The Year of Re





Let’s assume that you don’t know anything about what is going on at New Venture Christian Church. Maybe we haven’t done the best job communicating or someone hasn’t been paying attention. So I will start at the beginning and lay out the plans and directions of the church through some blog posts.

To begin with, NVCC entered into a transition period on January 1 of 2015. That transition is involves the lead minister of the church. During 2015 I will be releasing the lead role of the church and handing it off to Chris Garrett. This transition period will take up to twelve months, if needed.

Founding Pastor

I was the founding pastor of New Venture and have led the church over the last eleven years. During that time we have met in three temporary locations for Sunday services including Carmike Cinemas, Tomahawk Creek Middle School and currently the SDA building on Courthouse. In addition, during that time the church has purchased property on Lucks Lane, renovated a facility there for a ministry center and will build a permanent meeting place and church campus on that site in the future.

Next Level

After eleven years in the lead role I realize it is time to transition to a younger leader who will move the church forward to its next level with fresh and compelling vision and passion. Chris Garrett is just that person.
Chris grew up in Virginia Beach but has been on staff at Indian Creek Christian Church, a mega church in the Indianapolis area, for the past seven years. He comes with proven experience, solid credentials and a passion for reaching those who are far from God.

Chris and I are equally sharing the Sunday teaching responsibilities at the current time. As the year unfolds more and more of the preaching will be transferred from me, to him.

The Year of RE

So we are calling this The Year of RE. The first RE is RELEASE. I will be releasing the lead role to Chris Garrett who will be leading the charge as soon as the full transition is in place.

Looking ahead, other RE’s to come are…
• Relocating
• Restaffing
• Relaunching
• Revisioning
• Remissioning
• Recareering


When the last in line gets chosen for the team

old couple 2The casting agent enters the room with her top picks for the show’s leading man and lady. The new series will follow the spellbinding story of a clan that builds a powerful, world-impacting family tree. This is the pilot, and it is crucial to make the right call on the individuals who will fall in love and launch this Kennedy-like family of influence and fame.

Producers and writers alike have waited breathlessly for this moment, the moment when who they have envisioned as the leading characters will be finally realized in an actor and actress. But when they turn to see who has been tapped for these most special of roles, the thud of their collective jaws hitting the majestic mahogany conference table muffles their mutual groans.

There before their wide eyes, instead of the expected vibrant, young couple with gleaming white teeth and tanned and toned bodies, stand a 75-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman. Not what they had pictured for their production.

And yet, this is what God has chosen. His screenplay called for a couple to launch a new nation, one that would impact the entire world. As he would say, a nation through whom “all the nations of the earth would be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Abram and Sarai stand there, adorned perhaps by dusty old robes and crowned with wispy white hair and loosely fitting skin and as befuddled as anyone else. God chose them to begin a nation. An unlikely pair, especially after factoring in the fact that Sarai was barren. How could God expect to start a nation with a woman who could not bear children?

To complicate the story line, it will be 25 more years before they actually have their child of promise. By that time Abram and Saraiold couple will be 100 years old and 90 years old, respectively (and their names will be changed to Abraham and Sarah). Perhaps Social Security checks will help this special couple decorate the baby’s tent and they’ll be able take naps when the baby does. And the rest, as they say, is history. His story.

God picks people you and I wouldn’t necessarily select to take part in his story. In fact sometimes we are shocked who plays the starring roles in his stories. Unlike the way we do business, he taps people, not merely because of their abilities, but for their availability. God searches for people who are open to be used by him. Since he uses only those who are willing to be used for his purposes, there is no doubt that it is he who is doing the the wonder- working. Let there be no doubt, throughout history he is the one making things happen.

That’s good news, isn’t it? In the business world, you may not have a great pedigree. In academics, you may not be a Rhodes Scholar. You may not have a lot of money and you may have average looks. But you may be sitting in a pretty good position to be a top pick for God’s work.

Details about New Venture’s property and building plans

steel church bldOn March 7, 2013 New Venture Christian Church made an offer on the property at 12200 Lucks Lane, with contingencies included as safeguards. Within hours the offer was accepted, as presented, with all contingencies intact.

