Saturday, November 16, 2019

Partners...In Christ

Last week New Venture welcomed Michael W. Smith, one of the forefathers of Contemporary Christian Music, for a night of worship. But the real “attraction” was something going on behind the scenes.

From Facebook to phone calls, we heard about birthday surprises, anniversary gifts, a sister who gave up her ticket to her little sister years before being surprised with a VIP ticket for concert and meet-and-greet. Talk about payback! It was clear on faces all over the Worship Center. People “remembered” these songs from important times in their lives.
But there was something else, and as the Pastor of this church we call home, this got me the most: The Partners. We call volunteers Partners around here. Though we ALWAYS appreciate our Partners, on this night, they stepped up to the plate when asked to do more than planned, setting up stage equipment and fast, when the crew had to come a day later. New Venture Champions at their best. Labor-intensive work was done with a smile, “serving the Lord with gladness.” Partners worked “as unto the Lord” and never failed to “love one another.” Truly the salt and light we’ve been studying. It couldn’t have made me prouder as a Pastor to call these Partners our church family. Leaders in God’s house.

We’ll celebrate Partners more down the road but: 1). We loved welcoming visitors far and wide – hope God filled your hearts to overflowing, and 2). Partners, we’re nothing without you folks. You showed us AND Him well!! We love you and acknowledge: YOU make New Venture a greater place to be.

Absolutely privileged to be serving Him with you!
Until Sunday @ Celebration!

"Tell the story. Give God Glory” 
Comment here or email

Friday, September 27, 2019


Today I had to go to the dentist for an emergency root canal.

The moment I hit that dentist's chair, I slept like a baby through the entire surgery. Best sleep I’ve gotten in a while was sleeping through a root canal (with snoring to boot:)). The dentist said I was an exceptional patient. I think it was more like an ‘exhausted’ patient :) haha.

Not only was it a great sleep, but a fun story (it spread quickly through the dentist's office). Jesus used storytelling as a powerful teaching and communication tool. His stories touched the heart, stuck in the mind, and were relevant to the hearers. I love a good story, how about you?! 

My favorite stories? Are YOUR stories. Particularly what God is revealing in your stories… and showing you in Life! 

I’d love to hear your story. Something your kid learned in Kid’s World? Prayed with a Prayer Partner after a Celebration Service? Big things happening in your Small Group? There’s no doubt that what God’s doing in your life - is no root canal, and definitely won’t be putting anyone to sleep! 

Got a story to share? Let us know. There’s a world waiting to hear!

Enjoying Him with you.

"Tell the story. Give God Glory” 
Comment here or email

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

We Do Best...When We Rest

We are at our best when we take time to rest. That is one area I sometimes have to work on. How about you? A few years back, 3 different people, unbeknownst to each other, gave me a copy of Tim Hansel’s When I Relax I Feel Guilty.

A staff member recently told me, “There’s Type A and Type B...but you’re Triple-A!” I'm blessed and grateful for the ministry God’s called me to. I’ve learned how short life is, I love my family and my God. So whether it’s turning in at a reasonable hour at night, sleeping in in the morning, taking “time off” or even walking away from my phone, I don’t shut off…naturally. But I do shut down…intentionally.

There are few things God designed us to need every day: food, water, sleep (rest). Jesus is the BREAD of life (John 6:35), and the source of living WATER (John 4:10) and REST (Mt. 11:28). The 3 things we need every day are symbolic of Him in every way. We’re usually good at the first 2, but how seriously do we take rest?

Take a challenge with me this week and be intentional, purposeful, and faithful not just about the Sabbath itself, but about REALLY resting in Him. Shut down distractions in an act of obedience and readiness for all His promises…and rest. For some of us, it may be the hardest homework you've had in a while! But it’s an investment God can really work with!

Let's give him our best...and rest.

“Tell the story. Give God Glory”
Take the rest challenge and share with #NewVentureChristianFellowship how God uses that in your life. Comment here or email

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Bigger Perspective, Better Plan, Greater Purpose

“My tears have been my food day and night.” (Psalm 43:3) It sounds like a bummer of a beginning to a blog but how many can relate? 100% of believers will go through a period where God seems to go silent, or where we’re going through difficult circumstances “Why didn’t you get me out of the path of this circumstance you brought to my doorstep, or this experience I’m going through? If you love me so much, why does this have to happen to me?” Jesus can use any circumstance as a tool for greater things in your earthly life or to attain eternal life.

I remember years back on one of several trips to Scotland, being met at the airport by the local vicar. As we traveled through boroughs, we arrived at the residence next to a church with a large steeple. In the morning I went for a run and realized after some time, I had gotten lost.  Overlooking the township, I recognized one thing: the cross on the steeple. I realized if I could get to the cross, I could find my way back home! The cross carries with it a message of redemption and life – the opposite of “what the enemy intended” (Genesis 50:20). Christ turned an image of trial and defeat into a symbol of hope and new life through His “Bigger Perspective, Better Plan, and Greater Purpose.”

