May 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."


From the Director

Leadership Structure Can Make or Break Vision

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 1 Timothy 3:1.

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 1 Timothy 3:8.

Two guiding principles shape my thoughts here. First, the structure is not as critical as function. Second, there are better biblical grounds for some structures than others but, again, how they operate is more important than the organizational framework. Let me explain.  Read More

Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

Money flows toward Vision

When I hear missionaries and ministries talk about changed lives and their vision for more changed lives, I get excited, I want to help, and I want to give. Churches planted, the poor raised, children receiving needed surgeries, service men and women being baptized - just name the ministry that gets you excited…and draws you to generosity. Our money wants to flow toward that vision. I am aware there is a lexical difference between the mission and vision, but for this writing think about vision as a desired future. Read More

Pastor Rob Buhl

First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI

Tuesday, May 30, 9:00am (CT)

with an alternative repeat session

Wednesday, May 31, 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. 

Pastor’s Retreat – Camp Lebanon, MN


Our theme this year is “Desiring God”.

We explored the challenge of being fully satisfied in Christ. Just because we have received him into our life does not mean he “dwells in our heart through faith”.


We had the privilege to have our President, David Whitaker join us for a few days. Four of our pastors spoke into the opportunity that God provides to dip our lives into the riches of his grace.

About 30 pastors and Leaders made the time to venture into our retreat center. We had some excellent sessions exploring the nature of resting in Christ, making time for a regular “sabbath” to grappling with how Christ truly is the only thing we allow to satisfy our soul.


We give the afternoons off to rest, relax and reunite our lives to one another. The friendship are awesome. The camp is fantastic and the staff are wonderful. They work endlessly to serve and encourage our pastors. I am grateful for their presence.

There is a deep well of spiritual nourishment that comes from knowing we are not alone in our pastoral life. This retreat opens the door to the comfort of knowing there are others who “get what I am going through”.

We had fun, great conversations, prayed together and found some real opportunity in these four days to experience true rest.

The challenge is always about what this will look like when we get home.


Thank you men for your confidence to trust this event to give you authentic connections with others who are in the same mode of existence.

We had a great week and the men were fantastic to utilize the time to struggle with the challenge of ministry and life.


Thank you men for your work to connect and join each other for His glory.


Brad Little

Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest.

Additional Resources

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We've partnered with Cedarville University to offer employees and members of a VCN church a 15% graduate tuition discount. Read More

Logos Training

We have exciting news. Logos is a power-house Bible study tool that many of you may already be using, and we have developed an affiliation with Logos organization. Perhaps you are one of us who already use it and want to know more. Perhaps you have never used it or even seen it. We have arranged some free training to introduce this product and provide an opportunity to explore and learn about how to use Logos. Nearly everyone who is familiar with Logos will attest to its value, but also to the need to have it introduced and explained, because it is such a powerful tool it can easily be overwhelming when first starting out.

We are kicking off this partnership by offering to our regional pastors and leaders two free zoom training events to explore our affiliation and provide some opportunities to acquire and use this incredibly helpful ministry tool. 

We have two initial dates:

May 17th – 11:00 AM CST.

June 7 – 11:00 AM CST.

Mark these dates on your calendar and if you are interested please let us know by contacting Gina Perry and we will send out a zoom invite just before the event. Everyone should receive the invitation, but by expressing your interest beforehand, we will double-check to make sure you’ve received it.

The Dangers of Preaching a Partial Gospel

We use Ephesians 2 to teach the doctrine of justification or eternal salvation—though even that language may be uncareful. The first half of the chapter has fallen prey to American evangelicalism’s proud legacy as a “revivalist” tradition. We’ve relegated the gospel to an escape plan.3 Imagine an irreparably damaged ship sinking with thousands of potential victims aboard. Read More

-by Pastors Resources

Do you understand the basics of salary ranges?

When it comes to salary data for yourself or church staff, understanding the why and how behind salary ranges is essential to controlling expenses and ensuring pay equity.

This article will walk you through the following essentials:

  • How to understand a salary range
  • Where salary ranges begin and end
  • How to calculate a salary range using salary spread

With this information and a custom Salary Report, you will be equipped to calculate a more accurate salary range for yourself or your church staff. Read More

Venture Church Network Midwest 



To Be Decided

Location: Calvary Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA



Thursday, May 18, 2:00 (ET)

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI


Central Minnesota

Monday, May 15, 10:00 (CT)

Leader: Brad Little

Location - River of Life Church, Hastings, MN

Contact: Dan Vesta


Southern Minnesota

To Be Decided

Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN



To Be Decided

Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI


VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Thursday, May 25, 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.