I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel…The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), Philippians 1:3–5.
Scheduled take-off of Amazing Wonders Aviation Flight via Community Baptist Church, Winston OR occurred last night. While VBS is an annual celebration for our church last night’s event was unusual in that we are partnering with the Winston Assembly of God for our Vacation Bible School.
A few weeks ago Ed Novak, pastor of Winston Assembly of God asked me if I thought our church would be open to allowing some of his workers, teenagers and children to participate in our VBS. After a brief discussion with my VBS Director (aka as Cindy, my bride of almost 36 yrs) our answer was an unequivocal YES. It is a win-win solution for all involved. First, it provides our church with some extra adults to assist our own folks in the classrooms. Second, their teenagers attend the same high school as our teenagers. Though they know each other from school a week of working together will strengthen their bonds in Christ helping them to stand more powerfully for Christ as the next school year begins. Third, their children and our children attend the same primary and elementary schools and a week of interaction will help them come to know each other better.
One of the issues our local pastor’s group (made up of evangelical friends from the Evangelical Free Church; the Foursquare Church; the Nazarene Church; the Mennonite Church; and of course yours truly) has been focused on is living out Jesus’ prayer for unity (see John 17). Collaborating with a sister church in VBS is further evidence of the unity we do have in Christ.
All this simply highlights one other benefit. The Kingdom of God is bigger than any denomination or individual church. While we have some distinct doctrinal differences with our Assembly of God brothers and sisters we share a common understanding that all people are in need of a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. To that end we can teach God’s Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and penetrate hearts of people in need of a Savior.
I am looking forward to the week of partnering together for the gospel!