NVCC Vision 2014

vision 2014Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18. As we begin a fresh, New Year here’s my vision for New Venture Christian Church for 2014.

 

1. LAUNCH AN AGGRESSIVE OUTREACH TO OUR COMMUNITY. We are here to help people who are living far from God come to understand God, connect with God, and pursue a growing adventure with him. We are not here for property and buildings. We are here for people who need a personal walk with Jesus Christ. Our focus in 2014 will be reaching the people of our community in an accelerated manner.

 

Our first outreach to them is a three part direct mail campaign. Part one will go out in a couple weeks announcing to our neighbors around our new ministry center, “Under new management.” The second mailing will go out a week following the first introducing our community to our new teaching series for 2014 called “The Story” beginning February 9. A follow-up piece will go out a couple weeks after that reintroducing them to “The Story and inviting them to join us for this adventure through the Bible in 2014.

 

We will initiate other outreach efforts to the community during 2014. However, the number one way to reach the unreached of our community is YOU. More people, and I say more people by far, come to connect with New Venture through the invitation of someone who is already a part of it, than any other way. You are the key to reaching our community. Sure, you can’t do everything but you can do something. You can identify the people in your circle of influence that are not connected with God and intentionally pray for them and seek ways to point them toward God and the church.

 

We have been given a mission, every one of us. That mission is to partner with God in building his family, in bringing those who are living without hope and salvation, to Jesus. It is the calling of every follower of Jesus. May we in 2014 be more serious about reaching out to the unreached than we have ever been before. May we pray for lost people like we have never prayed before? May we connect with those who don’t know Christ like we have never connected before? May we plant seeds in the hearts of those who are distant from God like we have never planted before? And may we allow God to use us to direct them to him and the church like we have never allowed before.

 

This is why we exist. We exist to reach the unreached, to build the family of God, to redirect lost people to the Savior, to bring hope to the hopeless. This was the reason Jesus came to earth. This is the work that he devoted his earthly existence to, seeking and saving the lost. May we be about the Masters business with undivided hearts and persistent passion?

 

Here’s a personal goal for you: Each one bring one.

Another personal goal: Each one win one.

 

2. DEVELOP AND LAUNCH A WORLD MISSION MINISTRY

 

As I have already affirmed, we are sent to bring others into God’s family.    The moment I become part of God’s family He wants me to share the good news with others. 

God has given us a message the world needs and it is the greatest message in the world – how to have our past forgiven, how to have a purpose for living, how to have a home in heaven.  To not share that would be criminal. It would mean that I don’t care if they go to hell. 

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:18 “Through Christ, God made peace between us and himself.  Then God gave us the work of bringing others into peace with him.”  

Then there is the commission of Jesus, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:19-29)

And who can forget the words of Jesus right before he returned to the father, “You are my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8) We have not been going to the ends of the earth. We have been staying in our comfortable community. It is time to reach out and branch out and go out.

When Jesus gave these instructions where were they?  In Jerusalem!  So what’s he saying?  I want you to start where you are.  Start in your own city.  Start in Midlothian/Richmond Start in Jerusalem.  That’s your city.  He said to start there.

He said but you don’t just stay there, you also do your ministry not just in Jerusalem – you do it in Judea. What’s Judea?  That’s like the county.  That’s like Chesterfield Co. 

Then he says I want you to do it in Samaria.  Samaritans were of a different culture. He’s saying, reach across cultural lines in your community.  That’s our Samaria. 

And he says and you go to the whole world.

He didn’t say go to Jerusalem, then Judea then go to Samaria then go to the ends of the earth.  He said no, you do it all at once.  You go to Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and the ends of the world. We aren’t doing that. We need to get with the program, the program of Jesus.

The Bible tells us as a church we are to go make disciples of all nations.  He’s not talking to missionaries there.  He’s talking to you and to me!  We’re called to be sent.  Go and make disciples of all nations. 

Here is a quick overview of what our church is planning to do in the next three years when it comes to the world needs. These are baby steps but step we must take.

·              Assemble a world mission leadership team. I would love to hear from you if you are interested in being a part of this team

·              Gather volunteers for a world mission’s adventure in 2014, our first. I would also love for you to contact me if you are interested a missions trip. About a dozen people have already indicated interest in this adventure.

·              Be a real participant in ICOM (International Conference On Missions) 2015 when it comes to our city.

·              With volunteers

·              By having a part in planting seven churches around the world

·              Personally assist in planting one of those churches.

 

Here is a link to the VEF website that can get you connected with ICOM. http://www.vef.cc/

So 2014 is the year when we get serious about the world wide commission of Jesus.

3. ENGAGE IN AN AGGRESSIVE PAY DOWN OF PROPERTY DEBT

This is how it all stacks up. The more aggressive we are with paying down the note, the less interest we pay, (thousands of dollars less) the more equity we build, and the more willingness lenders have when it comes to us taking our next developmental step, a new multipurpose facility. These are indicators that lenders give careful attention to. So the more aggressive we can be the more willingness they will have. And the more equity we build the more ability it gives us to build a facility that has in it more of what we need.