Here is a link to a brief video of the property:

The question now is, where do we go from here? So, let’s look at the what, who, when, where, why and how of turning dreams into reality.

1.     WHAT! Our plan is to purchase the property, upgrade and remodeled the house that currently is on the property, and build a cost effective first unit that will serve as our worship meeting place, children’s department and multipurpose facility.

There is a house on the property that consists of approximately 1500 square feet on the main floor and a full basement of 1500 square ft. The house needs lots of work. Even so, it is structurally sound and of better construction than we could purchase today. So our plan is to do whatever it takes to bring the house up to a condition of excellence. We want this house to be a positive presence on the property and not a negative factor in any way. That will mean lots of sweat equity. The house would then be used for offices on the main floor and small meetings. The downstairs could be used for teen “Edge” gathering, men’s ministry, women’s ministry and other kinds of small to medium gathering places, as well as a place to do our back pack lunches, storage and other uses. There is a lot of work to be done to the house but it is our plan, at least at the current time, to keep the house and do whatever it takes to remodel it.

The house, however, cannot in any way accommodate our main worship gathering or our children’s department. So our plan is to proceed immediately with the construction of an initial building that meets both these needs and more. We are leaning toward a building of about 50’ x 120’. The building will be two stories high. Two thirds of it would be main worship area. One third on the lower level would have a foyer area, restrooms, small kitchenette with a serving counter that opens into the main assembly area, and a large storage closet. Stairs to the upper level above this area would take you to the children’s department.  

My vision for New Venture is to have a multi-use building, not a “church building” per-se that affords only limited use. Therefore, our plans are to construct a steel building with more of a warehouse type look, finished out for church purposes. This will give us multifunctional capacity as well as meet our assembly needs.

So in summary, the WHAT is to acquire the property remodel and upgrade the house and build an initial facility that accommodates our worship needs and our children’s department as well as have multifunctional capacity.

2.     WHO? It should already be apparent that the “who” involved in this picture and plan is every single person connected with New Venture in any way. This venture leaves no room for spectators. It leaves no room for those who simply want to sit and soak. This is a venture that calls for every one of us engaged, stepping up, embracing the challenge, and stepping out of our comfort zones into radical sacrifice and faith.

I would even go a step farther and say that there are others within your circle of influence that you might need to invite to join us, in being part of what God is going to do in this venture, and to make a major impact for the church and the kingdom. We need “everyone” in the picture.

3.     WHEN? This, of course, is influenced by any obstacles or challenges that we might face along the way. However, our plan is to move forward immediately with all of the steps, without forcing any of them to happen, seeking God’s direction, and allowing him to make the paths straight. Having said that, here are the steps as we see them. We have ordered an appraisal, since our offer is contingent upon an appraisal that supports the amount that we offered. That will take a minimum of two weeks. We will need to work out all the details of financing. It is difficult to determine how long exactly that will take, but a lot of that is determined by our financial response. At the same time as we are working out financing we will need to have a site plan developed on the property that must be approved by all the appropriate county departments. This is the lengthy step. The development of and the approval of a site plan can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. At the same time in which we are having a site plan approved we need to have working drawings completed on the building as well as identify, through a lengthy evaluation process, the contractor that we would secure to build the building. All of these steps will take approximately six months.

The actual construction of the building is largely dependent upon weather conditions. If the weather conditions are favorable, it will take 4-6 months for the construction of the new building. So you can see that there is a lot taking place over the next 12 months. And there is a lot that we are going to be called upon for in the next 12 months. But look at what we will have, our own church campus.

4.     WHERE? That almost seems like an unnecessary question to ask. However, the biggest mistake we can make at this point is having too narrow a vision. The worst thing that can happen is for us to see this basically as acquiring land and building a church building. One of the major errors that we are in danger of making is thinking that what we are doing here just has to do with here.

Just before Jesus returned to heaven he commissioned his followers to be his witnesses to the entire world. (Acts 1:8) For six months now at New Venture, we have been studying how to be his “Witnesses”. I want to call upon us and challenge us to make this venture a New Venture Christian Church step in fulfilling the command and the commission of Jesus to the entire world.

