Monday, December 22, 2014

Victory News - Christmas Blessings!

Join us for a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul's service in the gymnasium at St Paul's in Muskego.
God be praised! We all have so many reasons to rejoice this week. Of course the greatest of these reasons is the gift we have all received from God when He gave His one and only Son to be our Savior on that first Christmas. Jesus is the one Gift none of us would ever want to return! Come celebrate this Gift with me on Christmas Eve this week at 6 pm in the gym at St. Paul’s in Muskego where we are having a joint service with The Bridge at St. Paul’s. I'll be preaching a message from the Bible based on Hebrews 2:14-15.

I also thank God today for your generosity though as well. Yesterday at church was our commitment Sunday for our More Than Bricks campaign. Right now we are sitting at just over $300,000 in commitments and gifts made just yesterday alone! Would you join me in praising God for that incredible amount that reflects the overflow of your hearts! That means we are well on way to reaching our campaign goal of $500,000 in commitments over 3 years to help make our vision a reality after just one Sunday. What a joy for me to see the gospel move our church family to such extraordinary generosity! I am hopeful that with God’s blessings over the next couple weeks we’ll reach or exceed our goal. Thank you!

Friends, if you weren’t able to join us yesterday at church, simply bring your commitment card any of the next Sundays and just put it in the offering basket. Take a moment as you do to pray for God’s blessings on our ministry.

Christmas Eve Service — Wednesday at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’m preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. Our Victory Café is providing cookies and hospitality. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center! Please note that the service is in the new gymnasium which is on the east end of the school, not the church which is located right on Janesville Rd. Note also that offerings given at this service will go towards More Than Bricks.

Bible Quest:  BQ is taking this coming Sunday (12/28) off. We look forward to seeing you in the new year! Have a blessed Christmas!!

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – Sunday we showed the video we made. In case you missed it, watch it here on YouTube.

Thank-You Letter From Grace Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. As you know, with our More Than Bricks campaign we are supporting three mission opportunities around the world. One of these is a new mission church that’s just starting in Minot, ND. Read the letter Pastor Nate Walther sent us this past week in thanksgiving. This is just a little reminder of what God’s Word says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Friday, December 19, 2014

Victory News - More Than Bricks Commitment Sunday

Operation Jesus Cares - Delivering care packages and some Christmas hope on 22nd St
For over 400 years God remained silent…until a voice in the wilderness, a prophet sent by God, cried out, “Prepare the way for the Lord!” Sunday we’ll listen to this voice as God speaks to us through his word to clear away the obstacles in our hearts so that we too can celebrate Christmas with maximum joy and peace!

Remember that this Sunday is also our More Than Bricks commitment Sunday. At Christmas we remember that God, the greatest Giver, gave us the greatest gift in his Son Jesus. So this Sunday each of us has an opportunity with our More Than Bricks campaign to prayerfully consider how generous we can be as God has uniquely blessed each of us.

There will be an opportunity in the service for each of you to come forward with your commitment card pledging your prayers, support, and gifts over the next three years. No prayer is too insignificant. No gift is too small. Together we will celebrate God’s faithfulness and pray for his future blessings! If you don’t have a campaign packet which includes the commitment card you can pick up one at church on Sunday or view all the More Than Bricks campaign materials on our website. If you are unable to be with us Sunday, you’re welcome to bring your response card to worship the following weekend, or mail it to the church office.

Christmas Eve Service — On Christmas Eve at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’ll be preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center!

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – Thank you to everyone who helped make our Christmas project helping kids and families on the south side a huge success this past Tuesday. We raised over $2,000 and had over 30 volunteers serving Jesus and letting his light shine. A special thank you to Ryan and Rebecca Solie for their efforts at coordinating the event including receiving generous donations from Aurora Health Care and Pick N Save whom we also thank.

VotL In the News (again!) The Franklin NOW published a great article about us this week. The article was also printed in the NOW newspaper which is included with the Thursday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If you have an extra copy of the printed version, please feel free to bring it Sunday to put in the church “archives” (aka my filing cabinet).

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Livestreaming ­–  Our apologies for the persistent crashing of the live service feed in the last couple weeks. The main issue is with the bandwith of the internet connection at the cinema. This is one area of our ministry that will greatly improve after we build our ministry center. Until then we’re trying to figure out whether we might be able to improve the experience—at least the best we can. So thanks for your patience. We want it to be a blessing and not a source of frustration.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Victory News - Bible Quest Pageant

This Sunday at Victory of the Lamb is our Bible Quest Christmas pageant. Of course you all are invited! What this means is that for the first half of the service you’ll get to sit back and enjoy the service as the kids from Bible Quest present “The Not So Silent Night.” Afterwards I’ll have a 20 minute message based on John chapter 1 from the Bible and we’ll have you on your way with plenty of time to enjoy some fellowship around the Victory Café in the lobby. Please note that because of the special event this Sunday we won’t be having Communion. We’ll wait till the end of the month for our next opportunity.


A couple other notes about Sunday from Cassy, our Bible Quest Director: Before church, we are going to have pageant rehearsal in Theater #1 for the kids and to coordinate all of the AV and music with the kids. Therefore, Theater #1 will be closed until 8:45am to allow us to rehearse with the kids without the distractions of people coming in and out of the theater. The doors to Theater #1 will open at 8:45am for the pageant. During this time before 8:45, there will be Bible study in Theater #7 starting at 8:09 as usual.

