THE CENTRAL CONNECTION
May 2021
"We are an organization of churches that is committed
to the mission of Christ to multiply disciple-making churches
through evangelism, leadership training, and connection with
other like-minded churches."
FROM THE DIRECTOR
The Power of His Personal Presence

“Now the serpent was craftier than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
 
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Genesis 3:1-3, 8
The power we want is not the power we need. Notice the two names of God in verse one – LORD and God. The term for God is the word – Elohim. Elohim is used all through Genesis 1 -2 to refer to the Sovereign, all-powerful creator who spoke and the worlds came into being. The same creative power is demonstrated when Jesus turned water into wine, raised the dead and healed the sick. Christians greatly desire to see this kind of power demonstrated by God in life and circumstances. This power is amazing, spectacular and inspiring, but this is not the power we need to resist the devil, overcome temptation and live a faithful life to God – Adam and Eve case in point. 
Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director
Venture Church Network Midwest (CBNC) 
A WORD FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Dear VCN Family,
 
Recently a pastor asked a fair (and great) question to me. He essentially asked, “What is the agenda of VCN? What's the catch? Why should we re-engage?"
 
Here's why we exist: to help churches take bold next steps. To serve. To support in ways that assist churches in whatever next step the Lord is leading them. To relationally connect leaders and churches in a fierce cooperation that advances their mission. To share resources. 
 
We have no hidden agenda. We simply believe we are better together. Our goal is to give, not get. What can we do for you and your congregation? Our agenda is to make sure you're not alone in accelerating and accomplishing the mission.  Read More

Dr. Dave Whitaker, President
Venture Church Network
Tuesday, May 25, 9:00am (CST)
with an alternative repeat session
Wednesday, May 26, 3:00pm (CST)


WATCH FOR YOUR ZOOM INVITE COMING SOON!

ENGAGE: The Power of the Transforming Presence of Christ
Theme: One of the Greatest Missing Elements in Disciple-making
Text: James 4:7-10
Presenter: Brad Little 

The Purpose of ENGAGE is to address gospel and missional critical issues and challenge our thinking related to pastoral ministry, leadership and the purpose of our churches.

The Goal of ENGAGE is to continue to become gospel-centered, grace driven, biblically anchored churches passionately committed to fulfill the mission of Christ. ​

JUSTICE, MERCY AND GRACE
"Can you distinguish between “JUSTICE, MERCY AND GRACE?” Here is a story that may help.
           
"A couple years ago I picked up a junior high home school student to help me on my project of building a log cabin. As Nick and I journeyed to the building sight I was excited and in a hurry. Driving along Highway Q I glanced to the right and I saw her. It was Officer Bailey. . ." Read More
Pastor Eldon Carlson
VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
AROUND THE REGION. . .
Pastors Retreat
April 27-29 the first of three Pastors Retreats being planned throughout the region took place a Camp Lebanon, Burtrum, MN. It was a good time for VCNMidwest pastors in the area to step back and enjoy some downtime from their busy schedules. The guys enjoyed a time of fellowship, worship, messages shared by Director Brad Little, good food, great accommodations and time for FUN! We were blessed to have VCN President, Dave Whitaker join the guys at this retreat and share a message.

Feedback from some that attended:

"I had so much fun and felt rested after the retreat."
"Camp Lebanon was a fantastic host."
"The retreat was truly great in all aspects. . . I would do it again in a heartbeat."
"I really did come away encouraged and refreshed."
"I'll be back and make sure that anyone in my circle of influence gets a recommendation that they attend too!"

