Throughout Scripture and history we see that when there was a time of uncertainty and fear, God often moved in amazing ways, demonstrating his power, transforming people and nations, taking the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. And in those moments, people celebrated what God did…and then they forgot…especially when the next crisis came. I’ve seen that happen in my own life. Perhaps you can relate.
Our association, the Conservative Baptists, has a long rich history of advancing the gospel, of multiplying churches and teaching God’s Word. There are many churches, people and leaders all over the country who have been part of this tradition and legacy…a heritage and history that are very meaningful to us. But we acknowledge that our influence, reach and capacity are not what they once were. Some have even wondered if we even exist beyond the bones of our historical heritage.
We are in the midst of sweeping cultural challenges and a global pandemic. Yet we believe God is on the move and is calling us to respond with something new. Something bold. Something courageous that speaks fresh and anew into our family of churches and beyond.
This past year has been a clear reminder that people are hurting and lost. People are afraid. People need hope. And the Church has been given the message and the means, and yes, the responsibility, to provide that Hope for our broken and lost world. This past year has also reminded us that no leader…no church can (or was meant to) do this alone. We believe churches and leaders, networked together, was modeled in the early church and is the intention of the Holy Spirit who gifts his Church so we will help one another.
That’s why we believe that God is calling us as a network of churches into a bold path. While we are secured in our doctrinal heritage, we are committed to stepping into new ways to link our arms together to serve, not our national organization, but the local Church and Christ’s calling for it in the world. We want to curate the strengths from within our network in a way that comes alongside churches and leaders, helping them to take the bold next steps their Lord is calling for them to take.
With that in mind I am pleased to announce that we have changed our name to something that more reflects this calling on us. We will now be known as Venture Church Network.