Prayer Venture

Stories are personal & powerful

These are some of ours.

The stories included in the Prayer Venture are our personal and powerful experiences through the years, recounting times when God intervened. We all face difficulty, discouragement and opposition. These stories illustrate what happens when God’s people unite together with a shared vision and courageously refuse to give up.
We hope you are encouraged by our stories and the Scriptures that are tied to them, and that you will be encouraged to believe for God to show up in your own life and family. We also hope you will join us on our venture to love Jesus and each other, serve our community and reach our world.

Take the Prayer Venture Virtually

Read extended versions of each story below and pray along with each station's theme:

Vision  |  2003

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
~ Ephesians 3:20 (NIV)

In the fall of 2003, a small group of friends gathered in Brandon & Di’s living room in Modesto, California. We dreamed of what it would look like to start a church that would reach people who did not know Jesus. Planting a church is scary enough, but back then there were no books or manuals for how to take on such a giant task. We prayed, we dreamed, and we planned. Through the fall of 2003 Brandon shared the vision with other churches around the nation to raise the necessary funds to buy the equipment needed to get the dream off the ground. In December of that year, Brandon & Di and the church-planting team took the biggest risk of their lives; moving to Washington to bring the vision to life. Looking back on this, the vision seemed huge, but God did and continues to do more than we could imagine. We just had to trust and obey Him.

Faith  |  2004

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…”
~ Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

In January of 2004 the small church planting team had grown to over 100 people, meeting together on Sunday mornings to worship and plan for the launch of a church in Mill Creek, WA. This group had a meeting space but did not even have chairs; we sat together on the floor, dreaming of the church that God would build through us. In February, it was time to take the leap, so we rented space at Heatherwood Middle School, planned our first service and prayed that people would come. 250 people gathered together for our first service, and it was that day that the vision became a living breathing body; a church body that was willing to bring the hope of Jesus to our community and our world. We had already come so far from the small group of faith-filled people who met in our home in California. We quickly learned that God can work with “small”, if “small’ is also willing.

Honor  |  2005

"Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other."
~ Romans 12:10 (NLT)

That first year was full of “firsts” for us as a church. The first salvations, the first babies born, and children dedicated, the first baptisms and Easter services. God’s favor was with us and we quickly outgrew Heatherwood, moving next door to Jackson High School in May of 2005. With quick growth comes growth problems and it became rapidly apparent that we needed a membership base to help steer us into our future. On July 17th our founding members made a covenant agreement to unite together as a church and walk obediently into our future. These men, women and kids made huge sacrifices of time and resources to establish the church that exists today. At our 10-year celebration, we recognized those founding members who were still actively part of our church by placing a plaque with their names on it into the wall of our building at that time. Today we continue to honor those men and women, and many others whose sacrifice has brought us to where we are today: Venture Church, sitting on 4 acres in Mill Creek, WA. That founding member plaque on our new building reminds us to honor those who sacrificed to bring the dream into existence.

Provision  |  2008

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
~ Philippians 4:19  (NIV)

In 2008, while in our building on Ash Way, Venture experienced a crisis of resources (as did many organizations in our country that year). One day we received a phone call from a man in the hospital asking for a pastor to come and pray with him, as he was not expected to recover from his illness. One of our staff members went and prayed with Randall Grey, and shortly after that he passed away. But before he passed, (and without our knowledge) Randall named our church as the recipient of his estate. At our moment of crisis, wondering if we could keep our church afloat for even one more week, God miraculously provided for our needs with a crazy generous financial gift from a man most of us never met. God’s gift through Randall got us through one of our darkest seasons financially and we learned that NO need is too great for our God. We have gone back to that moment many times since then, reminding ourselves that if God provided then, He can do it again. To this day, in Randall’s name, we offer a scholarship every year to a graduating senior as a reminder to them that God provides.

Grief  |  2009

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
~ Matthew 5:4 (NLT)

On July 8, 2009 our church experienced the tragic death of one of our founding members: Mike Long. Mike was an integral part of the first 5 years of Venture and his death rocked our church. He was young, generous, hard-working and full of joy. He left behind his wife Laurie and his four children: Jimmy, Kevin, Brian and Michaela. As we mourned the loss of an incredible man and surrounded his devastated family, we experienced the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the love and peace of God in the midst of pain. We have experienced pain and loss since then, and we will again in the future, but our comfort comes from God and we have found that He will see us through even the most difficult and painful experiences in life.