We are also expecting a full house for the pageant, so as you enter Theater #1, please sit towards the center of the rows to make the most possible space for others.  Lastly, there will be overflow seating in one of the theaters (not sure which one yet depending on the movie schedules). Our plan is to have the service streamed to that additional theater with audio/video where people can still watch the service and sit in comfy chairs even if theater #1 is full.

More Than Bricks Watch the video here! Celebrate. Pray. Share! Remember that next Sunday, December 21 is our Generosity Sunday.

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project – This Tuesday morning, 12/16, is our Christmas service project with the school kids from Christ-St. Peter on the south side. If you signed up to volunteer you should’ve received an email from Ryan Solie with details regarding Tuesday morning. If you didn’t, please email him. And to help you get in the Christmas serving spirit, check out last year’s OJC video!

Kayla’s Krew — This week Fox 6 News aired a special segment on Kayla’s Krew with interviews and footage from their design day last Thursday. You can watch it here.

VotL In the News The Franklin NOW mentioned us online. A bigger story is soon to come as well.

Christmas Eve Service — On Christmas Eve at 6 pm we are having a joint Victory of the Lamb / The Bridge at St. Paul’s worship service at the gym of St. Paul’s in Muskego. I’ll be preaching. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead a band blended with musicians from both our churches. We look forward to celebrating God’s blessings together even as we anticipate having our own Christmas Eve service next year in our newly completed ministry center!

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Finally, I just want you all to know that as your pastor I’ve been praying for you. I’ve used some extra moments this week to intercede with God for the people in our church family. I know many of you are going through some really tough times emotionally and spiritually. And I know some of you feel right now like you’re all alone in your struggle—whether it’s with depression, or anxiety, or grief, or physical pain or family conflict or whatever. But you’re not alone! Of course other people might not always see you hurting. They might not know exactly what you’re going through. They might not notice…and if that’s the case, chances are it’s because they’re dealing probably with something too in their own life that’s also pretty tough.

So I want to just end this blog post as a pastor by sharing this awesome passage from the Bible which ties into my sermon last week about how Jesus is our great High Priest. Let it remind you that Jesus loves you and lives to pray for each and every one of you no matter what you're going through: “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, December 5, 2014

More Than Bricks - Gathering Sunday's Here!


This is a big week for our church moving forward! At Thursday evening's Plan Commission meeting, our church's site plan received unanimous approval. The Mayor commended us for being a church that benefits the community. He complimented our architects and engineering team and spoke highly of our process as an example of how things should be done with new developments in the city. It was amazing! I feel truly humbled to be a part of this and tremendously excited for the coming year. God is good!

I'm really proud too of everyone on our team who's been working super hard to make this happen. And I'm proud also of our City leaders and staff. They're a great group of people and have been helpful to work with. There's just so much communication that's involved in this process but it's amazing when good people get together to work for the common good of a community. Exciting things are happening here in Franklin and the fact that we get to be part of it is very humbling to me.

Making the day even better was getting to be a part of the design day for Kayla's Krew. It started early in the morning. I got to meet out at our land with Kayla's Krew, Play By Design (the playground designers), and representatives from the City of Franklin. I by myself then went out and walked on the land where I prayed--thanking God and asking his blessings on our day, our church's upcoming campaign, and our future in the City. Specifically I asked God to use us our church's ministry center building project to reach the people in our community who don't know him and those who are hurting that they might know the victory of Jesus too.

Later in the day at Ben Franklin Elementary, in front of a gym packed with people, Kayla's Krew revealed their playground design with the input they received throughout the day from kids at all the public schools in the community. I got to see a number of people from our church and some of the concept designs of kids who I know from church or soccer camp. So cool. Let me just tell you...the playground is going to be one of the most incredible things you've ever seen when it's all done. And the whole community is going to come together to build it over 6 days in September 2015. You're all invited to help. It's gonna be awesome!

Kids at Ben Franklin Elementary getting excited to see the playground design
So...this Sunday continues our big week as a church. It's our Gathering Sunday for our More Than Bricks campaign. We'll get together to worship our gracious God. Then after the service we'll have a special presentation on what we hope to accomplish together with God's blessings. I hope you all as are excited as I am about the opportunities we're going to have to share Christ's victory with more people. So on Sunday we've got an awesome video to share. We've got some stories to tell. We've got a mission to move forward and I'm pretty pumped to do that with you.

So friends, God willing, I invite you to join me this Sunday at Showtime as usual. I hope to see you there.

Sharing Christ's Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Long Time Coming


If you’re like me, you’ve got an email inbox full of Black Friday offers right now. “Come today between 9-3.” “Use this promo code.” “Stock up on…” “Here are today’s deals.”

So in one respect this post by me, a pastor, might seem like just one more promotion you don’t have time for. On the other hand what I’m sharing today is an invitation for you to come enjoy a kingdom that money can’t buy.

This Sunday at 9:09 we’re starting a new series called A Long Time Coming. Join me at Showtime Cinema as we learn that what God really wants to give you this Christmas season is the gift of his peace.

Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal A big thank you to everyone who helped make our gathering last Sunday at the Oak Creek Community Center Sunday night a great time! Over 100 people joined us for music, food, and fun.

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project –Tuesday morning, December 16th. We’re raising $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website. To volunteer please email project coordinator Ryan Solie.

