. It is the story of broken shards of Carl’s life, that were reassembled by God, to tell the story of his love and mercy. This story is an inspiring and encouraging celebration of God’s mercy. Carl and his editor, geniusly tell both the story of the Vineyard and Carl, without revealing every gory detail and every little slice of drama. However, it is a revealing look that accurately portrays the overarching theme of God’s mercy and favor throughout Carl’s years – both in and out of exile.
My world came crashing down around me in 1997. It was entirely my fault. While it was an utterly devastating experience, followed by equally devastating years of slow rebuilding, I also realize that it was a beautiful act of God’s reckless mercy toward me that brought me to such a place. – Carl Tuttle
Learn the story of Carl Tuttle,
Historians will enjoy the Vineyard Movement’s history through the eyes of Carl Tuttle. Leaders will resonate with the way Carl portrays what it is to carry the weight of leadership and how it affects us. Those who struggle with insecurity will identity with Carl’s struggles and be encouraged by his redemption. Everyone will be amazed and encouraged by the way that God created a way for this banished servant to both be returned to and reconciled with, his people. I love this story of Carl’s journey out of the desert, physically and spiritually, back into the movement that changed his life..
This book causes us to wrestle with the question, is Jesus enough for me? What we do, ministry or job, is not who we are, those things are just what we do. We must see ourselves as His beloved children. When we can allow our identity to be shaped by that, the best chapters of our story are yet to be written.
This isn’t the best book you will ever read, but it is full some of the best and most powerful stories ever, if at each chapter you are willing to pause, listen, seek and be reshaped.