[An open letter to Pastor Vince Black]
As I sit at my computer this morning, just two days away from commissioning and sending you off to plant a church in Ft. Collins, Colorado, I think with thankful wonder at the grace God has given us all these past nearly five years. It was December 2004 that the Lord first brought you to our attention as a potential staff pastor here at Trinity. Since that time - with your help - we've become a church of small groups with robust, relational dicipleship, we've become a philosophically unified church without in-fighting and contentious factions, we've become a more globally minded church, eagerly sharing ourselves and our resources with some of the most impoverished and imperiled Christians in the world to help make them a missions movement to reach their own people, plant their own churches and reach beyond their borders with the gospel. Over the past five years you've grown into a very gifted preacher whose ministry we will miss sitting under.
I am grateful for these and many other ways in which God has used you to bless us as a church family. Far more, I am grateful for having been given the privilege of watching your commitment to your wife as you've nurtured her personally and spiritually. Truly, you are an example of a man who "washes [Kirsten] with the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26)." You are a man who ardently disciples his sons, showing and teaching them that "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight (Pr. 9:10)." Your example of godliness - which has been a great gift -that I will miss most of all.
Vince, as you go, know that God has used you profoundly. But know that His use of you is only beginning. So, as you plant a church and begin a new life in Colorado, fix your attention on Paul's commission to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-2, "I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." Preach the Word, Vince. Live on it and live by it. Let God and His gospel be your joy and let heaven be your hope. The best is yet to come.
With love and friendship,