March 2023

"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."


Are we really making a difference?

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

               2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The great challenge in ministry is when we feel we are not making any difference at all. We labor, work, plan, organize, delegate, preach, teach, volunteer, create, and a host of other things. We can do this for years and years, and then suddenly we are told by someone they are leaving the church to go somewhere else because they are not getting fed. Read More

Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

As our region’s Youth Ministry Network strengthens, we look how to continue to reach other network Youth Pastors, while maintaining intentional connections between us all. As we have entered 2023, we are exploring partnering more with our camp in Burtum, MN. I was able to chat with Shane Hollenbeck, the Director of Ministry at Camp Lebanon.

Read More

Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor

Bloomer Baptist Church

VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director

***Click below to watch the video.***

My Story

I began vocationally as a youth pastor three days after I graduated from bible college. In 12 years at this church, I served as the youth pastor, associate pastor, and then as the lead pastor. Various leadership fumbles – both my own and the actions of others – lead to me resigning from this ministry. 

There was a nearly three-year gap between leaving this ministry and landing at our current church in Wisconsin. I learned a lot in that period of time, but one significant lesson was that I have a low tolerance for failure. Meaning the first sight of resistance, or struggle, or the possibility of failure often left me feeling extremely anxious and too often meant I gave up or didn’t even try. Read More

Pastor Rob Buhl

First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI

Welcome to VCNMidwest, First Baptist Church of Galva, IL

My fellow Venture Church ministers, I am so happy to be able to say that! Before I moved from California (exactly 2 years ago) to take the pulpit of First Baptist Church of Galva (IL) I was apprised of the Search Committee’s opinion that its denominational affiliation should be changed. Having come from a region where virtually the whole West Coast seceded from the ABC to become Transformation Ministries, I was aware of the issues, but also that there were still conservative congregations everywhere, and this current church of mine is one of those. When the deacons tasked me with the job of narrowing the options, I had already been through several candidating programs with the likes of Converge, and TM and others, had talks with NAB and more; I’ve served both Southern and American Baptist Churches with ordinations in both, but I’ve never been one to willingly jump onboard something that holds sticky little non-issues as requirements for membership, and when helping in the process here, it wasn’t difficult putting Venture up front. Read More

2023 Henry C. Spicer Scholarship

Deadline April 1st. . . APPLY TODAY!

This region has been blessed to be able to give away scholarships to graduating high school seniors for 25 years! On top of that there has been a total of $57,000 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 2023 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, 2023.

Get Your Application HERE!

Join Us!

Pastors Retreat

Camp Lebanon

1205 Acorn Rd, Burtrum, MN

April 23-26, 2023

Last year we enjoyed a great time of fellowship and a time away at Camp Lebanon. We want you to have an opportunity to do it again!


For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19

Who is invited to attend? Senior Pastors, Lead Pastors, Associate Pastors, Interim Pastors, Youth Pastors, Worship Pastors, Elders and Deacons.

Cost: $120 (Laser Tag and Zipline are available for $10/activity/person)

To Register: Email the Venture Church Network Midwest office at Let us know that you're coming, if you would like linen service, and if you have any special dietary needs. (Camp Lebanon can accommodate many of your special needs.)

If you are interested in attending this retreat and

haven't received an email with detailed information

please contact the VCNMidwest office

Tuesday, March 28, 9:00am (CT)

with an alternative repeat session

Wednesday, March 29, 3:00pm (CT)



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. 

Venture Church Network Midwest 



No meeting this month

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA



Thursday, March 16, 2:00 (ET)

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI


Central Minnesota

Monday, March 20, 10:00 (CT)

Leader: Brad Little

Location - River of Life Church, Hastings, MN

Contact: Dan Vesta


Southern Minnesota

Tuesday, March 14, 11:30 (CT)

Location - Pizza Ranch, Jackson

Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN



Thursday, March 16, 11:00 (CT)

Location -Pizza Ranch, Eau Claire

Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI


VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Thursday, March 23, 10am (CT)

Meeting by Zoom

Chuck Babbitt, Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI


To Be Decided


Northern Minnesota/North Dakota

Venture Church Network Midwest

1410 44th Street, Marion, IA 52302

Dr. Brad Little

Regional Executive Director


Administrative Office

Regular Hours: Tues. thru Fri. 8am - 2pm

Gina Perry, Administrative Assistant


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