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Ben Venable

Ben Venable

Ben has been a full-time missionary with YWAM for 6.5 years, where he currently staffs an annual Urban Discipleship Training School and helps foster longterm missional communities in different cities across the U.S. Ben is a proud (in the righteous way!) Texan and loves few things more than acoustic guitars, Dr. Pepper, and good conversation and laughs with his dear friends.

Recent posts by Ben Venable

2 min read

Connection Requires Eye Contact

By Ben Venable on 18 Oct 2017

Every day we are bombarded with a seemingly endless onslaught of self-help mantras, get rich quick schemes, and “7 steps to becoming a better you” trivialities, all of which seem to be numbing our collective ability to actually interact as humans. If you take a minute to look up from your cellular device and simply observe how everyone else around you is totally absorbed by their cellular device, it’s actually kind of harrowing.

Topics: Purpose Connection Communication
2 min read

Find Your Purpose with the YWAM URBAN DTS

By Ben Venable on 19 Jul 2017

It doesn’t take an astute observer to realize that there are many things in the world today that are not as they should be. Modern society is like a piece of shattered plexiglass; it’s still intact, but its integrity is compromised. The entire framework of our human reality is filled with cracks and fissures, all of which can and should be fixed by focusing and investing into our vertical relationship with God, which in turn smooths out our horizontal relationships with others.

Topics: Urban Missions Cities Evangelism Life-Changing YWAM DTS Poverty Making Him Known Community Hope Urban DTS Urbanization World Changer Transformation Missions in America God's Love America
2 min read

Can I hear God in Urban America?

By Ben Venable on 21 Jun 2017

Most modern day Christians would, I think, be tempted to balk and perhaps even scoff at the idea of seeking God in the middle of some of the most highly populated cities on the planet. I can’t recall any church I’ve ever been to offering a men’s retreat to Skid Row in Los Angeles, or a women's retreat to the Miracle Mile in Chicago. What we typically refer to as “God's country” are legitimately beautiful places: snow capped mountains and sandy beach sunrises. The unfortunate truth of those places is that they are often devoid of God's most beloved creation: people.

Topics: God's voice Urban Missions Cities Noise
2 min read

I Decided to Give God One More Chance

By Ben Venable on 19 May 2017

Repeatedly punching my steering wheel and reminding God of how expertly He had crafted my middle finger had kind of become my thing. My west-Texan-pastors-kid bubble had officially popped. My former modicum of faith had been crushed under the weight of my cynicism, self pity, and reclusiveness, and I seriously wanted to die. Needless to say, my first (and as it turned out, my only) semester of college had not gone as planned.

With the majority of my time being spent sulking in my dorm room, illegally watching indie movies, and silently screaming for attention, I felt like any purpose I may have ever felt in life had entirely wilted away. I moved back home, donned a pastel visor, and scooped about a million pounds of ice cream for eight months, saving money in the hopes of one day finding an escape from my intellectual and spiritual despair.

Out of the divinely inspired blue, an old youth pastor called me up, excitedly informing me of his need for a worship leader for his current youth group's upcoming missions trip to New Orleans. I semi-begrudgingly accepted his proposal. Any excuse to not scoop ice cream was good enough for me, even if it meant faking Christianity for a week or so.

Somewhere in the sultry swampiness of a June evening in the French Quarter, God started tugging on my heart in a way I could relate to. I saw people who needed just what I needed. Relief. Peace. Hope. Humanity longs for a way to escape the confines of their mind and to trust in something bigger than themselves and bigger than the American dream.

I came home and told my parents that I realized I could live a better life, and I decided to give God one more chance. Youth With a Mission (YWAM) New Orleans was hosting a missionary training school called the Urban Discipleship Training School (UDTS), which I had heard about while on my mission trip in New Orleans. After a few weeks of hesitating, I sent in my application and held my breath.

During the UDTS, I came to realize that Christianity wasn’t about fitting a mold. I didn’t have to look, sound, act, or talk like whatever I thought the perfect Christian looked, sounded, acted, and talked like. I learned that what God desires above all else is honest relationship with His most valued creation. Us. Me. You. Living in community, serving the broken, pushing myself to prefer others in all of my actions, and learning how to be myself in the midst of loving God...these are all things I never considered before doing the UDTS.

I never turned back. Seven years later, I’m still seeking God wholeheartedly as a missionary and staff member with the UDTS. Some days are better than others, of course, but every day I am reminded of who I was, and who I am now. The difference isn’t found in any book or song or movie or good idea; it’s found in believing that God hears me.

If He hears me, He hears you too.

Topics: Purpose Urban Missions Relationship with God
2 min read

God's Smuggler | A Real Life Hero

I believe in heroes, and I have had many in my lifetime. Brother Andrew, known as God's Smuggler, is undoubtedly one of...

2 min read

Dealing With Fear

I know a lot of people who no longer watch the news. Not just because they are overwhelmed, but they question the...

2 min read

The Spirit of Jesus

In an upcoming social media post that you'll see in the coming days, we are posting the caption: "The spirit of Christ...

2 min read

I Found God's Will and Escaped a Major Disaster

No relationship or career is worth more than being at the center of God’s will!

I had just finished law school in...

2 min read

The Day I Turned Around

We are so proud of our students here at YWAM Tyler. Please read Rose's story of how God set her free from self-harm and...

2 min read

Generation Z! Let's GO!

I was born in 2003, and I am proud to be a part of Gen Z.

I believe Gen Z holds the potential to release a catalytic...

6 min read

Joy Dawson~A Tribute

I suppose it is possible, but there can't be many YWAM missionaries around the world who haven't heard of Joy Dawson....

5 min read

I Don't Want To Do This Anymore

I’ve been re-reading a book that my husband Richard and I read when we planted the church ReaLity in Greenville, South...

4 min read

Is America Doomed?

Fred Markert visited us at YWAM Tyler this past weekend and brought a convicting message we want to share with all of...

3 min read

Set Free From Shame

Read this captivating interview with YWAM student, Alex, as he shares how he was set free from shame during DTS.

Alex,...

5 min read

Keith Green's Message Continues to Encourage a New Generation!

It was July 28, 1982, exactly 35 years ago to date (at the writing of this blog post), when Keith Green and others took...

3 min read

Why Not Abortion?

As many are commenting on the overturn of Roe Vs. Wade, we had the opportunity to hear from a YWAM Tyler missionary who...