By Carl Stagner
One of the children’s workers at Village View Community Church in Summerfield, Florida, received the devastating news that a serious heart condition would require her to undergo heart valve replacement surgery. Her breathing was difficult, and her blood flow was inhibited. She was intubated and given six hours-worth of anesthesia. Before the doctor began to operate, he decided to check the condition of the heart valves one more time. What happened next stunned the medical community, but was in many ways a reflection of a healthy, missional church that covered the patient in prayer.
“When he checked it this time, it was like she had a new heart,” Marty Shea, Village View senior pastor explains. “They didn’t need to do the surgery. It wasn’t necessary. But the hospital didn’t just accept the first doctor’s opinion, and required that his partner also examine her. This other doctor also confirmed that the heart was in perfect condition, and that there was no need to do the operation.”
What an encouragement to the congregation this miracle was! The church had just gotten over the lasting joy of another medically documented healing. A lady who had been diagnosed with lung cancer went in to the operating room, scheduled for surgery to remove a large mass. But the congregation had spent much time on their knees, knowing that neither doctors nor X-rays had the final word. When they re-took the X-rays, there was absolutely no sign of a tumor! God’s fingerprints haven’t just been on the sick and afflicted at Village View, however. It has been apparent that the Lord has been at work in a number of exciting ways in the Florida congregation.
Outreach through education had long been in the plans for Village View. Pastor Marty’s vision began to take shape in 2009 when a daycare was established. Then, a kindergarten program was added. Now, two hundred K–12 students walk the campus of Village View Christian Academy each weekday. In the past year, they’ve added football and basketball teams and, on March 9, thirteen students were baptized in public profession of their commitment to Christ. Ronda Shea, Marty’s wife and the church’s discipleship pastor, oversees the school’s operations.
“It’s about Village View offering ministry for families from the cradle to the grave,” Ronda explains. “That’s the next part of the vision, that someday we’ll have some kind of nursing care or assisted living facility. We want people to know that our church is for the young, and for the young-at-heart.”
Discipleship and outreach are paramount to the mission of Village View Community Church, as evidenced by their utilization of the Alpha training program, which will disciple fifty unchurched persons this semester. The church’s Celebrate Recovery ministry continues to thrive, and participants are surrendering their lives to Christ. New to Village View is an emphasis on utilizing their church’s existing small groups to create a community outreach network that also meets needs of those who call Village View home. It’s called Servolution, and it’s about to take the community by storm.
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