April 2024


Shaping our lives after the Gospel

Philippians 2:1-12

The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. We understand that is why we share Christ with lost people. But why do so many Christians never share Christ? I will propose the reason we do not share the gospel is because the gospel no longer influences and shapes our lives after we are saved.

Philippians 2:1-12 speaks about the gospel. But it explains the gospel through the life of Jesus, not just dying on the cross but through His incarnation, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and exaltation. Philippians 2:5 tells us we are to have the same mindset as Christ, so as we imitate Him, we are allowing the gospel to shape our life. Here we learn five (5) characteristics of a believer whose life is truly shaped and influenced by the gospel.  Read More

Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

Gospel Driven

I don’t know how many of you have a strong-willed child, but my wife and I have had a few months where we have just had to shake our heads and laugh. Our youngest daughter is on her 12th self-given haircut. We have talked to her about it, confiscated ALL scissors from not only her but all her siblings as well. None of these steps have stopped her from lopping off pieces from her hair. The past two times we have had the scissors on the top cupboard in our bathroom. Our driven five- year-old climbed the counter, opened the cupboard drawer, used the shelves as a ladder to eventually reach the top cupboard. Read More

Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor

Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI

VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director

Pastor - Take a Vacation

My wife and I didn’t grow up in families that took annual family vacations. Sure, we both have a few good memories of going a few places, but as we started our family, we had a desire to make family vacations one of our traditions. 


Pastor, I suppose the two most predictable obstacles for you and your family to take a family vacation this year are time away from the pulpit and the money truly go somewhere. I want to help you tackle these; we can do that in order.  Read More

Pastor Rob Buhl

First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI

There will be

No ENGAGE forum in April

due to the Pastors & Family Retreat at Camp Lebanon.

We'll re-ENGAGE in May!

Watch for more information.

2024 Henry C. Spicer Scholarship

 Deadline Extended to April 15!

We're on to a new year and looking to the future. With that in mind, Venture Church Network Midwest will again 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.

We understand the FAFSA forms have been a stumbling block for many, as the federal government has been extremely slow this year in getting back to families. Please feel free to submit your Spicer Scholarship Application without a FAFSA form. Doing so will not impact your opportunity to be awarded this scholarship.

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 15, 2024.

 Get Your Application HERE!

Job Postings

Camp Lebanon in Burtrum, MN has opened up four full time positions, and one part time position. To read more about each position, please click here.

First Baptist Church

Jackson, MN

First Baptist Church is looking for a Family and Youth Pastor. To read more about the position, please click here



First Baptist Church of Windom, MN is looking for a Senor Pastor. To read more about the position, please click here.

Additional Information

Pastoral demographics continue to grow older while fewer are going into pastoral ministry. Financial considerations are often the greatest deciding factor in pursuing a seminary education, and few churches are interested in hiring senior pastors without seminary degrees. There are practical ways to combat this! Moody has partnered with VCN offering a 30% discount on all online resources from Moody Enrich (lay/church training) through their Doctor of Ministry.

Read More

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

Does theology matter when choosing a financial partner for your church? Can a lender truly be faith-based? Christian Investors Financial is ministry-minded through and through, where impactful investments support our church lending program. With 65 years of experience, we know churches well and specialize in property-related projects and purchases. Click to watch  and learn more about CIF, and visit our website.

Logos Bible Users

Learn how to use Logos for PREACHING devotion and spiritual growth. Sermon Starter Guide, Sermon Builder, Sermon Manager, Media Tool with Visual Copy

7 Keys to Pastoral Retriement Plan

Occasionally, a church that has failed to do any pastoral retirement planning will begin making payments directly to the pastor after his or her retirement (and in some cases to the pastor’s spouse if he or she survives the pastor). ChurchLaw&Tax

Options for Church Boards

by Brian A. Thornstad


Almost every church has some variety of leadership team which meets regularly to make important decisions.  These groups are variously called: the board, the elders, the deacons, the consistory, the session or the council.  


Here's a challenge we’re facing today which is increasing every year: Since denominational loyalty is pretty much a thing of the past, the typical evangelical (or “Bible believing”) church is made up of persons from a vast variety of tribal backgrounds.  It’s not uncommon today to have six board members who hale from six different denominations. 


That’s a big challenge in the boardroom, as each member walks in the door with a different set of expectations regarding what the group is supposed to be and do.  


Today I’m giving you a new version of an item I’ve had on my web site for several years. In it, I’m not taking any position on most of the variations on the themes…except for a couple of comments. This tool is all about helping pastors and boards to sort out their expectations so that together they can work towards becoming unified, effective, church leadership teams.  I strongly recommend that pastors and boards work their way through this material, with rich discussion along the way. Here’s the link. May God make this material a blessing to your church. 

Models of Board Member Ministry

An Israel Trip will be offered March 2-13, 2025

(Flying out of ORD Chicago).

Cost: $4959.00

(Deposits due before Oct. 1, 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 for more information.  

An Invitation from Andrew Powell

Venture Church Network Midwest 


Central Illinois

To Be Determined

Andrew Powell, Grace Church, Mahomet, IL



No Meeting This Month

Location: Creekside Bible Church

Marion, IA

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA



Thursday, April 18, 2:00 (ET)

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI


Central Minnesota

Monday, April 15, 10:00am (CT)

Leader: Brad Little

Location - River of Life Church, Hastings, MN

Contact: Dan Vesta


Southern Minnesota

To Be Determined

Jackson, MN

Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN



No Meeting This Month

Rob Buhl, First Baptist Church

Whitehall, WI


VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Monday, April 22, 1:00pm (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

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.