Hi Venture Church Network. I’m in Eau Claire Wisconsin at one of our member churches, Calvary Church, getting ready to meet with our VCN leadership team here in the Midwest. It’s a privilege to get to meet with these leaders. I’ve gotten to meet with a number of our network leaders in different parts of our country and different regions. And one of the things I’m asked often times is, “Why a network of churches? Is it that we’re just better together?” And I would say it’s way more than that.
If you go back to John 17, moments before Jesus is going to be betrayed and going to the cross for us, He’s praying to His Father. And what is the thing that burdens Jesus’ heart?
John 17:23, “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one…” Why? So, that we’re just in harmony together? That we’re getting along with each other? No. “…so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” He’s talking about the gospel. That we’re on mission together. That we experience what Jesus and the Father have eternally experienced. The working together. The relationship of the Father and the Son reflected in the body of Christ. That’s what we want our network to be. Paul put it this way.
Philippians 1:27, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…” Well, that should pique our interest. What would a life look like that is worthy of the gospel of Christ? “…so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind…” In the midst of our diversity, in the midst of our differences. “…striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”
That’s what we want. That’s what we mean when we say we’re gospel driven. We want the gospel to drive our relationships. We want the gospel to be at the center of who we are so that we become a reflection of that gospel, of that love of the Father for His Son, of that love of the Father for those in our communities that desperately need a relationship with Him. As a friend of mine said, it’s more than just being better together. It’s being more us when we are together. That it’s the character of the followers of Christ.
I find it interesting that when God made Abraham a made nation, He did it in twelve different tribes. All different. Great diversity. Some bigger, smaller, stronger, experts in different areas. As we look at our networks of churches, we’re very much the same way — very different, very diverse. But in the midst of that diversity, we’re unified together under the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s our commitment, that’s our passion, that’s our heart. I’m so glad you’re a part of our network of churches.
If there is some way our network of churches can somehow serve your church or ministry, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can get our contact information at venturechurchnetwork.org. God bless you.