July 2023


Gospel Driven Culture

Culture is the behaviors and practices that define a community of people based on what they truly value.

Churches have cultures. The behaviors and practices of a church reflect what they value. Some cultures were established long ago and often they do not change over time unless there are deliberate attempts to make changes to that culture.

The best way to figure out the culture of a church is trying to change something. It does not always have to be a big change, but you will know how important something is to those people by how much resistance one receives when you want to change something – that is culture. It might be a program, paintings, a plaque on the wall, the time of worship, the practices for a service and so on. Culture is created by people who establish policies, procedures and practices that reflect what people value, in order to accomplish something important. The reason programs exist is because people believed this was the way to accomplish a particular goal and specifically, something of spiritual value. Read More

Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

Youth: Gospel Driven

I had a great time talking with Sam Moss about his hilarious podcast, Youth Group Chronicles. This podcast is great for all youth pastors as it shares about outrageous stories people have had while serving in youth ministry. This podcast is great for helping us all realize we are not the only one who have made a mistake in ministry. The podcast also reminds us we are not alone, and God uses broken and sinful people to accomplish His work.


Check out the post cast with the below links.


Web site:

Submit a story to:

Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor

Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI

VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director

Venture Value: Gospel Driven

“Stop it!” Bob Newhart, the comic counselor, keeps yelling, “Just stop it!” He’s sitting across from a lady who has come to get advice on how to deal with problems, ranging from fear of being buried in a box to destructive relationships with men. His advice is always the same, “Stop it!” Fellow pastors, sometimes, honestly, just sometimes, don’t ya wish we could do that? We come up against individuals in our churches that seem to live in the same habits and problems. Large portions of our congregations are prone to wallow in never-ending spiritual immaturity and a general lack of zeal for the mission of Christ. The temptation is real. “Just. Stop. It!” Yell it loud! It would feel so good, right?

Read More

Kevin Rutledge, Teaching Pastor

First Baptist Church, Sycamore, IL

VCNMidwest Board Member

The ENGAGE forum has been suspended

for the months of July and August,

but you will be invited to RE-ENGAGE in September.


Winners of the 2023 Henry C. Spicer Scholarship

It is again the privilege of VCNMidwest to award the Henry C. Spicer Scholarship to some of our graduating high school seniors. All graduating high school seniors from our region's churches are eligible to apply for the one-time non-renewable scholarship. The scholarship aims to help with the costs of continuing education. Having made us a kingdom of priests, we rejoice that the Lord desires to place these young men and women as a faithful presence in different vocational fields.

This year's scholarship committee has selected two graduating students that excelled in many areas. Selection is made based on a number of criteria, including personal testimony (most importantly), future pursuits, academic excellence, and financial need. We would like to acknowledge that every candidate who applied this year was truly outstanding, and reading through each student's testimony and future plans greatly encouraged the committee.

Kaela Gerig

Bethany Baptist Church, Edwards, IL

Attending Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Education Focus: Business Management and a double minor in Business Analytics and Global Missions

Adelynee Steed

First Baptist Church, Dover, OH

Attending Stark State University,

North Canton, OH

Education Focus: Physical Therapy Assisting


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

Logos Bible Users

To learn how to make the most of the latest version of Logos, check out the new features, including the ability to index and search your print library, along with the preaching suite tools.

Q&A: Correcting Improper FICA Withholdings

Q: Our church has been withholding FICA for its pastors, in some instances for years—or even decades. We recently learned this is a mistake. How do we fix this? ChurchLaw&Tax

Venture Church Network Midwest 



No meeting this month

Location: Calvary Baptist Church, Cedar Rapids

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA



To Be Decided

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI


Central Minnesota

Monday, July 17, 10:00 (CT)

Leader: Brad Little

Location - River of Life Church, Hastings, MN

Contact: Dan Vesta


Southern Minnesota

Tuesday, July 18, 11:30 (CT)

Location: Pizza Ranch, Jackson, MN

Walt Moser, First Baptist Church, Luverne, MN



No meeting this month

Wade Duroe, Crossroads Church, Chippewa Falls, WI


VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Thursday, July 27,10:30 (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.