Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Make a child's Christmas this year!

2018 has been a year of blessings to me personally and to the New Venture Church Family. For every need we have expressed, we have in one way or another been blessed. One of our current needs is for people to participate in Ring & Run this year.

Our 30th Annual Ring & Run event is currently underway, and I am overwhelmed at the response we have gotten so far. We obtained lists of children who are less fortunate, with their desired Christmas presents. We have over FIFTY children that we will be purchasing Christmas presents for and hand delivering to on December 22.

I cannot even BEGIN to describe the unimagined joy that both giver and receiver will experience when less fortunate children are blessed for this years annual Ring & Run. There is nothing quite like giving to others!

Be sure to stop by the church and take a name off of the Christmas tree. You can either drop the wrapped present off with our Church Office and we will deliver for you- OR you can join us on December 22 at 9 am where we will congregate as a team, review the delivery routes, and deliver these gifts to the wonderful children within the community.

This is one event that you don't want to miss out on! Come be a part of this incredible experience.

Questions? Call Stacey (760) 688-6898

God bless.
Pastor Shawn Mitchell

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Be a part of our Thanksgiving miracle!

On Sunday, November 18, from 11- 2pm, New Venture will be hosting our 30th annual Thanksgiving Sunday Supper. We are estimating nearly 1,000 people will be fed, given haircuts, clothing, toys.... the list goes on and on!  It is truly a miraculous event as we watch people come in from all different parts of North County. There is no greater honor or blessing than to be able to serve others.  And we definitely serve that day!

All of the turkeys, sides, clothing, and toys are obtained through donations of residents within the community and our own beloved Church Family.  It is truly AMAZING to see everyone come together with donations and the desire to serve on this day. It takes nearly a whole army to make that day happen.

We as a staff have been planning this for months already- and we still have a long way to go!  The picture below was taken yesterday during one of our planning meetings. Just look at all of the notes all over the place!

We rely on over 100 partners to help serve food, set up, assist in the clothing boutique, etc. I could not be more proud of all of the wonderful people that come together on this day!  If you are feeling led by our Lord to donate food, clothing, toys, or to serve that day, I personally invite you to reach out to our Church Offices to see where you would be of greatest assistance.  It truly is one of our most fruitful, heartwarming events that we do here at New Venture, and I would love to share that joy WITH you.

~ Pastor Shawn Mitchell

Friday, November 2, 2018

The New Venture Family is back!

As you recall from last week's writing, the New Venture Leadership staff spent the past week in Ohio on a Rest and Relaxation retreat. Relaxing is not all that we did... we also spent plenty of time diving into ideas of what the Lord has for New Venture's future!

While it was a FANTASTIC trip, enlightening, spirit-filled... it was sure wonderful to get back to the home Campus. There is nothing quite like being back with ALL of our New Venture family. As you can see below, our staff is already back at work, knee- deep in ministry! We are all so excited for what the future holds for our beloved Church!

Below you will see Xavier- our student ministry leader

Lauren- our receptionist, who is always happy to help you!

Pastor David- our Pastor of Operations- always hard at work, streamlining things for the church.

Charles- Our videographer... filing my next Small Groups video!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The New Venture staff Rest and Relaxation ministry trip

I don't often write about what goes on behind the scenes of New Venture, but this particular week has been action-packed for New Venture Staff.  We have so much ministry going on at the church these days with the upcoming holidays:  Thanksgiving Sunday Supper, Christmas concerts, Ring n' Run... so many ministry events to plan!

This week, the Leadership staff of New Venture took some time to fly to Ohio to visit and stay with one of our beloved Board Member's- Tony Foglio. (Check out the NV staff photo from the airplane!)

Pastor Tony Foglio has been with New Venture for decades now!  The idea behind this trip was to get all of our Ministry Leaders together for some much needed rest and relaxation.  A few days were set aside for the staff to relax together- but it is also a time where we have been able to press the 'reset' button and really come together to discuss the upcoming vision/s of New Venture as the holidays approach.