Kayla’s Krew Design Day—This coming Thursday, December 4th Kayla’s Krew will be having their design day for their playground. The unveiling of their design will take place that evening starting with refreshments at 5:30 pm at Ben Franklin Elementary School here in Franklin. The whole community is invited to attend! Here’s a flyer with more info.

Bible Quest Christmas Pageant—On Sunday, December 14th the Bible Quest kids will produce a 35 minute pageant in place of the regular Sunday service for our whole church to attend. Afterwards I’ll be a preaching a 20 minute message as we continue our series A Long Time Coming.

More Than Bricks Make plans to attend church next Sunday, December 7th for a special presentation during the service on our plans to build our own permanent ministry center in 2015 and expand the Kingdom around the world.

Last week’s sermon on Sovereignty from last Sunday that Nathan preached can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More Than Bricks



Dear Friends in Christ,

Whether it’s been with your prayers, your time, or your financial gifts over the years…thank you! There is no such thing as a prayer too simple or a gift too small when it comes from a heart filled to overflowing with God's grace.

This Day before Thanksgiving we want to share with you some of the recent blessings of God to Victory of the Lamb and some new opportunities He is putting before us.

Our Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner last Sunday at the Oak Creek Community Center was a great success—with well over 100 people attending. The music and entertainment, dinner and fellowship were enjoyed by all!

Last Sunday’s worship folder had said that there would be a big announcement at the event. So we talked about the Path to Victory appeal and the blessings that we’ve received through it—namely the purchase of 15 acres of land on Loomis Rd, as well as detailed due diligence for our future Ministry Center. 

But in case you missed the big announcement, here you go...

Path to Victory was intended to go through next June, but with current giving projections, we will reach our goal by year end. Praise God!

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of our Path to Victory appeal. If you made a financial commitment and are still in the process of finishing that commitment, that is wonderful. We encourage you to continue to participate in the Path to Victory campaign through the end of this year to help push us over our goal. If you were intending on completing your commitment in 2015, please read on to see where you can put those commitments to good use and prayerfully consider adding to them.

So, what now? The Lord has continued to overwhelm us with blessings that are making our goal of a Christmas 2015 service in our new Ministry Center closer to reality. While there will be more specific details to come, please let me whet your appetites with how good our God is. We already have over $700,000 committed in anonymous donor gifts and grants specifically allocated to the new Ministry Center from various people/foundations. They are very excited about our mission, and see what is possible with God's blessings!

What can we do? We are looking forward to rolling out our MORE THAN BRICKS campaign information, which some of you will be receiving in the mail in the next few days. That will be followed by a short presentation and more information at church at Showtime Cinema on Sunday, December 7th, so please highlight that on your calendar and make plans to attend on the 7th. While building our permanent Ministry Center is a key component, we are excited to share with you how this campaign is about so much MORE THAN BRICKS. Opportunities for prayers, time and talents, and financial support for our ministry center project as well as mission projects around the world will provide an amazing canvas for the Holy Spirit to inspire radical generosity in our members and ministry supporters.

We look forward to sharing more information with you about the campaign and how we have the unique opportunity to share Christ's victory with Franklin and the whole world for generations to come through it.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving in Christ Jesus!

Jeff Guenther, More Than Bricks Campaign Team
Ben Kuerth, Pastor

Friday, November 21, 2014

Victory News

Hello Friends,

The last couple weeks we’ve been talking about the importance of passing down a legacy of faith. Join us this Sunday as we wrap up our Legacy series with a rich appreciation of God’s grace and just what it means that God is in control of our lives.

Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal A quick reminder for those of you who signed up that this Sunday evening is our annual Thanksgiving meal at the Oak Creek Community Center. Please note that there will also be a free will opportunity for you to donate to our Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project.

Operation Jesus Cares Christmas Project –Tuesday morning, December 16th. We’re raising $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website.

Create Your Own Personal/Family Crest Challenge – Don’t forget that during this Legacy series, you all are invited to create your own personal/family crest, or coat-of-arms, picturing the things that are most important to you and that you want to pass on. Details about the challenge as well as the coat-of-arms template can be found here. Please feel free to email me your family crest! And...everyone who submits an entry will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a restaurant gift card handed out after church on Sunday, November 23rd!

Thanksgiving Worship Options—Since we don’t have our own Thanksgiving services at Showtime Cinema here are a couple local options for you to worship this coming week:

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Muskego (Janesville Rd and Tess Corners)—Wednesday evening 11/26 at 6:30 pm or Thursday morning 11/27 at 9:30 am

St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Franklin (51st and Rawson)—Wednesday evening 11/26 at 6:30 pm or Thursday morning 11/27 at 10:00 am

St Jacobi Lutheran Church in Greenfield (84th and Forest Home)—Wednesday evening 11/26 at 7:00 pm or Thursday morning 11/27 at 9:30 am

Kayla’s Krew Design Day—On December 4th Kayla’s Krew will be having their design day for their playground. The unveiling of their design will take place that evening starting with refreshments at 5:30 pm at Ben Franklin Elementary School here in Franklin. The whole community is invited to attend! Here’s a flyer with more info.

My written sermon on Leaving a Legacy That Lasts For Eternity from last Sunday can be found here on our website. My apologies but we weren’t able to get the live stream running this past Sunday so we don’t have a recorded version.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Friday, November 14, 2014

Victory News - Priority: Eternity

Gospel legacy: pass it on!
Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.

Someone once told me that this should be a pastor’s motto. After further reflection, I tend to agree.

