May 2024


Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

When we talk about being biblically focused, we think about truth. We live in a world where churches are sliding away from historical biblical doctrine and adding new nuances to their statements. Addressing the ebb and flow of cultural shifts is critical and we have seen many issues surface. Sometimes this can be really helpful and sometimes not. The challenge in a broken world is the ever-shifting paradigm of truth, the growing doubt around the trustworthiness of God’s Word and the temptation to make ourselves the final authority of truth because the only truth that matters is our own truth.  Read More

Pastor Brad Little, Regional Executive Director

Venture Church Network Midwest 

Pastors & Family Retreat

With the school year beginning to draw to an end, life gets hectic. April 28th through May 1st, the VCN Midwest pastors and their families met at beautiful Camp Lebanon to refresh, realign, and form friendships.

   I watched loose affiliations turn into a close-knit family of fellow workers for Christ. Please take time to watch the video that shares more about our time, and make sure to keep your eyes open for our next retreat.

Chuck Babbitt, Youth Pastor

Bloomer Baptist Church, Bloomer, WI

VCNMidwest Youth Ministries Director

Broken Antler Contentment

I walked through the tall grass on a halcyon rifle season-opening morning. Only

minutes into daylight and these beautiful antlers appeared to be shining like a beacon

on the hillside only 80 yards from my stand. Moments later I was indescribably thrilled

as I walked toward my second whitetail-buck in as many years. This was only my third

deer in my short hunting career, and I was certain this was my largest yet!

I knew when I steadied the cross hairs that this wasn’t a spike or forked horn like my first buck, but the tall grass obscured his antler points and body size. “Oooohh,” I thought to myself as I saw his three points clearly against the pine tree back drop, “this is a good six pointer”.  Read More

Pastor Rob Buhl

First Baptist Church, Whitehall, WI

Tuesday, May 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. 

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, Jackosn, MI is looking for a Family and Youth Pastor. To read more about the position, please click here

First Baptist Church, Pekin, IL is looking for a Next Gen/Family Pastor/Director. 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

Ministry-focused conversations, financial experience

At Christian Investors Financial we love hearing stories from churches and individuals, and sharing a few of our own. Communication is at the heart of all we do in financial services. Christian Investors Financial is providing faith-based financial solutions that serve Kingdom expansion. Learn more about CIF by visiting our website.

Logos Bible Users

Learn how to use Logos for PASTORAL care and counseling. Counseling Guide, Interactives (highlight: Psalms Exp, Bible Books Exp, B&A, W&M) Prayer Lists, Mobile Ed

More States Legislate Mandatory Sexual Harassment Prevention Training for Employers

Mandatory sexual harassment training for employers, including churches, is a growing trend in the United States and its territories. ChurchLaw&Tax

Board Meeting

by Brian A. Thornstad


Two weeks ago, in a post called, Models of Board Member Ministry, I wrote about the endless variations in expectations and assumptions among incoming board (council, consistory, session, elders, deacons) members. 


Working through my post – as a group exercise - can be a helpful way to move from board confusion, disunity and dysfunction to clarity, unity and effectiveness.  


I appreciate your positive responses, and among them, I was asked to add my own notes, my own opinions, to the post. So here goes.  If you want to interact on this further, send me an email at or follow this link - - to the Boards and Staffs category on the Blog and Archives page of my web site, where I have a number of articles about church board dynamics.


Admittedly, this is a longer-than-usual post.  It is written for those who are quite interested in getting the “board thing” right. With that said, here’s that post again, with my notes in italics. If you’re not into this subject, please consider passing this on to a friend who could benefit from it. 


Models of Board Member Ministry - Brian's Notes

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



To Be Determined

Location: Creekside Bible Church

Marion, IA

Jay Jentink, Calvary Baptist Church Cedar Rapids, IA



Thursday, May 16, 2:00pm (ET)

Meeting by Zoom

Allen Grover, Ganson Street Baptist Church, Jackson, MI


Central Minnesota

Monday, May 20, 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



Thursday, May 23, 11:00am (CT)

Pizza Ranch - Eau Claire

Rob Buhl, First Baptist Church

Whitehall, WI


VCNMidwest Youth Pastor Collaboration

Monday, May 13, 10:00am (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.