The Venture Church StoryTroy and Jessica Martin had wrestled for quite some time with a desire to plant a life giving church. After years of serving on staff, as youth pastors and associate pastors at great churches in the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay area, they found themselves in a season of transition. Prayerfully searching for God’s next steps, the Martin’s left a position as executive ministries pastor at a large church in the Midwest and moved to San Diego. Through this faith-challenging time, God brought Troy to a place of complete surrender and reliance upon Him, with a message from God sealed in his heart; “God uses broken vessels.” During a season of prayer and fasting, God impressed on him the story of Moses sending out the twelve spies to investigate the land from Numbers 13 and 14. Ten of the spies came back with a message of fear and defeat, but Numbers 14:24 states , “My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.” Caleb and Joshua had a spirit of faith and confidence in God to accomplish what they could not accomplish on their own. With this scripture, given by the Holy Spirit, Troy realized he had been one of the 10 spies and God wanted him to have a different spirit like that of Caleb and Joshua. Out of this revelation from God, they answered the call to plant a brand new church in Encinitas, with the full support of Reiley, Reygan, and Trevan for the adventure ahead.
The Martin’s moved to Encinitas in December of 2012 to start a church with the mission of helping people find and follow Jesus. At that time, Venture Church was simply a God given vision. It was a picture of what could become when God shows up, mixed with a family’s obedience and faith. A God vision doesn’t typically come to fruition overnight and there were several times where the Martin’s had to overcome doubt, failure, disappointment, and frustration. During the difficult times of doubt, God would come through, at just the right time and in ways Troy and Jessica could have never imagined. Each time God came through it would strengthen the faith of the entire Martin family.
Where do you begin to plant a church in a community where you know almost nobody? Troy and Jessica knew it was important to immerse themselves into the community to build relationships. God opened the door for Troy to coach basketball at San Dieguito Academy, where he coached four seasons. He also provided a job for Jessica to teach 5th grade at Santa Fe Christian School. Through these relationships and many others, God began to put together the core of people to launch Venture Church. After meeting in a home for nine months with a small group of wonderful people, they prayerfully decided to begin a weekly Sunday night gathering for the purpose of growing the core team. On September 22, 2013, this group of 17 adults, 4 teens, and 10 kids began gathering at the Encinitas Community Center for worship, preaching, prayer, and fellowship. The core grew to 50-60 people and then the community center miraculously became available to Venture Church on Sunday mornings. The move to Sunday mornings was a catalyst to help the core grow to 80-90 people, leading to the official launch on March 30, 2014. Since then, it has been truly amazing to see God use Venture Church to help many people find and follow Jesus. We continue to grow numerically and spiritually, seeking to be a physical expression of Christ to our community. Venture is a place where imperfect people can meet the perfect love of their heavenly Father.
Venture has had this saying from our inception, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” There is too much at stake to play it safe and be comfortable. We will continue to take steps of faith, in obedience to God, to fulfill God’s mission for our church. The best is truly yet to come!