But I’ve thought about that little motto quite a bit over the years because who doesn’t want to be remembered? Isn’t that why we’re spending a couple weeks talking about how to leave a legacy?

Not exactly. Recall that as Jesus was dying on the cross, there were two criminals crucified alongside him. One of them said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23:42). Remember me, Jesus. Why? Because that man wanted at least one person on earth to remember him after he was dead? No. Rather that man believed that the legacy Jesus was going to leave would be an eternal one. Jesus’ saving legacy would clean up the mess of his sins and cause him to outlive death. That criminal believed that because of Jesus he would get to live in God’s eternal kingdom when he died!

Well when you put it that way, all of sudden this legacy series takes on both a sense of urgency and hope, doesn’t it? Eternity—I mean that’s kind of a big deal. Eternity—that’s an amazing hope! Imagine what a difference it would make if we lived our lives confident that we will outlive death! Imagine what it would look like if our top priority here on earth was to leave a legacy for others that lasts for an eternity in heaven.

So come this Sunday as we continue our Legacy series and learn more about what’s most important in life and in death. You will hear a message of HOPE as we study one of my favorite passages in the Bible from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Missions – Last Sunday about 30 of you attended our pre-church conversation about supporting specific Home and World Missions as part of our upcoming ministry campaign. We also heard from a couple of you via email or otherwise who weren’t able to attend.

I’m super excited to announce that as our home mission we’ve decided to support Grace Lutheran Church in Minot, ND. And for our world missions we’ve decided to support Trinity Lutheran Church in Castries, St. Lucia as well as the incredible mission work being done in Nepal. We decided to spread out our support to these three (one home mission and two world missions) instead of just two because your support for these three was higher than all the other options. Especially for St. Lucia and Nepal, your support was equally strong. Much more on these opportunities to come!

With thanks to God I am mindful of this Bible verse: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14).

Things Moving and Shaking – Last Sunday during our conversation about missions I announced that last week VotL received an anonymous $200,000 donation that had been previously committed which will go directly towards our ministry center project. I’m mentioning it again here just to highlight a couple things.

First, God is so good, isn’t he!? He promises that if we put him first in our lives and seek his kingdom that he will always provide just what we need. And that’s what we’re doing with our ministry center building project. We’re seeking to not just build a building for ourselves so that we’re comfortable in it but a ministry center that will serve the people of our community and allow us to reach out with the Gospel to the unreached in our community and even around the world!

Second, I mention it to highlight just how excited a lot of people are about the unique and unprecedented opportunity we have to partner with a community group like Kayla’s Krew and to be a church that is part of the fabric of this community making a difference for generations to come. Certainly someone who gives a gift of $200,000 wants to leave a legacy. But this individual also wants to keep it anonymous to encourage all of us that ultimately our ministry center project isn’t about us. We’re just so blessed to get to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves—sharing the love and victory of Jesus!
Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal – Next Sunday evening, November 23rd. Join us for fun, music, and good food as we celebrate God’s blessings over the past year and look forward to his blessings in the next. Entertainment begins around 4 pm, and dinner will be served at 5:30. Suggested donation is $10 per adult and $6 per child (8 and under). RSVPs must be received by Monday, November 17th. To RSVP please contact Sammi Goodger / 414-731-3741.

Operation Jesus Cares – Remember that Tuesday morning, December 16th will be our annual Christmas project with Christ-St Peter’s school. We’re raising $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So we get to show people that we care about them, and more importantly, that Jesus cares about them, as many of them struggle through another holiday season.  So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website.

Create Your Own Personal/Family Crest Challenge – Don’t forget that during this Legacy series, you all are invited to create your own personal/family crest, or coat-of-arms, picturing the things that are most important to you and that you want to pass on. Details about the challenge as well as the coat-of-arms template can be found here. Please feel free to email me your family crest whenever you complete it! And...everyone who submits an entry will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a restaurant gift card handed out after church on Sunday, November 23rd!

My sermon on integrity last Sunday can be found here on our website. Leave a Gospel legacy…pass it on!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

VotL Christmas Eve with The Bridge at St. Paul's

Hi Friends,

Here’s an amazing thought…you ready? Next year at this time, God willing, we’ll be getting ready to have Christmas Eve in our about-to-be-completed ministry center! For real.

Until then, as you know well, we are limited in terms of the days and times we can worship at the movie theater. Christmas Eve, Good Friday, anything later than 9:09 on Sundays, etc.…we haven’t been able to have those special services.

But this year I just don’t want to miss out on having Christmas Eve with you all. We’ve got just so much to be thankful for and so many reasons to worship our Savior God. So we’re going to do something kind of special. This year, on Christmas Eve, Victory of the Lamb is partnering with our friends from St Paul’s in Muskego, in particular, their team that serves at The Bridge which is their ministry that meets in their new school gym.

We had a VotL Christmas Eve service in the gym at St Paul’s a couple years ago, but that was before The Bridge launched this past year. So we’re going to team up with them to be able to invite you all for an extra special Christmas Eve service at 6 pm on December 24th at the Trinity Gym at St Paul’s in Muskego. It’s a big, spacious place and we’re going to get together as brothers and sisters in Christ for a very special service celebrating God’s love in Christ.

