Anything But General

November 16, 2020 | Daniel Shelton

Last Sunday, our congregation had the joy of watching Owen Savage being baptized by his small group leader. As word of his baptism spread among our staff, I sensed the excitement for this young man’s decision, as he has been a part of Venture his entire life.

I considered all the children's ministry events, the snacks, the trips, all the little moments that planted seeds along the way. As a middle and high school student, there were Sunday night small groups, the summer events, and the specific conversations that helped to disciple Owen throughout the years. It is often hard to measure the effectiveness of small moments until they culminate in a life-changing decision like Owen’s.

These various small things have historically been funded through our General Fund. For years, our congregation has given generously to the General Fund to pay for ministry items, summer trips, facilities, and staffing. As Owen came out of the baptistry, however, we were once again reminded that Venture’s calling is anything but general.

That is why we have renamed this fund our Ministry Fund. Each of us are called to live a life of ministry by spreading the Gospel to those who have not yet accepted Christ. That call extends to those inside our church, like Owen, but it also expands to those around the world.

Venture has a long history of generous giving to missionaries and missions agencies throughout the world. Previously missions support was given via a separate fund called Faith Promise. With this year's pandemic, our usual November focus on missions (Faith Promise) presented some new challenges. The uncertainty of our fall attendance caused us to change how we planned to fund these missions and outreach efforts in 2021.

Beginning January 1, giving to Venture will be categorized in one fund - the "Ministry Fund." This fund will be utilized to fuel our typical ministry costs, as well as our missionary support and outreach efforts. Our missions team has committed to the same level of overall missionary support in 2021 as in 2020. We plan to fund the ministry of our food pantry through this fund as well. 

For that reason, previous offerings that were designated to various funds (such as faith promise, building fund, food pantry, etc.) should now simply be donated to the Ministry Fund. 

Whether it be missions work in Europe, Asia, and India or the local ministry of a Sunday night small group like Owen’s, I pray that our congregation will continue to live generously as we fulfill our calling to spread the Gospel.