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.


Celebrations in Baptism, 6/24/2012

Sunday, June 24, was a tremendous day of celebration for Chris and Nereida Glascock and Brent Wolfe as they followed Jesus in baptism for the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. Each took the step to bury the old self-driven life in baptism and to come forth a new person and life in Christ Jesus. Pictures say it better than words.

Quiet Time Obstacles

Definition: A quiet time is a daily time I set aside to be alone with God to get to know Him and His will through the Bible and prayer.

Nothing, I say nothing is more vital to your spiritual growth than the time you spend alone with God in Scripture and prayer. However, nothing is neglected or opposed more by Satan than our quiet time with God. Here are some of the obstacles you can expect and some solutions to them.


Your first problem in establishing a quiet time will face you the moment you wake each morning:  Am I going to get out of bed?  (“The Battle of the Blankets”) Am I going to get out of bed a little earlier and spend the time with God or just lay here for a little longer? The devil will always exaggerate how tired you are. And when the devil and your flesh come together you have a potent combination to keep you from your quiet time. You need to have first DESIRE, “I want to meet with God.” Then DECISION, “I’m going to meet with God.” Then DETERMINATION/DISCIPLINE to get out of bed.


1.  Go to bed on time. A rule to follow: if what I am doing at 10:00 the night before is more important than my quiet time then stay up.

2.  Get up immediately. The battle is usually won or lost in the first few seconds. Hesitate and you will be defeated.

3.  Be aware of quiet time robbers. 90% of them happen the night before. They are named Jay or David. Late night TV is the #1 robber of quiet time.


Satan will try to use anything to get your mind to wander during a quiet time. Never try to have a quiet time in bed. An hour later you will wake up with your Bible on your chest and think, “Oh, how spiritual.”


1.  Get out of bed.

2.  Get thoroughly awake. Get coffee, run around the room, give yourself the Aqua Velva slap.

3.  Read and pray out loud.  If you need to for concentration.

4.  Walk during your prayer time. You never fall asleep walking. It even has a double benefit, builds soul and body at the same time. I love to walk and pray.

5.  Keep a notepad nearby.  The devil may try to bring up all kinds of things that you don’t need to forget. Stop where you are and write it down. “Don’t forget to pick up the kids at school. Don’t forget you left the eggs boiling on the stove.” Better go take care of that one.


Sometimes you will feel like you’re not getting anything out of your quiet time.  (“The Battle of the Blahs”) Never judge your quiet time by your feelings. Emotions come and go. You may have just had a bad pizza the night before. If I only have a quiet time when I feel like it the devil will make sure I never feel like it. In fact, when I don’t feel like it that is when I need it the most. Right feelings follow right actions. Do the right thing consistently and the feelings will follow, not VV.

Possible Causes of Spiritual Dryness:

1.  Your physical condition. You are not rested. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is go to bed.

2.  Disobedience to God. There may be habitual sin in your life and God is not going to show you something new until you have acted on what he has already shown you.

3.  Rushing your quiet time. Samuel Chadwick, “Hurry is the death of prayer.”

4.  Getting in a rut. Doing the same thing in the same way every time. When your quiet time gets in a rut you will lose your desire for it. Vary it. Change locations. Read a different place in the Bible besides the reading schedule. Change it up, you don’t have to stick to the SOAP formula every time. This is just a guide. It is to help you get started. Change it up.

5.  Not sharing insights with others. If you don’t give out what God has given you, you will dry up. Like the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. One receives and gives out, the other receives and keeps. For me I begin by posting a scripture from the day on facebook so I can share with others what has spoken to me.


Your greatest problem will be your struggle to stay consistent.  I find Satan fights nothing harder than my quiet time. I have been a Christian for 48 years and a pastor for 41 and it is still true. Satan doesn’t fight me on anything else as much as my consistent daily time with God. Because he knows that’s where the power is.


1.  Make a covenant or vow to God. That you are going to give this the priority of your daily schedule.

2.  Schedule it on your daily calendar. On your “to do” list write “quiet time.”

3.  Be prepared for Satan’s excuses. He knows if he can keep you out of the Word then he has you defeated and not developing or dropping your quiet time is usually one of the first steps into backsliding. So he is going to give you all kinds of excuses.

By the way, if you get up in the morning and you don’t meet the devil head on it very well might mean that the two of you are traveling in the same direction. Expect it. Realize as soon as your feet hit the floor, or before, the devil is scheming to keep you out of the Word and away from God.


Don’t get on a guilt trip. Don’t keep putting yourself down.

Don’t get legalistic. “On no, I missed my quiet time. My entire world is going to fall apart.” We live by grace. Confess it and go on living.