This aggressive pay downbegins with all of us quickly fulfilling the commitments we made to the capital campaign back in May of 2013. The sooner we can get commitments in the quicker we can pay down the note and the more money we can save on interest. If you were not here for the capital campaign or if you were here and did not participate,  you are invited to join the others who are committed to covering the cost of our new property and ministry center. Send me an email at steve@relaxedchurch.com and I will get you started.

Let’s make this debt short term.

4. SOLIDIFY THE PLAN AND PROCESS OF MOVING TOWARD THE CONSTRUCTION OF OUR FIRST MULTI USE FACILITY

On our ninth anniversary I shared a dream that I would like to repeat. Since it is a dream it is somewhat lofty. The dream is that we might be able to break ground on our 10th anniversary, September 7, 2014, for our next facility. You know and I know that God will have to perform another miracle for that to happen. But hey, He’s did it in 2013 and He can do it in 2014.

 

Specifically speaking, for that to happen, we will need three things:

1. A huge amount of our current debt paid down.

2. A master plan on our property designed by a civil engineer that will cost between $15,000 and $20,000.

3. And we will need to have about 75-100 more people, who believe in the message and mission of New Venture Christian church and who are supporting it financially, to enable us to afford that step.

So, that’s my vision for New Venture for this New Year, an accelerated evangelistic outreach to the community, the development of a long overdue world mission ministry, aggressive pay down of our property note, and the development of a plan for our first multi-purpose facility.

Now, join me in turning dreams into reality.

 

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EXCELLENCE

excellence 4Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Col. 3:23

 

If anything, those words call for excellence in everything we do, especially when it comes to working for the Lord, because, after all,  all we do is actually for the Lord. Excellence should be the passion of our heart-all the time.

 

Daisy Hepburn writes in “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way” “Good, better, best, never let it rest—until your good is your better and your better is your best!” Nothing but the best should characterize what we do for the Lord, all the time.

 

Bob Russell, long time Lead Pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY says…

·           In everything-excellence.

·           Excellence is not valuing one ministry above another.

·           Excellence is not perfection.

·           Excellence is not being judged by the standards and opinions of others.

·           Excellence is doing your very best in whatever you do, especially for the Lord. Excellence is quality ministry. Excellence is going the second mile. Excellence is planning and preparation ahead of time. Excellence is first class ministry. Excellence is ministry flowing from a healthy, full relationship with Christ. Excellence is refusal to cut corners or just doing enough to get by on. Excellence is God’s call to every Christian.

Whether you sing a song…play an instrument…serve communion…greet…usher…teach a class…preach a sermon…read excellence 2Scripture…participate in drama…serve in the nursery…change diapers…change light bulbs…mow grass…facilitate a group…lead a ministry team…whatever you do, do it “with all your heart”.

 

I can think of two enormously important reasons why excellence is needed in everything we do for the Lord– all the time.

 

BECAUSE JESUS GAVE US HIS VERY BEST.  

 

Philippians 2:5-8 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross!”

 

Why? Because His ministry on our behalf was a ministry of excellence.

 

Leonardo Da Vinci was once at work for a long period of time on a great masterpiece. He had labored long to complete this work of art and it was near completion. Standing near him was a young student who spent much of his time with his mouth open, amazed at the master with the brush. Just before finishing the painting, Da Vinci turned to the young student and gave him the brush and said, “Now, you finish it.” The student protested and backed away, but Da Vinci said, “Will not what I have done inspire you to do your best?”

 

Because He gave His very best he deserves the very best from us.

 

PEOPLE’S ETERNITY DEPENDS ON IT.

 

Everything we do in ministry and for the Lord effects the eternity of people who come our way. How you do your ministry will oftentimes be the factor that determines whether they will return or you will get a second chance. We are influencing people all the time. And that influence reaches all the way into eternity.

 

Darren Walter wrote a book called The People Magnet Church. Some of what he addresses applies to the first impression people, but much of it applies to everyone who serves the Lord.

 

“The good news is that because of the blood of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for me, I’m going to heaven by God’s grace, regardless of how people treat me in any church. The bad news is that there are people who do not know God’s grace and are unaware of Christ’s sacrifice. They are going to Hell. And they will make a decision to accept or reject God based on how they are received in His House, by you and me. I’m not trying to be over dramatic here. I truly believe that eternity hangs in the balance when a guest walks through the doors of your church. Those who volunteer their time to greet, welcome, usher, and answer questions of those visiting have some of the most important challenges in the entire church body. Many times we only have one chance to make an impression, one shot at showing our love for people.

 

The fact is -most guests make up their minds whether they’ll return for a second time in the first few moments of their visit. Long before they hear the sermon or the solos, they’ve decided if they’ll ever come back based on how we treat them.”

 

·           How we treat them is the first factor.

·           The second one is the quality and passion with which we do our ministry. How well we represent our Lord. If He really is the most important person in life to us then it will be seen in the excellence of our ministry.

 

In effect, people come with two foremost questions in their mind that they want an answer to.