Working in ministry can be very tiring. Not many people realize the amount of time and work that each staff member puts into their respective ministries. The importance of resetting and not getting burnt out is crucial in order to be successful at doing the Lord's work. That's exactly what this trip has been for NV staff! While we have been pow-wowing for several hours a day- discussing, planning, sharing ideas... we have been able to reset, clear our heads, and pray about the exciting, upcoming days at New Venture.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Remembering the little things that are most important

Today I had the honor of officiating a 'Celebration of Life' service for a dear member of New Venture.  Although I have been doing these types of services for decades, I am still touched by each individual service that I am blessed to be a part of.  The service today stuck out to me for a few particular reasons.

The woman who passed away left behind many family members and friends who all said the same thing: She taught them all how to enjoy the smaller things in life and how to see the beauty of all things.  She was an artist, a creative personality. To see the beauty in a sunset or a night sky is not always easy for us to do as we are all so busy with 'bigger' things in life.

She also was a career hairstylist and therefore spoke to many people every single day. She left a huge impact on all of her clients because she was personable. Taking the time to talk to people has such a remarkable outcome.  Even a simple 'how is the family?' can leave a tremendous impact on someone's day.

Lastly, and most importantly, she was a VERY proud mother. She spent a significant amount of time with her only child and was extremely proud of her. She bragged about her daughter's artistic abilities to everyone. She was positive and would constantly praise her. Everyone that remembered our dear friend said the same thing: that she was a proud mother and a fantastic role model. While we assume, as parents, that we are simply doing our job by having a good relationship with our children- we are leaving much more of a footprint in the world and in lives than we even realize.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Are we hypocrites?

If you ask most people who aren't Christian, what is the one thing that they don't like about Christians, they will probably use words like "hypocrisy", "duplicity", or "lip service". 

As a proselytizing Christian, we are constantly trying to bring others to God.  We talk a lot. We want to bring others to Him. We want to share the good news!!! Therefore, we are oftentimes held to a higher standard in life- morally and ethically.  We are expected to be perfect, seemingly.

And for the most part, it is not that any of us are actual hypocrites or paying lip service... it is simply that we are all sinners and cannot possibly live perfect lives. So when we fall short of perfection, we are sometimes criticized as we live under tight scrutiny by non- Christians.
Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"

What does this mean for us?  It means that we are NOT perfect and CANNOT be perfect.  We all sin. We are, however, freed by His grace.  That is a concept that should provide reassurance to us.

While we can certainly strive to live a wholesome life, and we can work daily to try to be the best person we can be, we can sleep better knowing that the pressures of life can be given up to God. He does not expect perfection!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The utility of worry... and turning worry into prayer!

Every day, we as humans are worried about something.  Whether it be something 'simple', such as being on time to work, or something more 'complicated', such as realizing that our monthly budget will not get us through to the end of the month. 

One thing we should ask ourselves is this: Does it make sense to worry about the things we worry about?  At the time of concern of a 'simple' worry, we are probably thinking to ourselves, "If I am late to work, I will get a lecture from my boss". While that may be true, you should also ask yourself, "Is this useful to worry about?".

There is a certain amount of worry that makes sense, and then there is also a level of useless rumination. 

According to the Bible, we should always turn to prayer when the anxiety starts. "Don't worry about anything... Instead, pray about everything. Let your requests be known to God. " Phil 4:6

There is a practical approach to worry, and it is the Biblical approach. We have to accept what we cannot change, and we need to be willing to accept as much or as little as God gives us in the present moment. We also have to give to God what we cannot change. In the Bible, Peter encourages us to put our worry into the powerful hands of God. His advice goes completely against what our own instincts are: to control it all, to try and think/act through our problems. We need to remember that we were not made for ourselves. We have to bring our problems to the Lord... and then leave them with him.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Body by Bible

Your body is a temple of the Lord.  We have all heard this quote so many times, but I can bet we never spend too much time actually taking this verse into consideration- and I am as guilty as anyone else!
If we really break  it down... our body is not actually ours.  It is simply an extension of us.  The Bible makes it clear that the Holy Spirit lives in our body.  What does this actually translate to when it comes to how we should live our life and how we should treat our physical self?  Keep it healthy!  Our diets are inevitably one of the biggest ways that we can treat our bodies in the holiest of manners. One way of breaking it down... "Is this something I would want to put into Jesus' body?!"

If the answer is no- skip it! You can apply this any habit or action: Regularly exercising, taking care of your mental and emotional health, choosing to wear your seat-belt in the car (or any other common sense safety measure), etc.