Most of all, don’t give up. How many of you have ever missed a meal? What did you do? “I can’t be consistent. I’m just not going to eat anymore.” No! But with our quiet time we are inclined to say, “If I can’t be consistent I’m just not going to try and do it.” If you miss you just pick up with the corresponding day’s reading and catch up what you missed at the end. Don’t be blown away by missing a quiet time.


It takes three weeks for you to become familiar with a new task.  Then it takes another three weeks before it becomes a comfortable habit. Most people have never made it past the six week barrier of having a quiet time and so no wonder they aren’t consistent and as a result have never come to know the beauty and value of daily time alone with God.

Don’t give up! If you do the Devil gets the victory.

(Adapted from Purpose Driven material.)


Josealeen’s Story

I first met Josealeen through an email out of the blue. She had emailed me to ask if I baptized people who wanted to be baptized. My response was brief. “Yes, I would love to. When could we get together and talk about it.”

Just a few days after the email Josealeen visited one of our Sunday worship experiences. While leaving she dropped her connect card in the offering basket expressing the same interest in baptism.  A few days later my wife, Josealeen and I met at my office to discuss her desire to be baptized.

Her story is quite intriguing. Josealeen moved to Richmond about four years ago from Brooklyn, NY. She wanted to get out of the city and start anew in a new location. Soon after arriving in Richmond she noticed some billboards around that just said, “—relax, it’s just church.” Fast forward four years and Josealeen begins to grow in her faith and desire to be baptized. The first thing she thought of was those billboards. So she looked up and made her first contact, which led to another and another.

On this day we are not only looking at what the Bible says about baptism but also several other subjects that Josealeen had questions about like how and when does a person receive the Holy Spirit and what is the evidence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. You see, she had been a part of a very strict and legalistic church in Brooklyn and she was trying to sort out what was from God and what wasn’t.

Following our discussion Josealeen desired to be baptized more than ever. She didn’t care for it to take place on a Sunday so we scheduled it to take place at another church in the area.

I am delighted to introduce to you Josealeen Moses, baptized into Christ, Thursday, July 14, 2011.

A Comeback Story Worth Telling

John A. Sarkett has written a thrilling book called EXTRAORDINARY COMEBACKS. It is a collection of 201 inspiring stories of courage, triumph, and success. In the book he tells the stories of hundreds of people who came back from defeat and tragedy and pain because they had the courage to try one more time. There is, however, one comeback story that does not appear in Starkett’s book but is none the less worth noting. It is the comeback story of New Venture Christian Church.

New Venture is about six and a half years old. Her history has been one of ups and downs. The entire year of 2010 was pretty much a downer. It couldn’t get much more down than it was during most of last year. It was the year when we lost about 40% of our church. For whatever the reason, there were several families that just decided that they no longer wanted to be a part of the mission, vision and family of NV. So they exited. It was so disappointing at times during the year that there were those who even suggested we consider backing it in and closing our doors. 2010 was an extremely difficult year.

However, there were those who still believed in the vision, mission and family of NV and were determined to move forward in spite of the challenges. And there were huge challenges. They believed that God was bigger and greater than any of them and that God had bigger and greater plans for the NV church body. So we pushed forward with all our hope in the Lord. And when I say, all our hope in the Lord, I mean all our hope in the Lord. He was our only lifeline. And we have not been disappointed.

Six months later NV is not the church she used to be. We are not the dejected, discouraged group of adventurers caught in the doldrums of what to do and where to go that we were for a season of our existence. We are alive and well. NV is a thriving church family once again, stronger than we have ever been before because of what God has done and what He has brought us through.

Our Sunday gathering are up almost 50% over our low point of 2010. We are already averaging more per week in attendance than we did the entire year of 2010. Our offerings are also averaging more than our yearly average for the last year. Our Connecting With God class, that is an indicator of health in the body, is once again offered on a regular basis. People are again talking about and giving serious consideration to giving their life to Christ and following Him in baptism. Many, many people are inviting friends to our gathering with excitement. First time visitors are in our services every week. So many signs of life and vitality fill the NV church body.

This is not to say that everything is great. We have lots of work to do to, some of which is restoring what we used to know, other is developing what is still needed for a health church family. And we are in no way serving and reaching our community as God desires and designed this church to do. Not to mention, the expansion of a world view that reaches far beyond our current vision.  We have lots of work to do.

But we are healthy and moving in the right direction, all of which is a loud and victorious proclamation that God has taken what we were just a few months ago and worked a remarkable and glorious turn around. He is good. He is our comeback miracle worker. He is our hope, now and forever.

Throw out the resolutions

My advice is to get rid of the resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions are often nothing more than wishful thinking. They are lofty dreams and empty hopes.

Then replace the resolutions with a growth plan. A growth plan is a well thought out course of action. It is a determination of what is most needed in your life to get you from point A to point B and the steps necessary to get you there. A plan is a set of goals with a strategy for completing them.