Healing  |  2013

“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.”
~ James 5:14, 15 (NLT)

In 2013 the 7-year-old son of one of our founding families was diagnosed with lymphoma. People are diagnosed with illness and disease every day, but there is something about a suffering child that rallies people of faith to unite together and plead with God for healing. We united as a church in June of that year, calling on God for healing. God came through in a BIG way with physical healing for that little boy and his family, and our church was infused with faith in God to do miracles. We learned that when we unite together and call on God HE ANSWERS. Over the years we have seen crazy specific and miraculous answers to our prayers in the form of healings, freedom from addiction, financial provision, job provision, reconciliation, forgiveness and breakthrough. We will continue to be a people who do what we can do: unite together in faith and call on God, and we will continue to believe for God to do what only He can do: heal, forgive, restore, free, provide. Our God still does miracles.

Breakthrough  |  2014

“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
~ Matthew 7:7, 8  (NIV)

Part of the DNA of our church is the cry of our heart that says: “if there is more of God to know, I want to know it.” In 2014 we were collectively believing God for more of his presence, power and love in our lives. We had launched monthly worship and prayer nights, growing in numbers of people seeking God for their own lives and for their families. It was in the fall of that year that Brandon was invited to go to Argentina and Brazil to witness what God was doing in that part of the world. The pastor who came back to us was a man on fire, and that fire spread. At our next worship and prayer night, with 450 people present and calling on God, we experienced a dramatic and miraculous ‘breakthrough’ of God’s presence. Breakthrough is defined as a sudden, dramatic and important discovery or development. Suddenly the Spirit of God was moving in our midst. People were dramatically healed, freed of addictions and depression, filled with joy and passionately determined to pursue Jesus at any cost. This passion spread to families, to our Sunday services and to our community. Suddenly our services were packed, parking lots full and scores of people were seeking God. We learned (again), that if we seek God, He will respond to us and SHOW UP. We also learned that there is not just one breakthrough; as we have experienced other sudden and dramatic discoveries as we continue to pursue Jesus. Even now, we are believing for and seeking God for the next breakthrough He has for us.


“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
~ Romans 10:9, 10 (NLT)

One of the things that continues to amaze us is that week after week, year after year, every time we give people the opportunity to respond to Jesus, they do. We have never offered an opportunity for people to surrender their life to Jesus and had no one respond. That means that over the years we have seen thousands of people give their life to Jesus. This is the purpose He has put before us, to introduce people to His love, grace and power to rescue them regardless of the circumstances or choices they have made. We celebrate the multitudes of lives that continue to be changed by Jesus in our midst.

Hope  |  2015

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
~ Matthew 5:13-16 (NLT)

In early 2015 we began to pursue the possibility of purchasing a small, old, dome-shaped church building in Mill Creek. As the purchase agreement was being negotiated, a small group of people from our (then) Mill Creek campus began to gather together once a week at 6 am to pray in that dome. The dome was in need of repair and sat on a piece of property that was shrouded by trees. Essentially, it was dark. In those early morning prayer times, with the lights on in that dark building and with 15,000 cars per day passing by on nearby 35th, God began to speak. It became clear to that small group that God wanted to make His church a beacon of light in a dark place. The imagery of light was powerful: in the darkness, everyone is attracted to the light and can see it from a far-off distance. God impressed on our hearts that THIS church would be HIS light to a dark world. John 1:5 says that “darkness cannot overcome the light of God’s presence” and we took God at His word, believing that He would use US as a light to His world. A specific prayer that came from those mornings was that God would cause people who were driving by to turn their heads and be drawn to the light. In late 2015 we finalized the purchase of that building, remodeled it and opened it in January of 2016. For MONTHS after we opened, new people would share with us that they didn’t know how they ended up at our church, but just that they were driving by and felt compelled to come in to a place that was so full of light in the darkness. We have determined that the truth is that Jesus is the hope of this world, and we, the church, are the vehicle of that hope…. the LIGHT…to our world. We are believing that God will continue to draw people to Himself through our church.