The word for race in Hebrews 12:1 is “Agonas” (the root word for “agony”) and refers to a marathon. The race you and I are called to isn’t easy – there’s struggle and strain; it often feels “uphill both ways.” But Hebrews 12:3 tells us how to run the race: “Fix Your Eyes on Him.” God reminds us repeatedly, “My ways are higher than your ways,” (Isaiah 55:8-9) and when we fix our eyes on His ways – Perspective, Plan, Purpose – we begin to see a better way through. The race may be challenging at times – but with His promises for what He’s growing in us and the Finish Line we’re headed to, it’s a race worth running!

All for Him!

Heb 4:13, Is 55: 8-9, II Cor. 12:8-9

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The New Venture Church Family has been blessed to have a beautiful, modern campus for so many years. Anyone who has stepped foot on 4000 Mystra Way knows of the beauty I am referring to.... but what good is it to have this beautiful campus if we are not fully utilizing every possible opportunity that comes along with having this property? Our location and campus have so many things to offer people other than just Celebration Services. We have concerts, comedy shows, benefit events, exciting speakers, weddings, parties, etc.  It is our responsibility to utilize the campus to bring as many souls into Heaven as possible. And let me share with you about the recent and upcoming events at New Venture Christian Fellowship.

A few weeks back, we had champion boxer Ebo Elder speak during our Celebration Services. What a guy! It was amazing to hear his boxing stories from a Christian, Godly perspective- and we had quite the crowd! The good news is that he is coming back to New Venture on March 24, 2019 for both 8:30 and 10:30 am services. 

Chonda Pierce is a well known Christian comedian who boasts about her Southern upbringing and Southern mentality. She is hysterical!  She will be performing her comedy act here at New Venture on Saturday March 16. Don't miss out!

One of our biggest events of the year is the Miel San Marcos concert which is coming up on March 23. This Spanish Pentecostal worship band attracts thousands in their shows as they speak to audiences from their passionate performances. They even performed at Madison Square Garden in 2017 and were nominated for a Grammy in 2018! This is absolutely one show that you do not want to skip!

Keep an eye out for all of the amazing, exciting things that New Venture has in store for the months ahead!

In Him,
Pastor Shawn

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2019 Biblical Leadership & Development class has taken off with a BANG

Our 2019 Biblical Leadership & Development class has kicked off and the turnout so far has been UNREAL! We are currently in week 3 of this 8-week course, and the feedback I have received from this has been so incredibly inspiring. The sign-ups and attendance are at over 100 students as of last night's class. The numbers keep growing and we are loving every minute of that!

This was our first class picture on evening 1:

And THIS was our Tuesday class from this week!

But what is it that attracts so many people to this course?  We require an attendance &
commitment pledge from all students and ask that the homework be completed, books to be read, etc. The class is held Tuesday evenings after work hours and I could easily understand why the motivation to go be a student again after a long day at work may not be there.... but our students are COMMITTED and I am so blessed to be able to be a part of such dedication in this Church Family.

The class takes an in depth look at how to become a leader that leads from a Biblical perspective. In today's day and age, I think we can all agree that there is definitely a lack of Biblical leadership in this world. We see it everyday in the news with top leaders, in our jobs with leaders that are lacking, and even in family households where they are not ran by Biblical practices. I believe that since this is such a DESIRED trait to have in all leaders that lead us, we are so eager to learn more about it and adopt the principles in our own lives. We have special guest teachers who are the leaders in the world of sports, business, ministry, and family. The students so far have been craving for more, so the subject matter is definitely one that is sought after as far as gaining an understanding of this leadership style.

We are no longer accepting new sign-ups for this class... but no worries. We will start a new class toward second half of the year! And I expect the next new class to have even MORE interested students that sign up than this class. Don't miss out!  Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for announcements regarding sign-ups for the next Biblical Leadership & Development.

God Bless you in your week and all that you do.

All 4 Him,
Pastor Shawn

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

How to have a fresh start

Year after year, every beginning of every January, we hear ourselves declaring our "New Years Resolutions" to the world- and year after year, most of us never make it past the middle of January before we completely forget all about our silly resolutions.  But what has stopped us from following through? I think a lot of what holds us back in life is past events. Sometimes our past is not so pleasant, and maybe it puts us into a negative mindset that prevents us from starting over. 

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “ I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” He then goes on to tell us that there is an enemy, called the Devil, whose main objective is to hurt YOU... ME...ALL OF US! Any attempt to start over or even have a happy life will be thwarted by this Enemy. It is a lifelong battle that we Christians will always be involved in. 

But there is good news... God does not care about our past. He wants us to move forward with a fresh start in life. Focus on the NOW and not the THEN. Caving in to the THEN is much easier to focus on because it is what we are used to doing. 

According to a Psychology Today article from 2014, there are 5 ways to a fresh start: 
1. Manage your regrets
2. Deal with your rumination
3. Think about your new goal in abstract terms
4. Adopt the right mindset
5. Motivate yourself

Do you see why I would say that focusing on the NOW is much more of a challenge to do?  But it is the RIGHT THING to do!  Live an abundant life. Let yourself have the much deserved reward of making a fresh start for yourself.  Just remember... God wants you to be happy.