THE MIDWEST CONNECTION

February 2024

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And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven (Nehemiah 1:2-4). 




One of the hardest elements of ministry is Vision. The concept gets mixed with Mission and Goals and Objectives. Sometimes it seems way more difficult than it should, at least in most people’s minds. I have walked into some non-profit Christian ministries, and several have mission and vision on the wall. When I look at their statements it starts to make sense but when I come back to write ours for our church, it all gets convoluted again.

 

Nehemiah had vision when he heard that Jerusalem was in shambles. Many, like Nehemiah, had been exiled and Jerusalem had been destroyed by their enemies. The walls had been demolished; the gates had been torn down – the place was virtually uninhabitable. There was great trouble and shame. Nehemiah knew Israel was God’s chosen people, but their sin and stubbornness caused God to revoke their privileges. Read More


Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

Arctic Advance 2024


Even though it has been an unusually warm winter, Arctic Advance 2024 was so cool! Yes, the pun was intended, but in all seriousness, this year we had 12 VCN Midwest churches numbering just under 200 students attend Arctic Advance, the VCN Midwest winter retreat.


The purpose of Arctic Advance is to bring youth in our VCN network together to share the Gospel and foster meaningful community in the body of Christ. The idea for getting VCN Midwest churches together was birthed at a pastors retreat in spring 2021. I, along with two other youth pastors, began dreaming and seeking God’s guidance to better connect our region’s youth by providing a winter retreat. We had our third Arctic Advance on January 19-21, 2024. Read More


Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor

Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI

VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director

Smallish Fundraisers


Our church budgets cover most of the expenses for our ministry. Salaries, utilities, missions, and even some building projects and maintenance. Yet, there is an important place for offering people the chance to support ministries outside of their regular giving. Sure, there are larger capital improvement projects, but I mean the “smaller” fundraisers that involve maybe thousands of dollars versus hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

 

The truth is people give from different pockets to different types of ministries. Youth versus community benevolence, to name two.   

 

Here are some helpful guidelines to help you conduct smallish fundraising with character. Read More



Pastor Rob Buhl

First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI

Tuesday, February 27, 9:00am (CT)

with an alternative repeat session

Wednesday, February 28, 3:00pm (CT)


.

WATCH FOR YOUR ZOOM INVITE COMING SOON!


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. 


2024 Henry C. Spicer Scholarship


This region has been blessed to be able to give away scholarships to graduating high school seniors for over 25 years! On top of that there has been a total of $60,000 awarded to scholarship winners. Again this year Venture Church Network Midwest will be awarding the Henry C. Spicer Scholarship to a graduating high school senior planning to further their education this fall. Previous scholarships have ranged from $300 to $2,000.


The scholarship from the Henry C. Spicer Scholarship Fund is available to all qualifying high school seniors. To qualify, an applicant must be a 2024 high school graduate planning to attend college this fall. The applicant must be a committed Christian and a regular attender of a VCNMidwest affiliated church.



Applications are due by April 1, 2024.

 Get Your Application HERE!


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION



Below are few highlighted resources. As you engage with the podcast, you will uncover how your beliefs about the end times impact your life in the present. Through an in-depth examination of Joseph's theology with Dr. Swindoll, discover the three fundamental truths about God that will help you endure life's difficulties. Finally, hear an inspiring message from President, Dr. Mark Yarbrough as he reflects on the past, gives thanks for the present, and imagines the future of Dallas Theological Seminary. Each resource has been provided for your encouragement and to help you grow in your faith.





VCN is excited to offer a specialized retirement plan option through GuideStone to pastors and staff of churches in the Venture Church Network family.

Read More





Logos Bible Users

Learn how to use Logos for ENGAGING God's Word with others in Biblical Community. Counseling Guide, Interactives (HIGHLIGHT: Psalms Explorer, Bible Books Explorer, Weights & Measures), Prayer Lists, Mobile Ed



Taxable Income

Many churches do not understand that most benefits constitute taxable income. ChurchLaw&Tax





Even More Of The Devil's Plans For Your Church by Brian A. Thorstad

An Israel Trip will be offered Oct. 2-13, 2025

(Flying out of ORD Chicago).


Cost: $4959.00

(Deposits due before Oct. 24, 2024 w/ final payment by Dec. 1, 2024)



Price does not include travel to ORD, in-country lunches, souvenirs, passport fees, travel insurance, or other personal expenses.



If you or anyone you know is interested, please feel free to contact Pastor Andrew Powell at apowell@gracemahomet.org for more information.  

An Invitation from Andrew Powell
Brochure




Venture Church Network Midwest 

PASTORAL COHORTS

Central Illinois

To Be Determined

Andrew Powell, Grace Church, Mahomet, IL

217-586-4331

apowell@gracemahomet.org



Iowa

Tuesday, February 27,12:00 (CT)

Location: Noelridge Park Church

Cedar Rapids, IA

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA

319-396-3233 

office@calvarycr.org


Michigan/Ohio

Thursday, February 15, 2:00 (ET)

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI

517-740-8961 pastorallen@gansonstreet.org



Central Minnesota

Monday, February 19, 10:00am (CT)

Leader: Brad Little

Location - River of Life Church, Hastings, MN

Contact: Dan Vesta

651-468-1045

dkvesta@sbcglobal.net




Southern Minnesota

No Meeting this month

Jackson, MN

Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN

605-254-3092

PastorWalt.Moser@gmail.com



Wisconsin

Thursday February 15, 11:00 am (CT)

Location: Seasons Cafe, Barron

Rob Buhl, First Baptist Church

Whitehall, WI

715-538-4246

robbuhl@gmail.com



VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Monday, February19,10:00am (CT)

Meeting by Zoom

Chuck Babbitt, Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI

515-230-0774

youth@bloomerbaptistchurch.com



To Be Decided

Northern Minnesota/North Dakota

Venture Church Network Midwest

1410 44th Street, Marion, IA 52302


Dr. Brad Little

Regional Executive Director

blittle@vcnmidwest.org

763-350-4263


Administrative Office

Gina Perry, Administrative Assistant

gperry@vcnmidwest.org

319-830-6478

All articles and submissions are the view of the individual writer and are not necessarily the official position of Venture Church Network Midwest.