Your body ultimately belongs to Christ.  Treat it accordingly!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Love conquers all!

It is not often that the news puts out any type of happy story... especially one like this!  I found this particular story to be incredibly heartwarming.  
A man from Rochester, New York, Luther Younger, shows how deeply devoted he is to his beloved wife, Waverlee.  This man goes way above and beyond what anyone would expect from an elderly husband.
Luther makes a six mile round-trip every day, regardless of the weather that day, to visit Waverlee in the hospital.  Waverlee is currently suffering with a brain tumor that she was diagnosed with nearly a decade ago. His wife is often hospitalized for weeks on end.  Sometimes Luther even sleeps on the hospital floor next to her bed!
Luther's love for Waverlee begins decades ago.  She helped him raise his children from a previous marriage.  She was strong.  She was his "cup of tea", as he describes. Waverlee's daughter tells news reporters of the strong, unconditional love that Luther has for her mother. Everyone sees it. 
Most people would CRINGE at the idea of making a six mile round trip, on foot, every single day.  But when you've walked through life with someone, what's another six miles? 
What can we learn from Luther?  That love is unconditional. And although Luther's love for Waverlee seems to be unmatched, it is nothing in comparison to God's love for us.  Can you even believe that?!
1 John 3:16
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. "

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

When life has you shaken up... don't get stirred up!

We all know what it feels like to be shaken up by the daily annoyances in life.  Sometimes they are small things, like someone cutting you off on the road, being late to work, etc... and sometimes the annoyances are overwhelming- your boss is being extra hard on you, family drama, children getting into trouble. All of our problems are taken seriously by God! 

Give up all your problems to God and don't get stirred by them.  It's one thing to be shaken- (ie, irritated, annoyed, etc), but it is another to be stirred (loss of sleep, extra stress, worry, etc), which can have what may be possible long- term effects on your life.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your worries on Him, because He cares for you.

When we are a society of such that lives for the moment with instant gratification at our fingertips, we often times lose sight of the bigger picture in life, and therefore can be stirred up quite easily.  If we remember that God is the ultimate receiver of all of our worries, we will be able to manage being shaken much more easily.  Remember: The ultimate goal for ALL of us should be to disciple to others and let God handle the rest.  Be a good person. Do good for others. God will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Make disciples of all nations!

It is a Christian's obligation to spread the gospel. As Christians, we know this.  It is not enough to simply believe- but it is also our job as Christians is to bring others to Christ.  New Venture is coming up on "Plus 1 Weekend" on September 16 where we encourage our members to bring a friend... or 5!  We feed everyone, take them on a tour, and see what areas of ministry everyone is interested in.  It really is a wonderful time!


I encourage all of you to show up on September 16 with your "plus 1".  It really is a great opportunity to fellowship and to grow the body of Christ. You never know what you may learn about yourself that day!  Everyone has special gifts that they have to offer... and for all you know, your spiritual gifts COULD start a chain reaction.  You could be getting more souls in Heaven! 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Overcoming the enemy's attempts to undermine your objectives

Have you ever been knee-deep in ministry and your plans seem to get foiled? It's not always easy to see- but the enemy is always hard at work, trying to cause difficulty in our lives. Just when it appears that we have succeeded in our ministry efforts... the enemy rears his ugly head and reminds us that we as Christians are constantly under attack.

One important thing to do is recognize that it was not God that stopped you but the enemy. 
The reason you need to decipher the source of the interference  is that knowing the enemy is trying to stop you will help you keep on track. It will keep you from giving up and from blaming yourself. 
Another important thing to do is to realize that this difficulty is fleeting. Just know that the enemy's assault will end, and you will move forward. 
Keep looking for  a way to achieve God's objectives. The enemy LOVES trying to interfere and frustrate us, especially those of us that work in a ministry. He just LOVES to try to thwart God's plans... don't let him!  And never give up!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Blessed are the peacemakers.

It is a tough topic to discuss: Children and parents are being separated at US borders due to President Trump's zero tolerance policy on immigration.  The subject of this matter is extremely controversial. Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or somewhere in the middle... the bottom line is this: These poor families are SUFFERING.  Often times it is the unknown and 'what if's' that are the most frightening to any of us.  Seeing the reunification pictures of some of these families is a very humbling experience. This is such a bittersweet photo: The joy of the reunification combined with the relief from the lingering fear and unknown.  God only knows what the child went though and what the parents went through during the separation. 