I’ll be preaching. I’m honored to have that opportunity. Pastor John Backus from St Paul’s will lead the worship team and plan the special music. We’ll be working together to coordinate the worship service. And I’ll be sending out more info to our music team and Victory Café team soon with invitations to serve on a completely voluntary, joyful basis depending on who is willing and able to serve.

There will be no extra pressure on any of our volunteers. St Paul’s will be taking the lead with most of the set-up and tech. There’s not going to be any Bible Quest or Kids Club programming. Basically you all are invited to come with your families and enjoy worshiping Jesus with us as God gives you the opportunity.

More info to come, but I just wanted to put that on your radar for Christmas Eve, 6 pm at the Trinity Gym at St Paul’s in Muskego.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Legacy of Integrity

Last Sunday was a great start to our Legacy series! I was super excited to get to preach to so many people because what we’re talking about is important. One family after church said, “Pastor Ben, I’m really glad we’re talking about these kinds of things. We need to be reminded what it’s really all about.”

So let’s keep it going this Sunday so that the legacy we pass on will be sound. This week we’ll be talking about integrity. What is it? What can you do when your integrity has been compromised? How can you yet leave a legacy of integrity? Join us Sunday for part 2 of our series!

*Special Missions Conversation This Sunday – As part of our upcoming capital campaign for our ministry center, we plan to include a significant Missions component. So this Sunday, November 9th, all of you are invited to join us in theater #6 before church at 8:09 am for a special 45 minute conversation regarding a couple different options for supporting Missions. We will be choosing to support one specific Home Missions opportunity and one specific World Missions opportunity. We’d like you to help us decide.

So here are the Home Missions options and here are the World Missions options that we will be talking about and choosing from. If you cannot make it Sunday, please take a look at these ahead of time and if you have any opinion, please express it to Jeff Guenther before Sunday morning.

Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal – Sunday evening, November 23rd. Join us for fun, music, and good food as we celebrate God’s blessings over the past year and look forward to his blessings in the next. Entertainment begins around 4 pm, and dinner will be served at 5. Suggested donation is $10 per adult and $6 per child (8 and under). RSVPs must be received by Monday, November 17th. To RSVP please contact Sammi Goodger / 414-731-3741.

Operation Jesus Cares – Remember that Tuesday morning, December 16th will be our annual Christmas project with Christ-St Peter’s school. We’re raising $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So we get to show people that we care about them, and more importantly, that Jesus cares about them, as many of them struggle through another holiday season.  So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website.

Create Your Own Personal/Family Crest Challenge – Don’t forget that during this Legacy series, you all are invited to create your own persona/family crest, or coat-of-arms, picturing the things that are most important to you and that you want to pass on. Details about the challenge as well as the coat-of-arms template can be found here. Please feel free to email your family crest to Pastor Ben whenever you complete it! And...everyone who submits an entry will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a restaurant gift card handed out after church on Sunday, November 23rd!

My sermon from last Sunday can be found here on our website. Leave a Legacy…pass it on!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

PS - PDF attachments are included for the Home Mission opportunities, World Mission opportunities, and the Personal/Family Crest challenge

Friday, October 31, 2014

Victory News - Legacy

Every single one of us is leaving behind a legacy. What’s yours going to be? That’s the big idea behind what we’re going to talk about over the next four weeks this November. You see, whether we’re intentional about it or not, we’re all passing on something to the next generation. And this isn’t about passing down money or stuff. More significantly, we pass on our hopes, our values, our beliefs—what is important to us and what is not. So join us as we start this new series and talk about some of those things that are most important that God wants us to pass on.

Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18


Missions Conversation – As part of our upcoming capital campaign for our ministry center, we plan to include a significant Missions component. So next Sunday, November 9th, all of you are invited to join us before church for a 45 minute conversation regarding a couple different options for supporting Missions. So we will be choosing to support one specific Home Missions opportunity and one specific World Missions opportunity. You can help us decide.

We’ve been communicating with the Mission Boards of our national church body to get their input on some of the most exciting opportunities out there right now across our country and in our world that we’ll be talking about. So join us next Sunday before church in theater #6 at 8:09 am. I’ll present our options, talk about each one, and give you an opportunity to help decide which ones you would like us to support as a church to share Christ’s victory with people at home and around the world.

Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal –
Sunday, November 23rd. Y’all are invited. Join us for fun, music, and good food as we celebrate God’s blessings over the past year and look forward to his blessings in the next. Entertainment begins around 4 pm, and dinner will be served at 5. Suggested donation is $10 per adult and $6 per child (8 and under). RSVPs must be received by Monday, November 17th. To RSVP, or if you are interested in performing in the entertainment portion of the evening, bringing desserts to share, and/or donating door prizes, please contact Sammi Goodger / 414-731-3741. Quick note: There will be some big announcements and surprises…so join us and don’t miss out!

Bible Quest Christmas Pageant – Our 3rd annual BQ Christmas Pageant will be held Sunday, December 14th. Invitations will be sent home with the kids on Sunday and can be used to invite family and friends to the pageant. In addition, invitations will be available on the BQ Information Table in the lobby for anyone.

Operation Jesus Cares – Tuesday morning, December 16th will be our annual Christmas project with Christ-St Peter’s school. What’s this event all about? Basically we have the opportunity to raise $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So we get to show people that we care about them, and more importantly, that Jesus cares about them, as many of them struggle through another holiday season.  So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website.