It is obvious that the impact of what we are entering into will be enormous in our own community, but that is not enough. We must have a much bigger vision than just the community in which we live. I want to challenge us to make this faith step part of an effort to get the message of Jesus out to the entire world.

Here’s my challenge and proposal. In 2015 the International Conference on Missions is coming to Richmond. The nondenominational independent Christian churches in Virginia, in conjunction with this conference, are committing to planting a new church on every continent. That means the Virginia churches are going to engage in planting seven new churches in conjunction with the 2015 conference. I want to challenge us, to incorporate into our financial plans for this property and building plan a way to be part of partnering with the planting of these seven churches. Perhaps tithing the resources we gather to these church plants.

And them, my dream is that we select one of the seven churches for a delegation from New Venture to travel to and be part of for the launching of this new church when that time comes.

The last thing we need to do is to think and see this as purely a local venture. The best thing we can do is to make this a worldwide mission.

5.     WHY? Why in the world would we take this huge risk? Why would we embark on such an enormous step of faith? Why would we put it all on the line? Let me give you three reasons. We are taking this enormous step of faith and putting it all on the line first of all to establish permanents in the community, secondly to expand ministry to the community, and thirdly to exponentially share Jesus with the community and the world.

These are the facts. We have existed in this community for over 8 ½ years. This community is filled with new church endeavors. Therefore, people are highly hesitant to connect with new churches because they don’t know if they are going to be here today and gone tomorrow. We have pretty much maxed out our ability to connect with the community and draw the community to our church setting. If we are going to move forward and enlarge ministry and exponentially get the message out we need a permanents in the community. People need to see us as real and long term. Once they do they will begin to take us more seriously. We desperately need permanence.

When it comes to enlarging ministry, new property and new facilities brings us limited potential. We can not only expand what we do in reaching out to the community but we can also highly increase what we can do in gathering together to teach, training, equipping and serving the community through the facility that we will have. As it stands we are tremendously limited in this area.

All of this opens us up to be able to exponentially communicate the message of Jesus in more and more settings to more and more people.

6.     And the final question, HOW? How are we going to go from where we are to a completed facility as well as partner in planting churches on seven continents? Time does not permit all of the details on this but I do have some figures that can give us the overall picture. Here are the numbers as best we can estimate at this point. These are certainly subject to change as we move forward. But, here they are$150,000/$300,000/$900,000.

  • We need to raise a down payment of $150,000 within five months.
  • We need to also have a capital campaign in which we raise a total of $300,000.  (The $300,000 includes the $150,000 down payment.)So we would need to have an additional $150,000 besides our $150,000 down payment. This is in addition to our regular church operating budget.
  • Then, the cost of the total project, as best we can figure, would be in the range of $900,000. That would include such things as the purchase of the land and current facility, cost of appraisal, site plan and drawings, paved parking lot, (Minimum of 75 spaces at $1000 each), remodeling of the existing house, tree, stump removal and excavation work and the cost of the new facility. The new facility would give us approximately 8300 square feet of usable space in addition to 3000 square feet of usable space in the house.

Catch your breath.  This is big. I would even go so far as to say this is bigger than us. But it is not bigger than God. And if we are going to attempt something that is only as big as us, then we don’t need God. We need to attempt something that only God can make happen so that once it happens we can say, without a doubt, God did it. I have no doubt that God will continue to provide a way.

In 4 to 8 weeks we will engage in a capital campaign. I am asking you to begin to seek God now with all of your heart as to how God wants to use you to make this happen. I would also encourage you to look around in your network and identify others that you might invite to be part of what God is going to do here.

I don’t think we can begin to imagine how much of an impact taking this step will have on this community and far beyond. This is going to open up the door for this church in this community and in the world in a way unlike anything that we have ever experienced. It is the most courageous step we have ever taken as a church and we need to do it and do it well.