The Bible commands Christians to help the poor, to recognize the importance of family, and to love thy neighbors just as we would ourselves.  Regardless of who you vote for or what your stance is on immigration, we must all realize that we are ALL children of God and should treat each  other accordingly. At the very least, we can respect ALL people and realize that everyone on this planet is an equal in God's eyes.

At the end of the day, we are called to be loving Christians to all people in the world... and not only loving, but we are instructed to be peacemakers.  Don't be fooled by the world news which will often times rile us up and make us angry toward the "other" side of whatever it is we are in favor of.  Break things down to the very simple concept of this: Be nice, be kind, be loving, be empathetic. This is what we have been instructed to do.  When we do these things and behave accordingly, not only does it feel good but the blessings we are given start to become so much more apparent.

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God".

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

In God We Trust!

This past week, the state of Florida passed a bill that became a law that specifically states each school district is required to display the state motto (IN GOD WE TRUST) in all of the schools in the district and in each building used by the district school board.  A caveat to this is that the motto must be display conspicuously on school grounds.  Christian state representative,  Kimberly Daniels, stated that the motto is inscribed on the state capitol as well as on our currency, and therefore needs to be displayed in schools.
 This new law and the implications of it are MONUMENTAL.  So many Americans have been praying for this for years, to only receive resistance from the non-theology based leaders.  This is truly something that needs to be celebrated! 

The power of prayer is a very real concept that has very real outcomes, such as the new Florida legislature. When thousands of people are in prayer for the same outcome, there WILL be results.  

Last night at New Venture was a night to remember as we had a Great 1 Hour of Prayer evening.  Hundreds of people came, to include our Spanish ministry and members.  There was powerful worship, many prayer requests, and even tears were shed.  Everyone there came for one common denomination: They needed prayer or they needed to pray over someone else.  The 1 Hour of Prayer is always a tremendously powerful experience.  It is unlike any other function at New Venture.  The Sanctuary is FILLED with the Spirit.  Anyone who attends these will tell you the same thing... there is just something truly miraculous about prayer in groups.

Similar to the new Florida school law, which is largely due to the power of prayer, New Venture witnessed souls being saved last night- non-believers feeling the power of prayer, at the very least.  There is absolutely a connection between large groups of people praying together and SEEING RESULTS!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Longing to belong

It is human nature: We ALL long to belong.  Whether it be in relationship with a significant other, being accepted in the workplace, or having a diverse circle of friends... there is something about BELONGING that makes us have high self esteem, feel comfort, and feel 'normal'. 

That's why New Venture is putting such a huge emphasis on the launching of our Small Groups this upcoming season with our newest series "Quest to be the Best"

We have a vast array of Small Groups and which have something to offer to EVERYONE.

Types of Small Groups 
The following small groups are currently functioning at New Venture Christian Fellowship. These models are utilized at NVCF. 
Small Groups (Sermon-based, Home) 
Utilize discussion questions from the church program. 
Service Groups 
For those who are serving together in the same ministry, (i.e. Frontlines, media, youth, worship, etc.) 
Affinity Groups 
Groups formed around common age, interest and/or experiences. 

Whether you want to go bowling, surfing, are in recovery, or just want to read the Word together- we surely have a group that you BELONG in. I can promise you this... you will not regret getting involved in one of our Small Groups!  Jesus modeled the importance of relationships by spending three years with twelve men (the disciples)... and they changed the world!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

We live in a very fast paced world in this day and age.  We are so concerned about out own first-world problems, while hurrying to the nearest Starbucks, that we forget that many people have much greater struggles than we do.  I was at a coffee shop yesterday and I started up a casual conversation with the barista.  He informed me that he was very tired because he had two full time jobs and had an 18 hour work shift ahead of him.  I took the time to listen and then went on with my day after a "God bless you" to him.  On the drive home, something hit me about that conversation.  This gentleman was working two full time jobs to keep a roof over his head for his young family.  Me?  I was on my way to my next errand and then would head home at a reasonable time to work on my message and be with my own family.  The gentleman at the coffee shop was not complaining at all- he was simply telling me about his life because I gave the impression that I would listen.