Good News Grants! – This week we received some very great news! First was the news that Thrivent Financial approved our joint grant with Kayla’s Krew as part of their Matthew 25—Neighbors in Need Grant Program. Our Victory of the Lamb portion is a $5,000 grant with another $5,000 eligible as a challenge grant for matching gifts. Stay tuned for more details on that soon!

Next was the extraordinary news regarding another grant request—this one from the Siebert Lutheran Foundation. We received word this week that at their board meeting they approved a $50,000 grant to be received at the groundbreaking of our ministry center with up to another $125,000 to be received as a matching gift to spur on and encourage other donations!
So God be praised for how he has been providing for us to help make a difference in our community for many years to come! I am grateful for the generosity and support from so many people that we are receiving to help make our ministry center plans a reality. I’m excited to see what else God has in store as we continue to plan, pray, work, and wait for the overflow of God’s blessings through generous giving.

Nathan’s series finale sermon from our Stuck? series last Sunday can be found here on our website. Enjoy and share!

Fall Back – Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour as you go to bed on Saturday night. Since this means you gain an hour of sleep… what a perfect Sunday to come at 8:09 for Bible study in theater #6! I’ll be teaching this week on the second half of Acts chapter 2.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben





Friday, October 24, 2014

Victory News - Contentment


Contentment.

Easier said than done, right? Maybe that’s why the Apostle Paul calls it a secret. Something he had to learn. And if we’re honest, something most of us have to learn too. Paul says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12).

So join us this Sunday as we reach the end of our Stuck? series where we’ve been journeying through the book of Philippians in the Bible. As we come to the conclusion of this series we’re going to discover the secret that Paul learned and that God wants all of us to learn too. It’s one of the most joyful parts of getting unstuck and moving forward spiritually. Come discover it for yourself with us this Sunday at 9:09!

Thanksgiving Fellowship Meal - Sunday, November 23rd. You’re all invited. Join us for fun, music, and good food as we celebrate God’s blessings over the past year and look forward to his blessings in the next. Entertainment begins around 4 pm, and dinner will be served at 5. Suggested donation is $10 per adult and $6 per child (8 and under). RSVPs must be received by Monday, November 17th. To RSVP, or if you are interested in performing in the entertainment portion of the evening, bringing desserts to share, and/or donating door prizes, please contact Sammi Goodger / 414-731-3741. Quick note: There will be some big announcements and surprises…so join us and don’t miss out!

Things Moving and Shaking – Over the next couple weeks a number of foundations will be meeting to consider substantial grant requests that we submitted for our upcoming ministry center building project. Please keep the outcome of these requests in your prayers especially that God would guide and bless the decision making processes of these foundations for the building up of His Kingdom!

Over the last couple weeks we’ve been busy with meetings on many fronts. Various building task force and planning meetings are frequent. Likewise conversations with the City of Franklin and Kayla’s Krew are taking shape regarding the use of park impact fees and the details of how those will be applied to the City’s park project with Kayla’s Krew. Much of these details should be worked out by the end of November.

It’s all very exciting and very busy right now! There are many reasons for keeping our mission and ministry before God in prayer daily as we plan for the future. God is good.

Bible Quest Christmas Pageant – Our 3rd annual BQ Christmas Pageant will be held Sunday, December 14th. Invitations will be sent home with the kids on Sunday and can be used to invite family and friends to the pageant. In addition, invitations will be available on the BQ Information Table in the lobby for anyone.

Operation Jesus Cares – Tuesday morning, December 16th will be our annual Christmas project with Christ-St Peter’s school. What’s this event all about? Basically we have the opportunity to raise $2,000 for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So we get to show people that we care about them, and more importantly, that Jesus cares about them, as many of them struggle through another holiday season.  So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.  To donate to the project, simply use your OJC envelope or make an online donation through the church website.

Bible Study takes place every Sunday in theater #6 starting at 8:09 am. Simply bring a Bible or just stop in. We’ll have a Bible for you.

Bible 301 – Begins this Tuesday evening from 6:30-8:00 pm and/or Saturday morning from 10-11:30am. Meets at Competitive Edge Software, Inc (CESI) in the Franklin Business District. Contact Pastor Ben at benkuerth@gmail.com / 414-403-3275 for more information about being a part of his next Bible 101 group or jumping on board with this Bible 301 group if you’ve already completed 101 and 201.

My sermon from our Stuck? series last Sunday can be found here on our website. Enjoy and share!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben





Saturday, October 18, 2014

Keep Calm and Rejoice On!


Tomorrow is another opportunity to worship God in our free country. Let's make the most of it! We have so much to be thankful for and what better way to use our time than by thanking, praising, and praying to God.

It's been a busy week but I'm happy because I just finished my sermon. Now it's time for me to learn it! But I'm excited to share it with you because it's a message we all need to hear:

Keep Calm...and Rejoice On!

My sermon is based on Philippians 4:4-9 tomorrow. If you get a chance, take a peek and read those verses tonight before bed.

Friends, if you've been struggling with anxiety or worry, or if you've been finding yourself feeling grumpy or stressed, antisocial or upset... join me tomorrow and let God's Spirit find room to work in your heart and give you JOY instead.

In Christ,

Pastor Ben

PS - We're just starting a Bible study on the book of Acts in theater #6 at 8:09 am. You're all welcome to join us!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Victory News - Pressing On!


There’s one part of getting unstuck – spiritually speaking – that’s as important as any.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead (Philippians 3:13b).