Perseverance  |  2016

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything.”
~ James 1:2-4  (NIV)

In 2016 Pastors Brandon and Di taught a message series titled “Do Hard Things.” This came straight from their family and the strong challenges they were making for their kids to do hard things. It also came on the heels of purchasing a small, old building in Mill Creek and for the third time, leading their staff and volunteers to remodel it themselves. Remodeling is hard work, but remodeling this building was the hardest work we had ever done. From the battle to GET the building, to the constant break-ins and theft, to the bone-weary-ing work to remodel it from top to bottom… the temptation to quit (or just give half effort) was always present. But we refused to quit. From this year of work rose a resolute determination that we do not shy away from things that are hard, we EMBRACE them, believing we will become a people of strong faith if we practice trusting God when things are hard. Through the “Do Hard Things” message series, the challenge was made to our church to pick something really hard to accomplish and to trust God for the strength to complete it. As a picture of faith, one wall in each of our campuses was dedicated for people to write out their “hard thing,” making a public declaration of the challenge being accepted. On that wall people wrote things like “forgive my dad,” “finish my degree,” “start a business,” “change careers,” “fight for my marriage,” and “complete an Iron Man.” From those declarations came a determination to be a people who work hard and push through, even when it is hard. Since then, we have cheered each other on through graduations, marriages restored, businesses launched, and Iron Mans completed. We will continue to be a people who embrace what is hard because WE DO NOT QUIT.

Unity  |  2017

“Now therefore, give me this mountain of which the Lord spoke in that day….”
~ Joshua 14:12 (NKJV)

After moving into our Mill Creek building in 2016, selling our Everett building and “marrying” our Everett and Mill Creek campuses back together in 2017, our facility became an urgent problem. Even though we had remodeled it, our Mill Creek building was in need of serious repair and was ridiculously too small for our needs. We were regularly putting 1200 people per week through a building that seated 250. BUT that building sat on 4 acres, so we began the arduous journey toward building a church building that could accommodate our needs and allow room for us to continue to reach people for Jesus. By the summer of 2018 we had the permits and plans but were suddenly struggling to secure a loan. After utilizing every bit of creativity and resources at our disposal, in August of 2018 we came up short. We could not build our future building unless we could come up with a million EXTRA dollars. This is a very difficult place for leaders to find themselves: holding a dream for the future but realizing the dream might be dead. The culture of our church’s leaders has always been about reaching people for Jesus, but with no space to include more people, we felt that our future was dying before our eyes. At our vision meeting at the end of August (the meeting we were supposed to be sharing when the dome would be torn down and the new build would commence), Brandon shared with those gathered that we could not build a building and he didn’t have a solution. After joining together in prayer, the 250 plus people committed to fast and pray and reconvene two weeks later.

On September 9th, 2018 those people re-assembled and spent the first hour of their gathering praying. Soon people began to quote Scripture, prophesy and share dreams & visions that God had given them. Spontaneously, the group began to speak out in faith that the money could be raised right there, in their midst. Papers were passed out and pledge numbers were written on them. In just under 2 hours, over $600,000 was pledged, enough to commence the project. As a group, we determined that God would provide the rest of the funds if we would take the step of faith to begin the project. That day, we experienced a miracle…it was the day that we, like Joshua, looked at the land that God had promised us and we, in faith, asked Him to “give us that mountain!” Brandon likes to say that this miracle was even greater than the biblical story of Lazarus being raised from the dead because Lazarus was “only” dead for 4 days and the building was dead for 2 weeks.

Courage  |  2018

“Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.”
~ Ezra 3:11 (NLT)

Just two months after our miraculous prayer/vision meeting where over $600,000 was pledged to launch our building project, we put shovels in the ground to symbolize that God was giving us this land. Brandon had just preached on Ezra 3, reminding us that God is good and that shouts for joy could be heard all over the land because the foundation for the new Temple had been laid. Similarly, we shouted, cried and thanked God for allowing us to see the ground dedicated to Him. That ground-breaking day was a risky one, as we had no guarantee that we could come up with the remainder of the funds needed to even complete the project, but we believed that God was asking us to trust Him, and that what He began He would also complete.


"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
 if we do not give up."
~ Galatians 6:9  (NIV)

All along the way, giant sacrifices were made to build this home for God and for His church. The names of many are printed into bricks that make up the walkway into the building. We stand with each of these, believing that their sacrifice is a seed, planted into good soil that will yield a harvest of fruit. For some, that fruit will be provision, for some healing and for some a legacy of faith to be lived out through their children and their children to come. May God bring these things to pass. Amen.