But do we really listen to strangers?  Do we really show that we care by our actions?  

Matthew 25: 35-40

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The greatest threat to Satan...

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,". JAMES 4:7

Every single day, we are surrounded by the devil. Every time I turn on the news... every time I log on to my social media... everywhere I go, I am constantly reminded that Satan is very real and makes serious attempts to poison people, especially Christians.

But the Bible makes it very clear that there is one absolute way to disarm Satan... STICK WITH GOD. The power of God and His constant presence can knock Satan to his knees anytime.  

The temptations in our daily lives seem to increase as the access to information- (social media, news, etc) gets easier and easier.  It makes me wonder if this is the main reason that the family structure in America is crumbling right before our eyes. 

Please take a moment to read the verse below.  There is very little that needs to be said after reading these clear instructions, with regards to Satan. Putting on the armor of God is the biggest weapon we will ever have!

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 
 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. T
herefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 
 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one,". EPHESIANS 6: 11-16

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The testing of your faith!

Stress is something that all of us experience on  very regular basis.  While there are different degrees of stress, everyone's stress is very real to them.  The effects that stress has on the body is monumental: insomnia, anxiety, weight gain, being more susceptible to mental health illnesses, digestive issues... the list goes on.

So often we are inundated with stress that we forget to count our blessings. We forget to take deep breaths.  We forget that although it seems like we are currently drowning, there are so many things to 
be grateful for.  And most importantly... we CAN do this!  

James 1: 2-4- 
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

We can get through anything with the Lord by our side the entire time.  When it seems like things cannot get any worse... believe me.... THEY CAN!  And we need to take stress in grace and remember what is most important in life. God has our back.  He will not give us anything that we cannot handle.  And in the meantime- we need to take care of our bodies and our minds so that stress does not get the best of us!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup- Celebrating others

Over 3 BILLION people, which is more than HALF of the world's population, throughout the world have been watching the 2018 World Cup over the past few weeks.  What an exciting series of games it has been!   The World Cup has always been a HUGE crowd gatherer.  Russia spent close to $9 BILLION in infrastructure alone, and no visa is required to enter Russia to view the World Cup!

I've always wondered what it was exactly about the World Cup that drew such a worldwide following.  It has been amazing to me to see how people of all races, colors, locations, and religions come together with one thing in common: We want to see our country's team playing in the World Cup! (although for the the United States men's team will not be competing for the first time in thirty years!!!)

Wouldn't it be awesome if all of us could come together more often than in just Worldwide sporting events? What about if we came together when one of us is struggling?  Or if someone needs some praise for something positive that has happened to them that is worth celebrating?  Let's focus on celebrating each other more than once every four years at an international sporting event!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Never give up on each other!

I have been GLUED to the news recently as the story unfolds of the boys soccer team in Thailand who have been trapped in underwater caves for over 1 week now. The SEAL Teams are currently debating on the most efficient way to remove the boys from the caves as it is monsoon season.  They have pumped some of the water out but have been ravaged by a giant downpour, stranding them behind a wall of water. 

This has become an international rescue effort that has the world worried and concerned.  The boys are being fed and seem to be in positive spirits even though some of them do not know how to swim.  The current debate is whether or not the SEAL team will need to train the boys how to actually scuba dive to get them out, or wait for the water levels to subside.  I cannot even imagine the terror that the parents of these boys must feel.  But we as a people, globally, will not give up in this rescue effort.  

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could apply this determination to help these boys in our daily lives as good Christians?  So often we get frustrated with those in our lives who are struggling, because sometimes it is a major inconvenience on our end.  But what would the world look like if we took a few extra minutes each day- even if it is just to make a phone call to someone that we know that may have something negative happening in their lives.

Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

Putting in a small amount of effort really does make a MONUMENTAL difference to those struggling. Whether it's giving them a small amount of money, asking how they are doing, or maybe even offering to cook them dinner that night- It doesn't take much to provide relief to someone who is struggling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What goes on behind the scenes at New Venture?

Every Sunday, you come to walk into our Worship Center of New Venture and have the experience of a lifetime: We start with incredibly moving worship, greet one another, share the message, and pray for one another.  And most importantly... SOULS ARE SAVED.

I can bet that many of you have never wondered what it actually takes to make a church service happen! 

