After bungee jump, church planter takes the plunge in Chicago

Meredith Flynn —  June 11, 2013
Scott Venable shares his story of planting a church in Chicago at the WMU Missions Celebration in Houston.

Scott Venable shares his story of planting a church in Chicago at the WMU Missions Celebration in Houston.

HOUSTON | God used bungee jumping to move church planter Scott Venable to Chicago. At the WMU Missions Celebration, Venable told women he and his wife, Ashley, knew they were called to start a new church, and had visited the city several times in search of housing. But they were waiting to sell their house in Texas before fully committing.

On his 30th birthday, Venable went bungee jumping, and hesitated mightily before finally taking the plunge. Later that day, Venable said, he heard God say, “I want you to jump.”

“I had to go back and tell my wife that God has used bungee jumping to get us to go to Chicago,” Venable said to laughter from the audience. They found an apartment online, put down a deposit, and 10 minutes later, got a call that someone wanted to put a contract on their house in Texas.

The Venables’ church, Mosaic, is now two years old and averaging 75-80 in worship. They just baptized four people in Lake Michigan. The church also runs a busy program for kids in their neighborhood.

Venable thanked WMU specifically for their unflinching focus on missions, like the mounds of cards they send to missionaries on their birthdays. “Don’t ever underestimate what those mean to us on the field,” he said. “[They] brighten our day and strengthen our hearts and our courage.”

A veteran of Southern Baptist missions education programs, Venable told the audience he was a Mission Friend (the SBC program for preschoolers), and later accepted the call to ministry as an RA (Royal Ambassador).

“Missions is at the very center of what the church should be about,” he said, congratulating WMU on its first 125 years, and urging women to maintain that focus on missions.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.