Watch for more information on Pastors Retreats being planned
in other parts of our 10 state region.
Aaron Hung (Whitehall, WI), Joe van loon (Lake Crystal, MN), Jeff Cooper (Canby, MN) Matt Stacey (Long Prairie, MN), Josh Emmel (Kenmare, ND), Rob Buhl (Whitehall, WI), Brad Little (Golden Valley, MN), Dave Breederland (West Concord, MN), Chuck Babbitt (Bloomer, WI), Dave Whitaker, VCN President, Dave Lund (Moorhead, MN), Wade Duroe (Chippewa Falls, WI), Pat McBride (Wanamingo, MN), Patrick Rhodes (Bloomer, WI), Ben Killerlain (Moorhead, MN), Thor Kurtz (Jackson, MN), Nathan Janzen (Jackson, MN); Not pictured Eldon Carlson (Bloomer, WI), Jim Hinson (Silver Bay, MN), Neil Johnson (Hastings, MN) and Grant Willett (Golden Valley, MN)
Plaid Ponderings: Dandelion Roots
"Nobody likes dandelions. Well, at least nobody other than my small children. They see no difference between them and any other flower. Most adults however see them as weeds that need to be eliminated. I recently learned however, that there was a point when adults also appreciated dandelions. During the Civil War, the Confederate States had trouble importing coffee for their soldiers. As a substitute, they learned that roasted dandelion roots have a similar taste to coffee, and these roots were frequently used as a coffee substitute. Anyways, whether you are eating them or killing them, the key to dandelions is getting to the roots, and the key to worry, is getting to the roots as well." Read More
3 Must Do Personal Financial Basics
Establish a Personal Budget
A budget is a written plan of expected income and expenses created prior to the start of every month or year.  It is simply a wise and solid stewardship habit. You would not dream of leading your church for a year without a budget! Why do you go without one for your family?  Read More
Pastor Rob Buhl, First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI
Interns at First - Now Hiring
First Baptist Church exists to see weary lives renewed through relationship with Jesus in the Twin Cities and beyond. Located in downtown Minneapolis for over 165 years, we are committed to seeing the gospel take root in the lives of our people and city.
Our cohort of interns will participate in a Leadership Development Cohort at First Baptist Church. This internship is designed to disciple, equip, and provide ministry experience. We provide an excellent training opportunity, as we do excellent work together. The internship will be comprised of both paid and unpaid interns and will run for the duration of the 2021-22 academic year, beginning August 22, 2021. For more information go to First's website and also click on the button below.
POSITION AVAILABLE at Lakeside Church in Worthington, MN
We are asking God for a passionate and motivated person to multiply disciples with our Lakeside family. He /She will regularly lead and oversee our teen/family ministry and assist with our musical worship as we celebrate life together. This position is part time to full time (30-45) hours per week depending on the needs of the candidate. For more information click on the job description below and check out our website at www.lakesideworthington.org. If you chose to apply please fill out the questionnaire and send us a cover letter and resume to moorelakeside@gmail.com
Venture Church Network (CBAmerica) Chaplaincy
Spiritual Reality: Chaplain Leads Soldier to Christ Virtually
"2020 was a difficult year for the students at The Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) at the Presidio of Monterey (POM). Starting mid-March 2020, all the classes were conducted virtually. I am also teaching my world religion classes virtually through Microsoft Teams (MS Teams). Our chapel services have also gone virtual. It has…" Read More


Rev. Randy L. Brandt
Chaplain, Colonel, USA Ret.
Director of Chaplaincy, Venture Church Network
Cell: 913-904-8746 (CST)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. . .
When You Say You'll Pray After A Prayer Request
Have you ever gotten a prayer request from a fellow brother or sister in Christ asking for immediate prayer? Perhaps he is facing a temptation for which he needs help resisting. Or maybe she is feeling overcome by grief or sorrow and is desperate for peace. It might be that your friend has a need and is seeking the Lord’s provision. Read More
-by Christina Fox, Churchleaders.com
When Mother's Day Just Makes You Sad
Life isn’t a Hallmark commercial. I think that’s why I found myself crying while folding the laundry and half-watching the television. The Mother’s Day commercials that usually leave me saying “Aww” have left a bittersweet taste in my mouth this year. For the first time, I understand what so many other women feel about just skipping the day all together. The day just serves as a reminder of what could’ve been.
Read More -by Sara McClure, foreverymom.com
Venture Church Network Midwest (CBNC) CLUSTER GROUPS
Illinois
To Be Decided

Iowa
Tuesday, May 25, 10:00am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, IA
319-396-3233 office@calvarycr.org

Michigan
Wednesday, May 19, 9am (Eastern time)
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI
517-740-8961 pastorallen@gansonstreet.org

Northern Minnesota/North Dakota
Tuesday, May 11, 1pm (Central time)
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Josh Emmel, Faith Baptist Church, Kenmare, ND
218-368-9292 emmel.josh@gmail.com

Central Minnesota
Monday, May 17, 10am
Meeting at River of Life Church
Steve Schoenwald, River of Life Church, Hastings, MN
651-437-3965 sdschoenwald@gmail.com

Southern Minnesota
Tuesday, May 18, 11:30am
Meeting in person at First Baptist Church, Jackson, MN
Bring your own lunch
Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN

Wisconsin
Thursday, May 20, Noon
Meeting at Season's Cafe, Barron, WI
Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI
715-723-1054 wljc12@hotmail.com

Youth Leaders & Associates
Thursday, May 6, 10am
Virtual Meeting - Zoom
Chuck Babbitt, Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI
515-230-0774 youth@bloomerbaptistchurch.com
NEED DIRECTION, NEED A RESOURCE???
Check out some of the services of Venture Church Network Midwest/CBNC here. Other items can be found by visiting our website
or contacting Brad Little, Regional Executive Director.

Venture Church Network Midwest
(CB North Central)
PO Box 490441, Blaine, MN 55449

Dr. Brad Little
VCN Midwest (CBNC)
Regional Executive Director
763-350-4263

Eldon Carlson
VCN Midwest (CBNC) Networking Director
715-559-1979

Wendy Jonasen
Administrative Assistant
763-205-9330
Administrative Office Hours:
Tues. thru Fri. 8am - 1pm

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