My Thoughts on Village’s 50th Anniversary

February 1, 2011 at 10:12 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On Sunday Village Baptist in Thornton celebrated her 50th anniversary as a church.  I have been honored to be the preaching pastor there for the last eight and half of those years.  We had a great time together with many former members and former pastors coming to the worship service or the celebration following.  I confess I had a fun day.  That is a confession because I wasn’t sure I would.  Let me explain.

Village has had a rough history through parts of that half century.  As one former pastor said, “You’ve taken a lot of hits.”  Two former pastors represented at the celebration left Village under terrible circumstances; as I understand the history, there has been one church split and two major mass exoduses of people.  I have often been introduced to “former members” of Village who come back for funerals or special events, and, even though the long-term members who introduce them to me seem excited to see them, my first thought is a negative one.  I almost view those people as traitors, “If you’re excited to be here, why did you leave in the first place?”  So in my anticipation of the 50th celebration, I prayed that God would make me gracious toward all who come, especially the pastor who split the church.  Notice my wording on that last phrase makes him the bad guy, but that may not be the right view; it’s is simply how I have felt about it and why I prayed to be gracious.  God answered that prayer, and I honestly enjoyed seeing everyone.

As former pastor Sam Watne told me, we can view the past in two ways.  We can see Village as the most influential church in the north metro area, because two mega churches came out of us and there are numerous believers ministering in other churches all over the region, or we can be jealous of the other pastors and angry about what happened.  We need to take the more gracious response.  In spite of the negative things that have happened, God has used them to his glory.  Of course Sam was exactly right.

Village has taken a lot of hits through its fifty years of service, but it is a great testimony to God’s grace that we are still alive and still faithful to the name of Jesus and the Word of God.  That is worthy of celebration.

Thanks to all who came, both current and former members.  And a huge thanks to the committee that did all the work to put the celebration together.

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