Every Tuesday, I meet with several staff members who are a part of our Production Team. These staff are responsible for individual aspects of making church happen for you every week: our media department makes the beautiful "show" happen.  Our marketing department gets the word out.  Our Connections Coordinator discusses the next steps in becoming a Christian and following up with people. I spend days working on my sermon for the weekend and reviewing it with our Team.

Here is a pic from this past Tuesday's Production Team meeting- a screenshot of all of us on Skype with our Marketing Director. Basically, the gist of what we spend hours discussing is.... What can be be doing better to reach more within our church and our community?  It takes a village... but there is no better boss to work for other than Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The importance of the "fruits" of the spirit.

What are the fruits of the spirit that Galatians 5:22-23 discusses?


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

As iron sharpens iron...

On Mother's Day 2018, I gave a sermon about what women wish men knew about them.  What a hot topic that was! We also had special treats for the ladies after service- photo-booths, food, love coupon books.... We received so much positive feedback from that week!

This week's sermon title will be for the men this time!  "What men wish women knew about them...".  And on Father's Day, we will have a special day planned just for the men of our church.  There will be a "Man Cave Cafe" where we will turn our Connections Cafe into a real world man cave!  There will be video games on huge screens, cheeseburgers, drinks, darts, and plenty of other activities that are sure to bring a smile to each brother's face!  It is surely going to be a blast and a time for all of the gentlemen to feel extra special that day.

Proverbs 27:17: " As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."  Doesn't this verse just stand out to you as we discuss all of the festivities and sermon title for the gentlemen in the house?  There is absolutely a mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their assignment to carve and slice.  It is with this that we are to sharpen one another—in times of gathering, fellowship, or any other interaction, i.e., Father's Day 2018 @ New Venture.

I can't wait to see you all there both this Sunday and Father's Day Sunday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Power of Perseverance.

The Power of Perseverance... we hear this phrase quite often.  Whatever it is in life that you are working through- whether it be a professional project, taking up a new sport, dysfunction in the family... whatever it may be, the important thing is that you FINISH what you started. 

Most of us are great starters, but lousy finishers.  The Bible specifically addresses the importance of finishing strong.  Eccl. 7:8 "The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
and patience is better than pride."  

Although it can be tiring and possibly frustrating to 'hang in there' until the end, good things will come about when you acknowledge God EVERY step of the way.  So often, we will complete 75% of our project and give up towards the end because that is the easier thing to do.  Persevering often feels DRAINING, and it is at times.  We feel like we are at the end of our rope and just cannot handle anymore.  But the human body and mind is capable of so much... even when it feels as if we are done.  

We can ALWAYS hang in there until the end.  There is always going to be light at the end of the tunnel so long as we rely on God to be the mastermind behind the end results.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Phil. 4:13

Never, never, never, NEVER give up!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Decisions AND Disciples: Why Both are Essential

Here at New Venture, one of our motto's is REACH... TEACH... RELEASE.  What does this mean to anyone?  I'll explain!

As disciples of Christ, we are always looking for ways to Reach others.  That could translate to partnering as a greeter, host, prayer team, etc.  Other ways include 'venturing in the park' (we @ NV are doing that THIS weekend!) which is an amazing time for all.  As the weather warms up, New Venture brings church to local parks in the community.  We have food, music, and games for the kids.  This is an excellent way to reach others because the fun and games at the park attract folks in nearby neighborhoods, and it becomes a spiritual filled atmosphere in a non-church setting!

After we Reach, we Teach. New Venture has so many ways that we teach.  We have Starting Point classes which cover the basics of christian foundations as well as in-depth Bible classes.  We also have Discovery classes which teach about the specifics of New Venture, ways to partner, and benefits of being a church member. 

Once we have reached people, taught them, we then Release them.  This is where people are encouraged to truly be disciples of Christ by venturing into the community and spreading the Love of our Lord through actions.  Some examples that we do at New Venture are beach cleanups, cooking for our military Veteran, visiting seniors in the community, as well as Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless.  The possibilities are endless as there is always something going on at New Venture.

