THE CENTRAL CONNECTION
May 2022
"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
Leadership or Servanthood: Part 1
Is the word ‘leadership’ a biblical concept? Some will automatically think that is a stupid thing to ask. Of course it is a biblical concept. However, it would be interesting to see how these Hebrew and Greek terms have been translated to our English term ‘leader’ and how we interpret that concept in God’s kingdom work. Read More
Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director
Venture Church Network Midwest 
Thank you!
As I step away from the position of VCNMidwest Admin. Asst. into retirement I want to say thank you for the years of allowing me to be a small part of your ministry by serving you. AND thank you to those of you who have helped me in so many ways along the journey.
Next month you'll hear from the new VCNMidwest Administrative Assistant, Gina Perry. Please welcome her warmly as she strives to serve you.

Blessings to each of you and the ministry you do,
Wendy Jonasen
Tuesday, May 24, 9:00am (CT)
with an alternative repeat session
Wednesday, May 25, 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. 
 ​
BUILDING SOLD-
River City Church, Minneapolis, MN
(previously First Baptist Church)
For those of you who are unaware, the congregation of River City voted on March 6, 2022 to sell our entire property to Eagle Brook Church, which is another church in the Twin Cities. You may have inquiries regarding this announcement, so I encourage you to visit https://www.rivercitympls.com/pages/building. Rest assured that River City Church IS continuing as a local church, and we will continue to meet on Sundays and do the things that churches do. We will begin meeting for worship services in our new location on Sunday, May 15.
For a schedule of upcoming celebration/remembrance events click here.

In addition, we are hosting a rummage sale on Saturday, June 18. We are working with an estate sale company to sell many different things in our building. Details are forthcoming and I guarantee there will be something of value/use for you and your organization at this sale! 
 
All events are at 1021 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55403. Parking at the church is free.
 
Serving with you,
Michael Jolivette, Director of Outreach
River City Church, Mpls, MN
Recharge

Schedules fill up so fast and there never seems to be a lack of student’s activities, trips, or shows to attend. My thought for this month is how do we recharge and keep connected with our spouse and family?
The family trips and vacations I see fellow youth pastors post are encouraging. I love to see Youth Pastors spending time with their families and getting time to recharge themselves. The most important ministry we have is the ministry we have to our family. It grows the Kingdom of God and qualifies us for leadership (1 Timothy 3:4–5). If you and your family can travel and find ways to recharge and connect with each other, please share trips, locations, or destinations you would suggest for other Youth Pastors and their families. Read More
Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor, Bloomer Baptist Church
VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director
Teaching My Wife About Money
My lovely wife and I are six years apart in age. When we married, she was just shy of her 20th birthday. I had more life experience, had served in the military, lived on my own and even had dabbled with investing – all prior to being married. So, naturally, like all mature, newly married men – who are giants of the Christian faith – there were a few things she could learn from me. Uh-hum. At least that’s what was rolling around in my mind. What is actually true . . .  Read More

Pastor Rob Buhl, First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI
PLEASE PRAY for the Following Churches in Transition:
First Baptist Church - Collinsville, IL
First Baptist Church - Colfax, IA
First Baptist Church - Sibley, IA
River of Life Church - Hastings, MN
Faith Baptist Church - Kenmare, ND
Calvary Community Church - Lancaster, WI
Venture Church Network Chaplaincy
Submarine Veterans Chaplain Wins Souls and Saves a Life in the Process
Since January 2015, as director, and since April of 2020 as associate director, I’ve visited VCN chaplains across America. It’s been exciting to see our chaplains and their families in their homes and places of ministry. On top of that, I’ve had the opportunity of observing and participate in the unique volunteer chaplain ministry of my wife. Read More
-by Assoc. Dir. Andy Meverden & Myra Meverden, RN, Chaplain, Rocky Mountain Submarine Veterans, Denver, Colorado


Rev. Randy L. Brandt, Chaplain, Colonel, USA Ret.
Director of Chaplaincy, Venture Church Network
Cell: 913-904-8746
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT. . .
Our Finest Hour
Let’s face it: We’ve been through the ringer the past couple of years. The hard times we have faced have taught us a lot about ministry—and about ourselves as leaders. In the middle of the pandemic, Andy Stanley tweeted: “In times of uncertainty, clarity will suffice. Leaders, we can be uncertain. We cannot afford to be unclear.” Read More
-by Ed Stetzer, Outreachmagazine.com
Why Every Young Pastor Needs an Old Mentor
“Sometimes the being is more important than the doing.”
My mentor shared this wisdom at our last meeting. He’s in his late-80s, almost 50 years ahead of me. He retired from a church in Indiana and moved to Bradenton several years ago. I inherited him with my church when I was called as pastor a few years ago. 
Read More -by Sam Rainer, Churchanswers.com
Serving in War Zone, Ukrainian Baptist Ministers Bear Double Burden
LVIV, Ukraine (BP) – Baptist ministers in Ukraine express a double burden, helping others survive the war while struggling to survive themselves.
-by Diana Chandler, Churchleaders.com
Venture Church Network Midwest CLUSTER GROUPS
Illinois
To Be Decided

Iowa
To Be Decided
Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids, IA
319-396-3233 office@calvarycr.org

Michigan
Thursday, May 12, 2pm (ET)
Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI
517-740-8961 pastorallen@gansonstreet.org

Northern Minnesota/North Dakota
To Be Decided

Central Minnesota
Monday, May 16, 10am (CT)
Meeting at River of Life Church
Dan Vesta

Southern Minnesota
To Be Decided
Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN

Wisconsin
Thursday, May 19, Noon
Location to be Decided
Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI
715-723-1054 wljc12@hotmail.com

VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration
Thursday, May 26, 10am (CT)
Meeting by Zoom
Chuck Babbitt, Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI
515-230-0774 youth@bloomerbaptistchurch.com
NEED DIRECTION,
NEED A RESOURCE???
has answers to many of your questions.
Not finding what you need,
contact the VCNMidwest Administrative Office or
Regional Executive Director, Brad Little.

Venture Church Network Midwest
PO Box 490441, Blaine, MN 55449

Dr. Brad Little
Regional Executive Director
763-350-4263

Administrative Office
Regular Hours: Tues. thru Fri. 8am - 1pm
Wendy Jonasen, Administrative Assistant
763-205-9330
All articles and submissions are the view of the individual writer and are not necessarily the official position of Venture Church Network Midwest.