On February 16th, we changed our name from Conservative Baptist Association of America to Venture Church Network. This name change was not without careful consideration and a lot of prayer.
The Christian church went through tremendous attack on its core doctrines in the early 19th century. More and more people were drawn to a Christianity no longer defined by the gospel. Horrifically, denominations were moving away from Christianity’s core doctrines like the deity of Christ and His resurrection. But there were churches that stood up to hold onto these gospel truths. Bold churches. These churches stood firm in the true gospel and created the Conservative Baptist Churches of America.
Pensions, buildings, reputations — these pastors were willing to risk everything to be committed to the gospel and cores of our faith. Since then, we’ve had a long history of planting churches and sending out missionaries. And now we find ourselves facing significant challenges again. If we’ve learned anything, this means, once again, we must be bold.
Coronavirus has forced churches to change radically, no matter how resistant to it we were. As our world grew increasingly divided, Christians weren’t able to come together in person and some still aren’t. Within the past few years, pastors and Christian leaders have had to evaluate what ultimately matters to the church. What makes a church? What is fellowship? While needing to make changes to address these issues is scary, we know it’s in our history. But change for change’s sake is unwise. Change needs to be met with a humble heart posture towards the Lord, and God-given courage to say yes to His will.
In the midst of these changes, our network of churches is committed to advancing the gospel and how to continue making disciples in this new day. And like those that came before us, we believe that’s by standing firm in the gospel, core doctrines, and the mission God has given to us.
Our New Name
Venture Church Network came from the idea of advancing in the face of danger. The way we’ll continue to be gospel driven will mean taking risks. Our original name has become an obstacle as culture and language has changed since originally adopted. “Conservative” is now associated with politics. “Baptist” can mean a myriad of things. Venture Church Network allows us to start the conversation, identifying us as a network of churches that’s willing to take bold and courageous steps to further the gospel of Christ, even in times that are challenging and uncertain.
Watch our video to hear more of my insight and explanation on why we’re Venture Church Network now.
David Whitaker, President