We encourage you to get involved... take the first step by signing up to Partner with us.  Bring a friend or neighbor with you to church.  It's the little things that truly add up to the most monumental outcomes!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Discovering Church Membership

Last Saturday, New Venture Christian Fellowship hosted our beloved Discovery I class- Discovering Church Membership.  We had eager church goers who were ready to make a commitment to their church that day.  There were guest speakers, breakfast and lunch served, and plenty of inspiring words.  At the end of the class, the new members received their membership cards and partook in an awesome group photo inside of the worship center. 

The value of Discovery classes at New Venture is quite obvious: Members get to know the staff, they learn about the benefits of church membership, and they discover the importance of getting involved.  Whether it be our Small Groups, Prayer Teams, or greeters, we truly have something for everyone here.  Getting involved in the ministry of New Venture becomes such a rewarding experience for all involved.  There is nothing quite like touching the lives of others- whether it be a simple "hello" and handshake, or becoming heavily involved as a Small Groups Coordinator... the rewards are endless. 

There are some people who attend church whose only interaction with other humans during a seven day period is the one that occurs at their church.  This may sound shocking and hard to believe, but I have actually had people approach me and tell me that personally.  It is our job as followers of Christ to extend our hand out to as many people as possible.  A simple gesture such as a greeting can potentially change lives forever.

I encourage you to get involved in the church.  Our next Discovery class starts soon and I welcome you to invite your friends and neighbors.  You won't regret it!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Going beyond the 4 walls

Spring is in the air!  The beautiful rays in Oceanside are filling up the sky.  It is so great to be in the outdoors these days.

And what better way to seep in the amazing blessings of our Spring weather than to do ministry in the park!  There is so much more to ministry at New Venture that goes far beyond the four walls of the actual New Venture church structure. We have decided to extend our ministry out to actual parks this season! 

On the first Saturday of every month, we will be bringing New Venture church to parks within the community.  There will be live worship music, the message, food, and plenty of kids activities.  This will be a great way to soak up the gorgeous weather while we reach people in a way that is nontraditional to the usual church setting.

We are asking our members that live within the proximity of these parks to invite their own neighbors to these Saturday ministry events in the parks.  Get them excited! Going beyond the walls of the church is a fantastic way to reach the unchurched, or even people who may simply be unfamiliar with New Venture. 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." Matthew 28:19. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

2018 Sunrise on the Shore... a BEAUTIFUL SUCCESS

2018 Sunrise on the Shore has come to a finish, as the staff at NV are catching up on sleep, reflecting on the SOS service, and joyfully sharing stories.  The amount of time that we as a team spent preparing for this day is almost immeasurable.  At the end of that day, we were all exhausted.

But the final product:   It was a beautiful success!  There were THOUSANDS of people that showed up.  Even the bleachers at the very top of the stairs were filled with happy faces. The morning started out quite chilly, but that didn't stop the thousands of attendees from enjoying the service.  

The worship team NAILED IT!  The music was so lively and touching.  There were people that could relate to the praise and worship, and you could clearly see thousands of lives being touched.  Clark the Juggler brought smiles and laughs to people's hearts with his very impressive entertainment.  Bill Driscoll shared war stories from his Top Gun pilot days. But the most touching aspect of the entire service was the HUNDREDS of people who made the decision to give their life to our Lord Jesus Christ that morning.  I saw all of the hands go up- we all did- and that is what this is all about!

We even had four people ask to get baptized that morning!  So off we went into the Pacific Ocean, in the chilled morning water, to touch lives and change hearts forever.  It was truly one of the most memorable Sunrise on the Shore services that I have been privileged to be a part of.  This is why we do what we do... it isn't about the entertainment acts, the food, or the beautiful beach views (although those things are a wonderful feature of the service).  It's about changing lives, touching hearts, and thousands of people coming together for one reason- To hear the message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  What a beautiful success it was!

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the SOS and we are already starting our plans!  

Friday, March 30, 2018

He is Risen! New Venture's 29th Annual Sunrise on the Shore

We are two short days away from our 29th Annual Sunrise On The Shore Service.  Where has the time gone?!  This is the most special service of the whole year as we have nearly 6,000 people in attendance at the Oceanside Amphitheater.  There will be breakfast served on the beach and a myriad of entertainment: a world renowned juggler, a dance crew, a Christian rapper, t-shirt launching, contests, giveaways, and much more.

