Twenty years ago, on February 14, 1998, PVC officially welcomed Pastor George Gainer as senior pastor. He and Leanne have served this congregation faithfully, consistently leading us into deeper love for Jesus and lifting up the everlasting gospel! Reflecting on this 20-year journey, Pastor George wrote this article for The Promise:
I was on my morning walk that day, trekking past Binford Lake, when suddenly the next chapter of God’s call in my life came clear – “To pastor a healthy, life-giving church.”
Life-giving, in that people would come to eternal life in Christ Jesus through the ministries of that church!
Healthy, in that the Lord loves His lost and hurting people way too much to entrust them to a church that will hurt them worse than they were before they got there!
That’s why the church is called to be a healthy, life-giving place!
Just days later, on February 14, 1998, I was privileged to stand before you, the PVC congregation, and deliver my inaugural sermon. Can you believe that was 20 years ago this month? Wow! I am as amazed as you are! Is God good, or what? “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”
But how is it that a church becomes a healthy, life-giving place? In counseling, it is the individuals and couples who tell the truth, who get well. The same holds true for churches. Churches that commit themselves to speaking the “truth in love” keep on growing into health.
And what is the truth? The core truth that PVC is entrusted with is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel reveals to us both the truth of our great need and the truth of God’s amazing grace. It is this truth that leads us to kneel in repentance at the foot of the Cross, which also means that we are in the perfect position to wash the feet of our sisters and brothers. It is our on-going kneeling at the foot of the cross that allows the Holy Spirit to continuously grow us into a healthy, life-giving church.
PVC, this is who we are! This is our foundation! We rejoice in God’s blessings these past 20 years, but we must not linger in the past. The past is prologue. Says the Lord, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; even now it springs forth, don’t you perceive it?” Let’s lift up Jesus by letting the light of His uncommon love shine through us to bless this world!
“To God be the glory! Great things He has done!” And great things He is doing!