Here’s the irony: you actually move forward in faith when you stop striving to win God’s approval or work your way into heaven by your own effort. In fact you can only press on and go forward when you realize the pressure’s off!

So be sure and catch my message this Sunday. We’re getting at the very heart of how God wants to get us unstuck through knowing Jesus.

If you know anyone who’s ever felt any pressure to perform, or anyone who’s struggling with how to deal with lots of heavy stress in life right now, invite them to join you this Sunday!

Groups are in full swing this Fall. Still time to jump in! Just check out the menu of opportunities on our website to get connected. About 75 different people have participated in groups so far this Fall. That’s awesome!

Bible Study takes place every Sunday in theater #6 starting at 8:09 am. This would be a great time to join us. We’re just starting a new study on the book of Acts. Simply bring a Bible or just stop in. We’ll have a Bible for you. And don’t worry, you won’t ever be put on the spot or be asked to share anything awkward. Just think of it as an opportunity to let God’s Spirit work in your heart and life to deepen your faith.

Pastors’ Conference – This week Tuesday and Wednesday I was up in Mishicot, WI at a WELS pastors’ conference that included about 100 pastors. It was pure delight to study the Bible with one of my favorite former professors, Prof. Daniel Deutschlander, who led us in a study of Genesis 1-3. As an aside… if you’re looking for some insightful theological reading, I’d highly recommend a couple books written by Professor Deutschlander. One’s called The Theology of the Cross. The other is called The Narrow Lutheran Middle. He also has what I think is the best book on helping people understand what the Bible says about the relationship between Church and State—which is always a timely topic around election time. It’s called Civil Government: God’s Other Kingdom. All three of these books are also available as e-books via Northwestern Publishing House.

WFX Conference – Last week, me and a couple others from our church spent a few days in Dallas at an awesome conference that provides both theoretical and practical hands-on training for all kinds of things related to churches such as audio-visual technology, LED lighting, cameras, live streaming platforms, broadcasting, creative building design, maintenance, volunteer recruitment and management, building music teams, social media strategy, communication teams, and more! Thanks for your prayers on our trip as well for God’s wisdom as to how we can best implement things here in our context in Franklin as we move forward with our building plans to reach more people with the Gospel of Jesus.

Incredible expo room full of tech and gear for sharing the gospel

Invite Cards – are available from now on at the usher’s table outside theater #1 for you to grab a couple to keep in your wallet. They’re just little business sized cards with our church info on it and an invitation. Use them to invite people you meet during the week to join us on Sundays at VotL.

Junior High Confirmation Class –Meets next on Sunday, October 19th in the birthday party room just beyond the Victory café area in the lobby. Please contact Nathan Loersch or Jon Brown-Schmidt if you need more info.

Bible 101-301 – Thursday I finished up another Bible 301 class, a group that spent 18 weeks with me (4 lessons of Bible 101, 6 lessons of Bible 201, and 8 lessons of Bible 301) digging into the Bible and learning about how much our gracious God loves us. That means I’m looking to gather together another Bible 101 group as soon as I have people interested. So let me know. Bible 101 is the first step in a journey of learning about the Bible, asking whatever questions you have, and finding answers to the biggest questions of life.

Save the Date – Tuesday, December 16th will be our annual Christmas project with Christ-St Peter’s.  We are looking at making it a morning project, and plan on being done by lunch time this year.  So please mark the date on your calendar, and consider volunteering for this event! If you have young kids, they are welcome to come as well.

What’s this event all about? Basically we have the opportunity to raise funds for putting together Christmas care packages for one of the lowest income neighborhoods on the Southside of Milwaukee. We work with the elementary school kids from Christ-St Peter’s school to put these packages together and then deliver them door to door in their neighborhood. So we get to show people that we care about them, and more importantly, that Jesus cares about them, as many of them struggle through another holiday season.

Evening For Life – I’m looking forward to the yearly banquet this evening that helps support the ministry of WELS Lutherans For Life. In case I don’t see you there, I’d invite you to learn more about our ministry and you help have the opportunity to give online. Check out the website.

My sermon from our Stuck? series last Sunday can be found here on our website. Enjoy and share!

Facebook – If you’re on Facebook, be sure and like our church Facebook page for pictures, updates, and daily prayers based on the sermon series.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Victory News - Imitating Christ


“He’s so stuck on himself.”

“She so stuck up.”

At least when I was in high school, when people said things like this about someone, it wasn’t usually a compliment.

I think we all understand that sometimes being stuck can be a form of self-centeredness. When we dwell on ourselves too much we end up comparing ourselves to others in an unhealthy way. So to help all of us get unstuck the Apostle Paul redirects our attention to Christ’s humiliation which alone can produce in us true humility.

Humility isn’t necessarily thinking less about ourselves, but thinking about ourselves less so that we put the interests and needs of others ahead of our own, just like Christ Jesus did for us. Here's what Philippians 2:5-8 says,

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Church Planting Presentation – This Sunday we have invited Pastor Keith Free, the Administrator for the Board for Home Missions of WELS, to give a special presentation on mission churches at the end of our service. So we’ll have a much shortened service to allow for a 10-15 presentation on church planting / starting new churches.

Pastor Free will also be presenting in place of our regular Bible study time from 8:09 am – 8:45 in theater #6. He will be giving a longer more in depth presentation during that time on the blessings God has been pouring out on our mission work together as a synod. We’ll have a projector set up in theater #6 for his presentation in there before church. You all are invited to join us in theater #6 at 8:09. Grab a cup of coffee and some breakfast goodies and join us in hearing about what God is doing all across the country!