More importantly on this day, we will be celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  There will be a special message and lots of very lively worship to help the get crowd celebrating.  The service at the amphitheater begins at 7:30 am ( a bright and early one!) and ends around 9:15 am.

We will have the same service afterwards at our Cannon Road campus at New Venture's home site.  All of the entertainment acts will trail right behind and we will have a "Round 2" at 10:30 am... so if you can't make it to the early bird service at the amphitheater, I strongly encourage you to meet us at NV Cannon Road at 10:30! 

There is nothing quite like reflecting on this very special occasion with thousands of others who want to hear the message.  And there is also nothing quite like an Easter service at the beach as the warm sun's rays start to warm us up and energize us with the Holy Spirit of the Lord.

Let us not get tangled up in the excitement of all of the entertainment during this special day.  Let us remember what this incredible day is all about.  "He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification". Romans 4:25

Friday, March 2, 2018

Variety in life enhances our experiences

Isn't it funny how wrapped up in our day to day routine we get that whenever there is a slight change, we suddenly feel stressed, anxiety-ridden, or even a little bit out of control?  Well let me tell you this: having a variety in life actually enhances experiences!  

Ecclesiastes 3:1

" There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens"

How very true is that!  And with that said, I am overjoyed to announce that this weekend, we at New Venture get a change of pace and celebration as the world renowned music group, The Katinas, take the stage and lead in anointed worship at both 8:30 and 10:30 am services. 

"Maybe it’s their lush Polynesian harmonies. It could be the warmth of their smiles and their authenticity onstage, offstage and backstage. Sure, there are other bands and artists trending atop the charts at the moment, but while they’ll come and go, the Katinas remain the epitome of class and consistency. "

Whether it’s here in the United States or overseas in France, the Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Australia and many more countries, the Katinas’ ministry has touched countless cities for over 25 years.

I look forward to seeing ALL of you here at New Venture, Cannon Road Campus, this Sunday March 4 @ 8:30 and 10:30am.  The Katinas are in the house to shake things up!  Bring a friend (or 3)- YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Valentines Day is for everyone!

For the first time since 1945, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same date this year. How interesting!  Today I am reminded of how this special day relates to all of us.  Whether you're coupled, an item, long time married, or presently flying solo.... the GREATEST expression of love is God's love that he has for each of us.  Let me give you some wonderful examples.  

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,".  It's hard to imagine ANY of us sacrificing our ONE and ONLY child! But God did it for us! He loved us SO much that he gave his only child.  That is something to keep in mind if you are feeling negative about the thought of being "alone" this Valentines day.  You really are never alone. Remember that verse! 

Or how about 1 John 4:19 which says, "We love because he first loved us,". There is no doubt that all of us need to be reminded of this simple yet POWERFUL verse. We love.... BECAUSE...HE loved us.  And God loves us more than we love him.  What a concept. 

And if you do have a special someone to celebrate today with, I am hoping that you use your time today, with that person, as a  moment to recognize God is a presence in the relationship.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Football season is over, but you can make a difference all year round!

Super Bowl LII was this past Sunday and WOW... what a game! Millions of people from hundreds of countries gathered together to eat, enjoy the game, and just get together for this massive, historical game. Athletic events have a real knack for bringing people together. Even when the Eagles and Patriots fans in your home start the competition between the two different fan groups, it’s the enthusiasm and mutual appreciation for the game that really matters.

Rex Burkhead is the New England Patriots running back. He shares his journey to faith publicly. Before coming to Christ, Burkhead testified regarding the immense draw he felt towards worldly things. He craved success and found himself increasingly drawn toward self-centeredness.

But in an interview, he talked openly about the change he experienced in his heart upon giving his life to Christ, saying that time on the field “was no longer for myself, for those worldly desires and goals” but instead “to give everything to Him [God].” In his own words, going forward he sought to learn how to play “the way Jesus Christ would have played.”

What a powerful testimony from a world-class athlete. It is music to my ears to hear this because as we all know, athletes are very impacting people on today's generation. What they say and do is followed closely by so many fresh minds. It just goes to show that although technically football season is over, you can make a difference to others all year round. This fine athlete is an excellent example of a man, an athlete, and a real disciple of our Lord.

Let us use him as an example for ourselves.  We can share the message of Christ in any setting we are in.  We can create positive change for people by being genuine, helpful, loving... no matter who you are!