1.         Do these people really care about me?

2.         Are these people really serious about this thing called Christianity?

 

excellenceThe quality with which we serve the Lord and do our ministry influences others and that influence can touch eternity. Never forget that. Engrave it on your soul

 

I know it is highly likely that you will not receive the response or recognition from people that you anticipate or desire or think you deserve. So what do you do? Do it anyway. Do excellence anyway.

 

Robert Schuller wrote. (I have altered it a little.)

 

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.

LOVE THEM ANYWAY!

 

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

DO GOOD ANYWAY!

 

If you are successful you win false friends and true enemies.

SUCCEED ANYWAY!

 

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

DO GOOD ANYWAY!

 

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY!

 

People favor underdogs but follow only the top dogs.

FIGHT FOR SOME UNDERDOGS ANYWAY!

 

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

BUILD ANYWAY!

 

People really need help but may attack you if you help them.

HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY!

 

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU’VE GOT ANYWAY!

 

From “Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do” by Robert Schuller

 

Do it anyway because it’s not the response of the people that we are doing it for. It’s our love for Jesus that moves us.

 

So do it. Do it with all your heart, with your very best. And keep doing it regardless of the response we get.

 

Excellence Glorifies God and Inspires People.

 

My goal for my sons

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goalsAs a parent, I have often thought, what is my goal in life for my kids? Of course, my kids are no longer at home and have grown to the point where they are parents themselves. The question still remains, what is my goal in life for my kids?

Let me state it in a single phrase: my goal for my sons is to pass me as a man. That’s right, pass me as a man.

I have hindered and contributed to the downgrading of society if my sons are less than I. I have left society as it was, with no improvement at all, if my sons are only as good as I. So, my desire, my goal, my passion for my sons is to pass me as a man.

Pass me when it comes to INTEGRITY. That involves being authentic and real to the core. It calls for honesty and trustworthiness at all times, whether or not anybodybody is looking. That means doing the right thing even if nobody knows that you’re doing the right thing.

Pass me when it comes to LOVING GOD. Live every day with a close, personal, growing relationship with the God of heaven. Live every day with the unending desire to please him in all things. Live every day with that relationship and desire even when those around you choose to do otherwise.

Pass me when it comes to VALUE TO THE KINGDOM. That means have a kingdom minded outlook on life. See everything from the perspective of God and his kingdom since everything begins and ends with God. Be committed to being a lifelong participant in advancing the kingdom of God both near and far.

Pass me in SERVICE TO OTHERS. Live daily with an other focused perspective. See others and their needs from a heart of compassion and care. Follow that focus with a life of unselfishness. Ask not or think not of what others can do for you but what you can do for others. Serve others as agoals 2 follower and servant of Jesus because Jesus was all about serving others.

Pass me as a HUSBAND. Love your wife with all your heart and let her know that every day in countless ways. Give her the security of a relationship that is built on unselfish love. With that love, lead her. Led her with service. Lead her with focus and direction for your marriage. Lead her to love God and others with all her heart.

And pass me as a FATHER. Be the father that models what you want in your children. Be the father that is the kind of person you want your child to be. Be the father that your children will be proud to follow. And give them direction. Direct them through your model and teaching to a life of love, meaning, purpose, significance, and eternal reward.

goals 4My desire for my sons is to pass me as a man. It would be good if they did that by the time they are 40. However, take a few additional years if necessary. I will not be threatened by my sons passing me as a man. I will be overwhelmingly proud of the achievement.

Capital campaign totals to be announced Sunday, May 26

big day

Excitement is mounting as we move closer and closer to Sunday, May 26 when we announce the total gifts and commitments to our “What if…” capital campaign. Commitments and gifts are still coming in so we will be totaling them for a few more days. Here is a concise reminder of what we are doing:

This campaign is to raise $150,000 for a down payment on the purchase of 5.9 acres of land with a house on it and remodel the house. We also plan to do excavation work in clearing and preparing the property for a new building. Then our plan is to begin construction later next year on the new unit. We also need an additional $150,000 in commitments to be completed over the next 24 months. So, we need a total of $300,000 to get into our own property and facility and begin the development of our own campus and our own identity in this community. This will enable us to expand our ministry to the community as well as exponentially reach lost people in the community and the world.

Two quick items:

  1. We had a great start to the commitments needed toward the $300,000 last Sunday and since then.
  2. WE CANNOT, HOWEVER, MAKE IT WITHOUT EVERYONE IN THE GAME. And I am totally serious when I say EVERYONE.

 

If you are a part of New Venture Christian Church and have not turned in a commitment card yet, we need to hear from you ASAP. We need to know what we can count on when it comes to planning the future of our church.

 

If you are not a part of New Venture Christian Church, and would like to help us reach this enormous goal, you are invited to share a gift or make a commitment to our capital campaign.

 

Responses can be emailed to Steve@relaxedchurch.com.

 

This Sunday, May 26 is going to be historic for New Venture Christian Church. We hope you can join us for the big day. We hope you will have a part in making the day as big as God wants to be.

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: http://youtu.be/7U5w_9OtKRI

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.