How would you describe Valleybrook? Valleybrook is a place where those who are seeking God will be warmly welcomed whether they have gone to church all their lives or haven't gone in years. It is a place where one will grow in their knowledge of the Bible, their relationship with God, and their relationship with others. It is a place where new and significant friendships will be formed and nurtured. It is a place where God will be enjoyed, people will be enjoyed, and church will be enjoyable. It is a place where people will come to meet God, grow in that relationship, and go out and make a difference for Him.
How did Valleybrook get started? Actually God had us in mind from before the beginning of time (Ephesians 1:11), but let's look at things on a less cosmic level. Several years ago God started prompting the hearts of the leaders at First Baptist Church of Geneva to plant a new church in the area. Around the same time, He also started prompting the heart of Pastor Brian Smith to come back from a 10-year pastorate in Wisconsin to his hometown area to start a new church. After interviewing 21 other candidates, and after much prayer and dialogue, First Baptist Church of Geneva called Pastor Brian to plant a new church. The Smith family moved back to Batavia in March of 2002. Since then, God has been bringing together a great bunch of people to form Valleybrook.
Why the name Valleybrook Community Church? In Psalm 23, the Good Shepherd leads us, His sheep, through the valley of the shadow of death so we fear no evil, and He leads us beside still waters. In the New Testament, Jesus promises us living water. The name Valleybrook captures some of these images of being led and fed by the Good Shepherd. Also, the word "community" expresses the idea that everyone in the community is welcome and that we want to have a positive impact on the community around us.
Is Valleybrook part of a Denomination? Yes. We are part of Converge Worldwide (formerly The Baptist General Conference). Converge is a partnership of over 1000 churches in America (and the Caribbean Islands) with missions in 17 other nations. The National Ministry Center is located in Arlington Heights, IL. Converge describes itself this way: "We're a movement of churches working together to strengthen and start more churches. Our mission is to multiply transformational leaders and churches and we do that using these key ministry strategies: Grow Spiritually. Plant Churches. Mobilize Churches. Develop Leaders. Show Compassion. Reach Nations. Live Generously. These core ministries work together to resource churches and movements of churches to see lives and communities changed by the power of the gospel. Christ, his cross and the gospel are central to all we do." (Check out the Converge Worldwide website)
Can I bring my kids? Absolutely. One of our core values is this: Jesus made children a priority, so do we. We want your kids to love Jesus and to love Valleybrook.
Do I have to be religious to come? No, actually, we would prefer that you were just an ordinary sinner who knows you need God. No one needs to pretend at Valleybrook. Jesus did not come for those who think they don't need a Savior, but for those who know they do (see Luke 5:32). The first step to a true relationship with God is to acknowledge that we have fallen short of His standard and that we need Him.