Groups are in full swing this Fall. Check out the menu of opportunities on our website to get connected!

Symposium on Preaching – This week Monday and Tuesday I got to be at our Seminary in Mequon for the annual Symposium. Hundreds of pastors from all over came together to listen to papers, to worship, and to have conversations about how we can be better preachers and communicators of God’s Word in our changing world. I especially enjoyed getting to be together with some of my classmates that I haven’t had a chance to see in over 8 years! And if you’ve ever wondered what it sounds like when several hundred pastors and seminarians are all singing together accompanied by the organ and trumpets (one trumpet being played by our student assistant Nathan Loersch by the way) here’s a video someone took from our Tuesday morning worship service.

WFX Conference – This coming week I’ll be spending a couple days in Dallas at a conference that offers education and provides practical hands-on training for all kinds of things related to churches such as  audio-visual technology, lighting, building design and maintenance, volunteer management, building music teams, and more. I’m excited too because there are four of us from VotL going together to maximize what we can take home and apply in our context here in Franklin as we move forward with our building plans for the future.

Fall Festival – Just a quick note that there will be no Fall Festival this coming Saturday. We all need some time to take a deep breath with all that’s going on. Next year we hope to start planning sooner and we’d love to find someone to assume the role of event planner for our Fall Festival. We’ve got it pretty well laid out in terms of all that we’ve done in the past. There are a lot of support people willing to help. We just need someone to rise up and coordinate details next year a couple months before October. Is that you??? Please let me know if you’re interested in doing this next year. I’d be happy to talk about it with you.

Invite Cards – are available from now on at the usher’s table outside theater #1 for you to grab a couple to keep in your wallet. They’re just little business sized cards with our church info on it and an invitation. Use them to invite people you meet during the week to join us on Sundays at VotL. I’m hoping that the Invite Cards will be a convenient way for you to naturally invite people that you meet during the week.

Junior High Confirmation Class – Class got off to a great start this past Sunday. Meets next on Sunday, October 5th in the birthday party room just beyond the Victory café area in the lobby. Please contact Nathan Loersch or Jon Brown-Schmidt if you need more info.

My sermon from our Stuck? series last Sunday can be found here on our website.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, September 19, 2014

Victory News - Advancing




Last night the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 56-14. It was pretty clear who won and how the game went even though I didn’t watch it. The score says it all. But to add insult to injury one headline I read proclaims: Falcons humiliate hapless Bucs. Yikes. It’s no fun to lose much less be humiliated. I know, because I’ve been there.

Now maybe you’ve never lost big on the athletic field. But I’m guessing you’ve been there in other ways. Losing. Or at least where you’ve felt like you were losing. At work. At school. At home. Maybe even at life. Ouch. Certainly the apostle Paul when he wrote Philippians which we’re studying in our Stuck? series could very well have said, “That’s me. Losing. I’m stuck like this, a loser.” After all he was stuck in prison for preaching about Jesus and some people on the outside we trying to make his life even more miserable. 

But God gave Paul a way to be unstuck and to win. He changed Paul’s definition of winning. It wasn’t about Paul getting ahead, but about Jesus Christ and the gospel getting ahead. In this way God changed Paul from the inside, giving him joy, as Jesus Christ became larger than his life.
What would it mean if Jesus became larger than yours? I think you might be joyfully surprised. Find out this Sunday as we continue our journey through Philippians together and God helps us get unstuck in life!

Invite Cards – will be available from now on at the usher’s table outside theater #1 for you to grab a couple to keep in your wallet. They’re just little business sized cards with our church info on it and an invitation. Use them to invite people you meet during the week to join us on Sunday at VotL. I’m hoping that the Invite Cards will be a convenient way for you to naturally invite people that you meet during the week. 

Groups have begun for this Fall. Check out the menu of opportunities on our website to get connected! Just a quick note…we had a lot of fun at Whitnall park this past Monday playing flag football! 4 dads + 10 kids. Still plenty of room for more! Just show up this Monday at 6 pm at Whitnall park by the big playground. I’ll bring some Boss sub sandwiches from Pick-N-Save again and some chips. Just bring something for you and your kids to drink. 

Junior High Confirmation Class - Starting This Sunday, September 21st Class will meet in the birthday party room just beyond the Victory café area in the lobby. Please contact Nathan Loersch or Jon Brown-Schmidt if you need more info. 

Teen Bible 101 Class Still trying to settle on a day / time to get started. It’s pretty tricky juggling all the different schedules and teens. Details coming soon. Parents, if you haven’t yet, please give us your input on what days and times would work best for your kids who will be participating.

Things Moving and Shaking Our design task force has been putting in a lot of time honing the inside of the building design, meeting with the architects, and communicating input received from all the various ministry groups in the church for the worship space, the kids area, the lobby, the welcome room, and the Victory cafe. Details are coming together really well. I’m very happy with where we’re at right now. Meetings with the DOT have recently taken place as well as with the Leadership Team and with the architects, our tech team, and an a/v consultant. So far everything’s moving forward smoothly and we’re meeting our timetable with the aim of having a shovel in the ground come next Spring, God willing! I’m excited to have some new renderings to show you all soon.

My first sermon from our Stuck? Series last Sunday can be found here on our website. If you missed last week’s practical message, be sure and check it out! 

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben