Friday, October 30, 2015

Victory News - It's the Final Countdown!


It’s the final countdown. (I can’t even say this without hearing the song in my head—one of my pep band favorites!)

God-willing, it now looks like November will be our last month as a church in a movie theater. That means 5 more Sundays at Showtime Cinema. Then on December 6th we hope to begin worshiping at our brand new ministry center just down the road at 11120 W Loomis Rd. On December 6th our plan is to begin with two regular Sunday services. The first service will begin at 9 am. The second at 10:45. We’ll be working hard to have a consistent 70 minute service length to leave enough time for a smooth transition in between. I will be regularly communicating with you over the next month as we look ahead to our big move!

So I suppose you could say that for every end there is a new beginning—which leads me to our new sermon series starting this Sunday. It’s called “It’s End of the World…and I Feel Fine!”


The big idea is that for God’s people, who live in the light of a resurrected Savior, there are only better tomorrows and an end to this world that will usher in the life that our hearts have always longed for. In this series we will find joy and peace in the promises of God that he will uphold us and carry us, that he will be our sunshine through the last dark days of this world and that, in the end, a true paradise awaits us!

Fall Back This Weekend – Don’t  forget to set your clocks back an hour this Saturday night as Daylight Savings Time is once again coming to an end. And since you’ll be gaining an extra hour, might I suggest using it to join me for Bible study in theater #6 at 8:09 before worship? Everyone is welcome! Just come on in.

Buy a Chair – THANK YOU, everyone! In just one week, we've reached $5,000 in our matching gift campaign to buy chairs for our sanctuary! This is great news because it gets us halfway to the number of chairs we'd like to have when we have our first service in our new ministry center, God-willing, on December 6th. Still time to give as there is another $5,000 to be matched if we can reach that goal so that we can have 300 chairs. Please share with anyone you think would cheerfully help make sure we have a seat for everyone who wants to come learn about our gracious God! You can find more info on how to do this on our website as well.



Sign Up To Serve Online: Visit this page on our website where you can learn about the different opportunities to serve as we move into our new ministry center. You can then fill out an online form according to your interests and be contacted with more information about future training opportunities and getting connected. Thank you to everyone who already signed up. Please be patient with us as we work together to communicate next steps as we get ready for our big move in to our ministry center. Also, in case you weren't at church Sunday, I've attached a form that you could fill out, print off, and bring to church to hand in.

Suitcase for St Lucia: Next week, members from our church will be going down to St Lucia and visiting Trinity Lutheran Church, one of our More Than Bricks mission partners. They’re able to take an extra suitcase filled with school supplies for the preschool at Trinity. Here’s a list of things they need: Sticky tac, Paint, Tape, Thumb tac, White out, Play dough, Laminating sheets, Outdoor chalk, Liquid glue, Stick glue, Coloured pens, Folders ( ones with the tack), Sticky note, Hand sanitizer, Hand tissue. If you’d like to help fill the suitcase simply bring any of these items to church this Sunday or contact Jim Guenther to ask how you can help. 


Operation Jesus Cares – Christmas Project: Even though we’re a church in the suburbs we also have a heart for the sharing Christ’s victory in the City. Therefore once again we will be working with Christ-St Peter’s School in Milwaukee for our outreach Christmas project. We will be raising money that will go towards purchasing items for care packages, and the students at Christ-St Peter’s will assemble the care packages and deliver them to neighbors near the school along with helpers from our church.

We are looking to raise $2,000 for the project this year. The money will go towards purchasing food items for a nice meal, winter hats/gloves, sanitary items, and a children’s toy/coloring book. We will again be working with the Pick N Save off of 18th/National for the purchase of the food items. We will need enough items to make 130 care packages (one care package per student). You can donate to the project through your OJC envelope if you’re a Victory of the Lamb member, or make an online donation through the church website.  

On Thursday, December 17th, we will be meeting at Christ-St Peter’s School to assist the students in assembling their care packages, and walking with the students in the neighborhood as they deliver their care packages. The event will last roughly from 8AM-noon, and ends with a special lunch/celebration with the students in their lunchroom. If you would like to volunteer, please respond give us your name and phone number. Young children are welcome to the event!
Please consider donating and volunteering for this event, as we are having a positive impact on a struggling community in the Milwaukee area! To volunteer or if you have any questions, please contact Ryan Solie / 414.828.7425

Watch last year’s celebration video on our YouTube channel here.

In case you missed it, click here to read last Sunday’s sermon that I preached based on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. “Generosity Prompts Praise!” Our apologies to all of you who were trying to watch online. Our Livestream provider went down during the service and we weren’t able to stream the sermon.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, October 23, 2015

Victory News - Generously Living


“I love my church.”

Next to “I love you, Dad/Mom” and “I love Jesus”…isn’t this just about the most fantastic thing you could ever hope to hear a kid say—especially when unprompted and unforced?

But this is exactly what was overhead this past Sunday as parents and kids got a special tour of the Victory Kids wing of our new ministry center. Cassy did a super job laying out our vision for Victory Kids—the name of our new Sunday morning kids’ ministry program. You could just see the excitement everyone has imagining what it will be like to be in our own space that is designed exactly for how we envision kids ministry taking shape there when it’s finished.

Have you considered helping out in our kids ministry? It is a great opportunity to impact lives for eternity. And there are so many different ways to volunteer—whether you’re married or single, have kids or not.

Here are the opportunities:

Teachers:  Each classroom (except nursery) has a teacher who is responsible for directing activities, teaching the lesson from purchased curriculum, and being in charge in the room. All materials are provided and training is provided. You do not need to be a trained teacher for this position, we will provide all the training you need. You just need to love kids and want to teach them.

Helpers:  The toddler and kindergarten rooms have helpers in them. Helpers do activities with kids, help the teacher get supplies and clean up, and assist the teacher. This position does not require any prep work outside of Sunday morning.

Nursery Staff:  The nursery is staffed by two adults each service who care for kids up to 24 months old.  Nursery staff cares for babies and 1 year olds, feeds them, plays with them, reads stories, and take care of our youngest friends.

Hallway Security:  Since we will have a secure kids wing in the Ministry Center, we will have a staff member assigned to maintain that security. This person will check-in anyone coming to Victory Kids late, check-in parents visiting the nursery, supporting teaching staff by getting materials from the workroom as needed, and greet visitors entering Victory Kids and direct them to the proper place. This support role will increase the safety of our kids and effectiveness of our teaching staff by allowing them to stay in their rooms.

Registration:  This is a great position for friendly people who want to welcome families.  You would greet families as they arrive, help troubleshoot technology problems, and enter new families into our system. Training and printed reference manuals provided for all technology items!

Mid-Week Support:  If you want to be part of reaching kids, but working with kids on Sunday morning isn’t for you, then you may be right as a mid-week support volunteer. This person comes to the Ministry Center during the week and completes jobs that are required for the following week, such as photocopying, prepping projects, pulling curriculum supplies, and setting up classrooms.

What are the Required Qualifications?
The two most important qualifications are:  Love Kids and Love God! Additionally, you need to be in at least 6th grade and pass a criminal background check. If you are interested in teaching the kindergarten or elementary rooms, you also need to be a member of a WELS church or have completed Pastor Ben’s Bible 301.

Sign Up To Serve Online: We now have a page on our website where you can learn about the different opportunities to serve that we’ve been talking about the last couple weeks. You can then fill out an online form according to your interests and be contacted with more information about future training opportunities and getting connected.

Buy a Chair! – As you may know we’re only a month or so away from being able to move into our brand new ministry center. Almost 10 years of reaching out to our community has brought us to this point on our journey. But now we would really like to have chairs for people when they come! Would you consider helping us fill the sanctuary by matching the other half of a chair to help provide a seat for someone to come hear about the victory that Jesus has won for them? See the picture below for how to donate via text. Basically $35 buys a chair because generous donors have stepped up to cover the other half for every gift given. You can find more info on how to do this on our website as well. And if you’re on social media, please consider sharing the request with family and friends. I just heard a story this week about someone’s business attorney who asked how he could give more than $35 to help get more than a single chair! He just needed to be asked to have an opportunity to be generous.

Suitcase for St Lucia: In early November, members from our church will be going down to St Lucia and visiting Trinity Lutheran Church, one of our More Than Bricks mission partners. They’re able to take an extra suitcase filled with school supplies for the preschool at Trinity. Here’s a list of things they need: Sticky tac, Paint, Tape, Thumb tac, White out, Play dough, Laminating sheets, Outdoor chalk, Liquid glue, Stick glue, Coloured pens, Folders ( ones with the tack), Sticky note, Hand sanitizer, Hand tissue. If you’d like to help fill the suitcase simply bring any of these items to church the next 2 Sundays or contact Jim Guenther to ask how you can help.

New Bible 201 Class Starting TuesdayNew group beginning this Tuesday evening at CESI which is located at 9850 S 54th St in the Franklin Business District for anyone who has completed Bible 101 with Pastor Ben. 6:30-8:00 pm. Bible 201 explores the topics of the Bible, who is God, creation, who is Jesus, Baptism, and Holy Communion. Contact me if you’d like to jump in with this new Bible 201 class and I’ll have materials for you.

In case you missed it, click here to watch last Sunday’s sermon that I preached based on 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5. “A promise kept shows the proof of love.” 

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Victory News

Sanctuary stage. Amazing woodwork being done by our Builders For Christ friends!
“Fine words butter no parsnips.” – 17th Century Proverb

Not sure I’ve ever tasted a parsnip!, but I think we can all relate to what this old proverb’s trying to say. Just because someone promises something does not guarantee that they will do it. Or, in a spiritual sense, good intentions don’t always translate into God-pleasing actions.

Tomorrow in church we’ll take a look at how thankfully Jesus followed through on all his good intentions and how this changes everything when it comes to ours.

In case you missed it, click here to watch last Sunday’s sermon that Caleb Schultz preached based on 2 Corinthians 8:9-15.

Things Moving and Shaking: This past Thursday we had a VotL owner’s meeting with Catalyst Construction. Things are progressing well and it sounds like we’re still on track for occupancy mid-late November. God be praised! The parking lot has been completed. Electricity is running. Painting is ongoing. Interior finishes such as fixtures, cabinets, countertops, baseboards, and trim are being installed. Builders For Christ volunteers have continued to come and help over and above what was committed. They have done outstanding work building the stage for the worship space and the large kids’ room, the av deck in the worship space, custom benches in the lobby, and countless other detail kinds of things like that. We are truly thankful for their dedication!

Victory Cafe and main lobby coming together
Tuesday Evening Small Group, Newcomers welcome! Meeting on Tuesdays, beginning Oct 13 through Nov 17, 6:30 PM- about 7:30 PM at Ron and Sue Takacs house, 7275 Foxcroft Crt, Franklin. Contact Tim Johnson for more info / 414-322-5432

Opportunities To Serve  – Worship Arts
The last couple weeks at church we’ve talked about the “Worship One, Work One” culture that we want to create so that in our new ministry center everyone will have an opportunity to worship an entire service while at the same time being able to volunteer and serve others during a second service. To make this possible we plan on starting with two services right away on Sunday mornings. The first service will start at 9:00 am. The second service will start at 10:45 am.
Here’s what we highlighted this past Sunday:

Music Team:  Musicians and vocalists. Do you play an instrument? Do you want to play an instrument? If so, what would it be? Have you ever considered vocal lessons? We want to continue to grow our music team, mentor young musicians, gradually grow our capacity for doing multiple services, and perhaps also develop our own youth band to work with kids’ ministry. Necessary traits are a desire to honor Jesus through music, humility, and a willingness to work together with other musicians of different abilities on a team to give glory to God. Who to contact? Sarah Kuerth / 414-433-4970

Production Team: Audio / Visual / Lighting / Livestreaming — The technical side of sharing Christ’s victory is mostly behind the scenes. Would you like to be part of creating an excellent, distraction free worship environment for our new ministry center as well as online? We will have new equipment and technology to learn how to use - we’ll all be learning together how to use it as we expand our capabilities and try some new things. We’re looking for people willing to learn how to operate the sound board, control the house and stage lights, build the worship services for the screen, run lyrics...any of those kinds of things. Also we will need people to operate a video camera for live recording of the service, to run the live stream of our service over the internet, and to interact with our online guests. Experience not necessary. Passion to share God’s word through technology required. Ongoing resources and training will be provided. Interested? Please contact Nancy Thompson / 414-559-1391 (cell)

Sign Up To Serve Online: We now have a page on our website where you can learn about the different opportunities to serve that we’ve been talking about the last couple weeks. You can then fill out an online form according to your interests and be contacted with more information about future training opportunities and getting connected.

Suitcase for St Lucia: In early November, members from our church will be going down to St Lucia and visiting Trinity Lutheran Church, one of our More Than Bricks mission partners. They’re able to take an extra suitcase filled with school supplies for the preschool at Trinity. Here’s a list of things they need: Sticky tac, Paint, Tape, Thumb tac, White out, Play dough, Laminating sheets, Outdoor chalk, Liquid glue, Stick glue, Coloured pens, Folders ( ones with the tack), Sticky note, Hand sanitizer, Hand tissue. If you’d like to help fill the suitcase simply bring any of these items to church the next 3 Sundays or contact Jim Guenther to ask how you can help.

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben  

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Victory News - True Riches

This week we got a parking lot!

Can a poor person be rich?

Can a rich person be poor?

Absolutely. Because in God’s economy of grace, true wealth has nothing to do with how much material stuff you’ve accumulated in your life. It has everything to do with who is at the center of your spiritual life.

Come find out what this means and consider what this might look like in your life this Sunday as we continue our series Live Like No One Else.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

In case you missed it, click here to watch last Sunday’s sermon—“Only Jesus Can Give You a Surplus of Joy”
New Small Group Starting Tuesday, October 13th. Meet on Tuesdays, beginning Oct 13 through Nov 17, 6:30 PM- about 7:30 PM at Ron and Sue Takacs house, 7275 Foxcroft Crt, Franklin. Newcomers welcome! Contact Tim Johnson for more info / 414-322-5432

Opportunities To Serve  – Hospitality
Many people form an opinion about their church experience soon after they arrive in the parking lot, most often before the first song or sermon is heard. This means we want to be intentional about making people feel as comfortable and welcome as possible.

The last couple weeks at church we’ve talked about the “Worship One, Work One” culture that we want to create so that in our new ministry center everyone will have an opportunity to worship an entire service while at the same time being able to volunteer and serve others during a second service. To make this possible we plan on starting with two services right away on Sunday mornings. The first service will start at 9:00 am. The second service will start at 10:45 am.
Here’s what we highlighted this past Sunday. Please contact our team leaders for future info and training opportunities.

Host Team: Our Host Team exists to make great first impressions with guests whether it’s in the parking lot, the lobby, alongside the Victory Café, or in our new ministry center’s welcome room. Who to contact? Christie Mike / 414.218.6002

Victory Cafe:  Make people feel welcome by offering them food and drink.
Whether you want to sign up to bring food, go shopping, or simply show up to help serve there are lots of different ways to help. In our new ministry center the Victory Café will be the front and center hub of fellowship where new connections are made, friendships are strengthened, and people find encouragement by talking with each other.  Who to contact? Cindy Bergner / 262.881.1930

Ushers: In our ministry center, ushers will go back to being their own team. Ushers make sure everyone gets a worship folder, a connection card, and a smile. They help people find open seats, gather the offering, receive prayer request cards, and guide people through communion flow. Who to contact? Karl Freund / 414.423.8986

Kayla’s Playground Open!  – Last night will always be an unforgettable experience for me. It was my great honor and privilege to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and be asked to speak words of blessing. Hundreds of people from our community were there and it was absolutely incredible to watch all the kids flood into the playground after the ceremony to play for hours into the night! Thank you to all of you from our church who supported Kayla’s Krew in their mission, let your light shine along the journey, and continued to pray or volunteer right up to the end. May our gracious God bless all who gather there!