But, let’s be honest, we procrastinate big time when it comes to setting them.  Less than five percent of Americans have written down goals for their lives.  Surveys also show that the five percent that do are the top five percent wage earners in our culture.  Those who set written goals have greater income.  It’s a correlation.  They know what they want in life and they go for it. .

We have exited the old year and entered the new. Here’s the question, “How will 2010 be better than 2011?  The key is this; you’ve got to have a plan. You don’t just enter 2011 and say, “I hope it’s going to be better.”  You’ve got to have a plan to make it better.

Proverbs 17:24 says, “An intelligent person aims at wise actions, but a fool starts off in many directions.”   That means they have a goal, an objective, an aim, a target.  Have you set any targets for 2011?  Or are you just going to walk into this year and hope it’s better?  You’ve got to have a plan. Growth does not happen by chance.

Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Alan Lakein echoed a similar thought, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”

How about a growth plan that follows the model of Jesus? If you are a Christ follower then your greatest desire in life is to be like Jesus. This is what the Bible says about Jesus and I believe that in these words is found the most balanced growth plan a follower of Jesus can pursue.

How did Jesus develop?  Luke 2:52 tells us four ways “Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and favor with man.”  If I want to become like Christ, I need to develop in the four areas Jesus developed in.

  • He developed in wisdom – that’s intellectual development or knowledge plus application.
  • He developed in stature – that’s physical development.
  • He developed in favor with God – that’s spiritual development.
  • He developed in favor with man – that’s social development.

1. Set a wisdom target. Wisdom is knowledge plus application.

It is extremely difficult in our culture to grow in wisdom without reading. You can develop wisdom by attending every seminar you can find, but who has the time and money? Reading is key. It is depositing knowledge into the brain. Application must follow but without the knowledge there is nothing to apply. What is your plan to grow your brain power?

2. Jesus’ model also says, set a stature-physical development goal.

I just turned sixty a couple weeks ago and I have never felt better, physically, in my life. It is not by accident, only by plan and design. This morning I ran five miles in less than an hour. Not only am I sixty, I have had surgery on both knees and have a pacemaker. What is your excuse?

There are two reasons why I am so determined to keep myself in good physical shape.

  • I want to enjoy my years, especially the latter years instead of just endure them.
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and I want to take good care of God’s dwelling place. 1 Cor 3:16-17 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple. What is your physical development target?

3.  Jesus also grew in favor with God, in His relationship with the Father. So that means we need a spiritual development target that causes us to love and obey God more.
Here are three element of a healthy spiritual development plan.

  • Weekly worship; make it a non-negotiable part of your week.
  • Daily time with God; without exception my daily time with God is the most important key to my consistency and spiritual growth throughout the years.
  • Serving God in a consistent and committed way. One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is this, “Impression without expression leads to depression.” Impression—knowing what God wants us to do, without expression, doing it—serving God and others, leads to depression—spiritual depression. I would add, and eventually falling away from God. People who sit and soak without serving will eventually bail out on God all together.

What’s your spiritual growth target?

4. And fourthly Jesus grew in favor with Man; Jesus developed socially. He was connected with others on a regular basis. Even though he took himself away from the crowd to be alone with God he reconnected with people and was socially connected. In fact he devoted three solid years to the development of twelve guys. And much of that time devoted to the deeper development of just three of those men, Peter, James and John.

Jesus’ example indicates that healthy social development involves two key components.

  • Interaction and involvement with a small group of people; a group around the size of Jesus’ group, 12-15.
  • Connection with an even smaller group of two to four people where more accountability can take place.

So, what will it take for you to sit down this week and write out a growth plan or set some targets in these four areas of your life? If you do, you will find yourself in the five percent category. Doesn’t that make you feel special? So get on with it.

What brought you to New Venture?

Last Sunday we celebrated our sixth anniversary as a church on the south side of Richmond, declaring the glory of God to the community and beyond. On that day I asked the people to write on their connect cards how they heard about New Venture in the first place and what brought them to the church, the first time they came. Some of the answers were quite interesting. Here are a few of them.

“I was there “In the beginning…”’

“Been there since first service”

“I initially came to NV @ Carmike because of bumper stickers on electric boxes and little signs at intersections of roads.”

“I was brought here by a guest of Kelly and Harvey Havener in March of 2006.”

“A post card brought me here for first service and church has become my family.”

“Through Virginia Vision I was part of the launch team.”

“Our first visit was from an invitation from our daughter. Loved the service and fellowship.”

“I first became connected because of advertising at Carmike and I could attend before my normal church service.”

“I came to NV because my children and grandchildren were already coming here. I love NV”

“First came because I was invited by my son.”

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