But that’s not the biggest thing that’s going to happen. The biggest thing that’s going to happen is what God is going to do in your life. Here’s what we need to understand, this is not a land purchase project. This is not a building project. This is not about developing a permanent identity and location in the community. This is not even about planting churches in the world. This, above all else, is about what God is going to do in your life. Over the next few months and years God is going to use you in ways that you cannot imagine. God is going to do things in your life that you could not have dreamed of. God is going to change you exponentially. This is about the HUGE things God is going to do in the life of every single one of us.

So would you begin to ask and invite him to do just that? Would you begin to pray this prayer EVERY day? “God, would you do something in my life and in the life of New Venture that is so big that it can only be explained as a move of God?” Go ahead, pray it right now and see what God begins to do.

God brings property and New Venture makes offer

IMG_2270About nine months ago I pulled my truck on to a piece of property in our community with my wife, out of curiosity. We wondered what the future plan for the property was since it seemed to have been unused for several years. We drove away. Several times a week we continued to pass the property in our normal schedules, still wondering.

Then, less than a month ago I was contacted by a real estate agent, who had notice that we were meeting in a rented space in the community. He said that he had just listed a piece of property and wanted to know if we had any interest in it. Guess what, it was the property we had driven onto nine months ago.

After a few weeks of consulting with advisors, county officials, and lenders we crafted an offer on the 5.9 acres, with IMG_2267contingencies, as safeguards for the church. The offer was presented on Thursday, March 7. Within hours the offer was accepted in full, with all contingencies intact.

God is moving and providing in an amazing and awesome way.

On Sunday, March 17 the news was shared with the New Venture church family. Here are some of their initial responses.


“Overjoyed, excited, blessed”

“God, you exceed all our expectations. You are awesome.”

“I am ready to give all I have to see what God has in store for NVCC. Let’s do this!”

IMG_2276“Wow, I know this has been something NV has been praying about for a long time. I’m sure there are a lot of relieved individuals in this audience right now.”

“God is doing this because he has brought this to us. Excited and relieved.”

“All in, whatever it takes!”

“I’m looking forward to a new church home. Home is where New Venture is.”

“God’s saying, this is our opportunity to spread his word throughout our community.”

“I am ready to pursue what God has in store for NVCC!”

“From the first time I came to New Venture this was the church that I wanted to be a part of and call “mine, where I wanted to raise my child. To have their own property is an amazing confirmation that it is divine.”

“Tears of joy! Finally, thanks you Lord.”

“O.M.G. Amazing!”

“God makes all things possible and is calling us to follow him. I feel it will not be all smooth sailing or problem-free, but that God will make a way and use the process to refine the church (NVCC) and make it stronger and more faithful.”

“Holy expectation!”

“Thank you, Father.”IMG_2273

“Happy for our church.”

“I believe with expectation that he will provide.”


So, this Sunday we discuss the who, what, when, where, why and how of turning the dream into reality. Please join us and hold on for the ride of your life.”

Help for someone you know and care about

Sex is a sensitive subject. It is arguably the biggest concern, crisis and curse of our culture. It is everywhere.

Even so, it is a subject few people want to discuss or confront in a healthy and positive way. We either want to hide our heads in the sand or we want someone else to deal with it for us. So let me offer my services.

For the last four weeks at New Venture Christian Church we have been addressing the subject of sex. We have been examining Satan’s Sex Ed plan that he is teaching to our culture. We have then placed his teaching up against the truth of God’s Word and what we have discovered is nothing short of amazing.

If you were not able to hear the messages in this series or if you caught just part of them I would like to encourage you to give a little time to listening through all four of the messages.

But it is bigger than just you. You know people personally or casually who need to hear either all the messages in the series or one that addresses their specific circumstance. You may be the only person in their life that will direct them to the source that can give then real insight, direction and hope. You may be their best or only hope. I would invite you to take the courageous step and link them, in the best way you see fit, to this truth that they so desperately need.

Here are the links to the four individual messages and then a link to the online site that offers all four messages from one source.

I will be praying for you as you listen yourself and as you direct other to as well.


what people are saying about our new meeting place

Six weeks into our new Sunday meeting facility people are talking. I asked them to tell me their feelings about our new digs. Here are the comments as they have come in.

“I like it and think it is great!”

“Two Words! Love It!!!!”

“Much better. I like the closeness due to smaller size of the room. The kid venture is much better now w/ the separate rooms. I like the new setup!”

“It’s closer to my house. I enjoy the small rooms for the kids. Less space for the service, but overall its cozy.”

“I think the new meeting place is great!  The location seems to be getting some new faces, the sound quality for the band and your sermons are clear.” 

“Close to home logistically. In a good spot. Not 100% on the physical/cosmetic appearance.”

“It’s good – wish we could start some “other” classes.”

“LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. That’s all I have to say :”)

“Love it! Great area for KidVenture.  Made it to service last week for the 1st time and loved the cozy feel of sitting near people!”

“LOVE IT! Smaller space, more convenient, open to more neighborhoods nearby to draw members.”

“Love the new location.. Feel more like church and still we can be relaxed.. Love that the kids have there own space also”

“Love it. Great for the kids. Getting used to the acoustics/sound but that will come. Adds to the family atmosphere. I am a little worried visitor can slip in and not be noticed. Several people have seen our signs and asked me about our church. ( invite was extended ) Overall I think it was a good move.”

“We enjoy the new location and like that the space feels cozy. The facilities for the children are an extra bonus. :)”

“Love it! Love the smaller “sanctuary”…it really contributes to a closer worship experience. Love the classrooms downstairs….Love the way the band sounds. Love the opportunity to socialize after while cleaning up. Love the location. I really can’t think of anything negative at this point. Let’s just keep on keepin’ on!”

“We like the proximity to our home, it is closer and easier to reach than the school was. The new location is more churchy, so less relaxed. But, I applaud the choice of location, I don’t think there is a busier street in the county.”

“The new location is amazing, and the perfect place for us to grow as a church.”

“I think the new location feels more like a “close knit” group because folks are not spread all over. It is much easier to take down the stage and I like the Kid Venture set up.”

If you have been to one of our gatherings since moving to 530 Courthouse Rd., I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings about the new location.
And if you haven’t visited yet, I hope these comments from “those who know” will excite you to give New Venture a try.


On The Move Again

Please join us at our new location. This Sunday, June 27, New Venture is moving to its third location. It all started at Carmike Cinema on Alverser drive back in October of 2004. Carmike was our home for about four and a half years.

Then Chesterfield County constructed two new middle schools, one in our vicinity and we applied for Sunday rental at the one closest to us and got the nod. So in January of 2009 we packed it all up and moved to Tomahawk Middle School. TCMS is a tremendous facility. It has much of what a church could want in a meeting place. It’s only drawback—location-location-location. It is at the end of a ¾ mile dead end street. We felt that we could overcome the location issue with other means of marketing but have just not been able to do so. Our visitor flow has dried to a trickle.

So, a few months ago we began a church wide prayer emphasis for God to lead us to a new and better location. About six weeks ago the door opened. Located on courthouse Rd is a 7th day Adventist church building that sits empty on Sunday, since they worship on Saturdays. At the suggestion of my wife, I checked into it and was told to put together a proposal for its use. So I did, and after being considered by the facilities committee and voted on by the congregation, our proposal was approved, to the surprise of some of the Adventists themselves.

So this Sunday we move into our new and shared venue at 530 COURTHOUSE ROAD. The building is located between Lucks Lane and Smoketree Dr. We have devoted several hours to personalizing the facility to our needs without interruption its current use.

We are so excited about this move. The auditorium is more than adequate for our current needs as well as considerable growth. The downstairs provides individual classrooms for our KidVenture Department. And the set-up and take-down will be cut by about 60%.

On top of all that, we move from a facility that gets about 200 cars a day by it to one that gets about 30,000 cars a day of traffic. Our sign has been announcing our move on Courthouse Dr for over a week now.

However, locations and signs are not the best means of bringing in new seekers, people are. People inviting people is what draws new people. So with the tremendous benefit of the new and improved location we are still depending on people.

If at all possible, I would like to invite YOU to join us for our first Sunday at our new location, 530 COURTHOUSE ROAD.

And if you think three moves is getting to be pretty much, Saddleback Community Church, in California, moved sixty-seven times during their first fifteen years of existence. Three down, sixty-four to go.