Kayla's Playground just south of Puetz Rd around 37th St
Conference  - This week Jim Guenther and I attended a conference on Money, Millennials & Ministry Leadership sponsored by the Siebert Lutheran Foundation. Especially interesting was a discussion of an in-depth study on “Engaging Millennials In Ministry.” It identified who millennials are, how they engage in spirituality and worship communities, best practices from other ministry models, and practical applications for ministry to millennials. I’ll be sharing the report with our church Leadership Team for study and discussion over the coming months. If you’re interested in seeing the research report, just let me know and I’d be happy to share it with you too.

Evening For Life – Thursday night my wife and I were privileged to host a table at the Evening For Life banquet. We heard one of the most incredible stories of God’s power and grace that I’ve ever heard by abortion survivor Melissa Ohden. We were all reminded how much God loves each of us and how much our world needs to hear the message of Jesus. I was personally convicted to speak with as much courage and strength about our awesome God who loves us!

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Victory News - Live Like No One Else


Welcome to October! For many of you this means you’ve gotten back into a Fall routine. Perhaps the busyness of life has come at you at full force. It has for me too. But don’t forget how important it is to take time to feed your faith! I was reminded of that this week as my family and I laid to rest Sarah’s dear Grandma Rusch whom God called to her eternal home to be with her Savior in heaven. She was 94! Her life and her death gave clear witness to her faith and the difference it makes to know Jesus and his victory over sin and death. Her faith was fed over a lifetime of regularly hearing God’s Word and making the time for worship. This is how God keeps us connected and growing in faith too.

If you’ve been away from church for a while or you’ve found yourself drifting away from Jesus, come join me this Sunday at Showtime Cinema. We’re still there…for a couple weeks anyway! This Sunday we’re starting a new series Live Like No One Else. It’s about the profound difference that knowing Jesus makes in every aspect of our lives so that we can overflow with joyful generosity to those who are in need.

(In case you missed it, click here to watch last Sunday’s sermon—“God Shapes Us to Serve Others.”)

New Small Group Starting Tuesday, October 13th. Meet on Tuesdays, beginning Oct 13 through Nov 17, 6:30 PM- about 7:30 PM at Ron and Sue Takacs house, 7275 Foxcroft Crt, Franklin. Newcomers welcome! Contact Tim Johnson for more info / 414-322-5432

Opportunities To Serve  – The last couple weeks at church we’ve talked about the “Worship One, Work One” culture that we want to create so that in our new ministry center everyone will have an opportunity to worship an entire service while at the same time being able to volunteer and serve others during a second service. To make this possible we plan on starting with two services right away on Sunday mornings. The first service will start at 9:00 am. The second service will start at 10:45 am.
Over the next couple weeks we will be highlighting the various aspects of our ministry for which we will need more volunteers. The more people who volunteer, the more rotations we can build into a schedule so that serving will be a joy for everyone and not a burden for anyone.

Here’s what we highlighted this past Sunday and what’s coming up the next couple weeks:

Office Support Team: Opportunities to serve during the week at our ministry center doing things like helping with the worship folders, sorting postcards for bulk mailings, doing light cleaning, answering phones, welcoming visitors, and helping out with miscellaneous projects as needed. This team will help free up Pastor Ben and other staff to do the things only they can do. No experience needed. Training provided. Who to contact? Cassy Robbert / 414-899-4984

Grounds and Maintenance Team: Opportunities to help fix things, perform regular maintenance, mow the grass, weed the flower beds, etc. Handyman skills helpful but not required for everything. Who to contact? Jim Prusinski / 414-690-9711

Coming Up...
October 4th—Host Team, Victory Café, Ushers
October 11th—Worship Arts, Music Team, AV and Tech
October 18th—Kids Ministry
October 25th—Ministry Fair with special sign up opportunity to get involved

Early November—Receive training
Late November—Move into our ministry center!

Sharing Christ's Victory,

Pastor Ben