Protect the Vision

When God gives you a burden that becomes a calling, a vision of something you believe He wants to do in your life, one of the first things you need to do is to protect it. These visions are most vulnerable when they are in their nascent state, before they have begun to take shape. Like a polar bear hunting a baby seal, the enemy would love to destroy what God wants to do, before it has a chance to grow up, and so you must take steps to protect it.

I believe that one of the greatest things you can do to protect your vision is to employ strategic silence until the opportune time. You see this in scripture. When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem with a vision to rebuild the walls he said nothing for three days. He didn’t even tell the people who were going to do the work until the time was right. (Nehemiah 2:11,16) It would have been easy to let it slip, but he didn’t want any neigh-sayers to put their own spin on it as they broadcasted the news. He wouldn’t forfeit the right to be the one to impart the vision to the people himself.

When God revealed to Mary that she was raising the Messiah it would have been easy to respond to that annoying mom who had a “my kid is on the honor roll at Nazareth elementary” bumper sticker with a nonchalant, that’s nice. Oh and did I mention that my kid is ‘destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel?’ But she didn’t. Luke 2:51 specifically says she, “kept all these things in her heart.” She protected the vision of what God was going to do with strategic silence for a period of time.

If you want to know what can happen when you share your dreams too early, look no further than Joseph. Over a bowl of fruit-loops one morning he casually mentioned to his family that they were all going to bow down and worship him one day. Joseph was sharing exactly what God had revealed to him, and it would come to pass exactly as he saw it, but his family wasn’t too keen on the idea at the time. Sharing the dream so early on lead to some rocky days for young Joseph as his brothers took steps to keep it from coming to pass and that is what can happen when you don’t protect the vision with silence early on.

Looking back on my life, I can think of times where I let dreams out of my heart too early or with the wrong people and got discouraged as a result. It’s easy to do. You want affirmation. In fear you desire to hear from others that you aren’t crazy, that they think it will work, that you should ‘totally go for it.’ And because “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” you seek out feedback. Be careful. To all but the eye of faith a God-sized vision looks impossible. The eye of the flesh will see the problems, the reasons why it won’t work, those who have tried it before. And you can easily end up bailing on your calling because some hater told you that there is no way you can kill a goliath with a sling-shot. It just can’t be done. And they are right, you can’t. But God can.

Check this out, Psalm 115:3 says, “Our god is in Heaven, He does as He wishes.” If God wants to do the impossible in your life–that’s exactly what He will do. Nothing is too hard for him. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek out godly counsel, before you take action, you should. But when you do make sure it’s from those with gutsy faith who won’t just see all the reasons why it won’t work. Seek out advice from people who have taken risks that God has blessed.

To use a coffee illustration, there might be a season where you need to just keep things brewing before you push the plunger down and pour it out. There are dreams in my heart, I believe God is going to do in my life and ministry one day, that only a select group of individuals are privy to and there are other ones that no one knows about but my wife. If I said them out loud in public I would probably scare myself right now. I am protecting them with silence until the time is right. Protect the vision God has given you!

“There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish… it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.

Pedro Garcia

Tomorrow night I am excited to have Pedro Garcia speaking at Skull Church. Pedro pastors an exploding, multi-site church in Miami, Florida called CCk that God really has His hand on. The Lord recently opened the door for them to enter the world of broadcasting through a full-power FM radio station called Life radio that you can listen to online here.

God has knit our hearts together and we have become great friends. My favorite thing about him is his intense passion for the gospel. Pedro is one of the most high-energy people that I have ever met, and he focuses all of that energy, like a laser, on reaching lost people for Christ. If you have heard him preach you know what I am talking about. But if you ever went out to eat with him you would see it there too–because he would be just as passionate sharing the gospel with a person he just met in the lobby of the restaurant.

His teaching show can be heard each weekday morning on Fresh Life Radio at 10am. Make sure to join us at Skull Church tomorrow night, either in person or through the webcast, but also pray about who God would have you invite or email a link to.

happy birthday skull church

Skull Churchsmall
Last night we celebrated the first anniversary of the launch of skull church. What a year it has been! From all the different series: Fire & Ice, God Rocks the Punk, The Bloody Death of Jesus Christ, and High Fidelity. To all the killer artists like: Kristian Stanfill, Family Force 5, The Myriad, Phil Wickham, and many others. To the hundreds of different, and sometimes crazy, text-messages I have received and answered while preaching. It has been epic. But at the end of the day skull church isn’t about text-messages, decals, graphic, merch, the bands or new media. Those are all things we use and as culture changes so will the way we utilize them. They serve the vision they don’t drive it.

At it’s core skull church is all about one thing and only one thing, the gospel. It is a platform to amplify what happened at the place of the skull, where Jesus died on the cross, for the sins of the world. We are aggressively targeting a lost generation with the good news. And in the last year, through this ministry, we have seen 440 people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ. That is what skull church is all about. The people who have had their hearts rocked by Christ, the lives that have been changed. And we are sure that God has done even more than we are aware of as the messages have sounded forth on the radio, internet, and podcasts all over the country and beyond. If I have learned anything in the 8 years I have been preaching it’s this, God’s Word does not return void. Continue reading…

High Fidelity Behind the Scenes

This is sort of my way of decompressing after finishing a 15 week-long study through the book of James at Skull Church. In this video I give the resources that were helpful to me during the series, the reason we called it high fidelity, and why I chose to go through this book at a service that is explicitly evangelistic in it’s focus.

If you are on a mobile device you can watch the movie on vimeo with this link:

collide magazine

We were honored to be chosen as the “church spotlight” in the most recent issue of Collide magazine. I was stoked to see our team receive some props from this killer mag that I consider to be an authority on the use of multimedia within the church.

Art, technology and media are a vital part of how we feel God has called us to minister and I am so grateful for the talented and creative individuals that make up fresh life creative. They are some of the most inspired and aggressive humanoids I have ever met and I love how they use their skills to make Jesus famous.

To read the article click here.

(Having never heard of Kalispell before I came here the first time myself, I got a kick out of the opening paragraph)

Preaching Off of The iPad – UPDATE

Teaching on the iPad from Levi Lusko on Vimeo.

*update* If you are on an iPad or an iPhone here is a link to watch the vid on the vimeo mobile page. HTML-5 for eva!

The uprising begins

Rock this City is now here. This past weekend we kicked off a brand new series going, verse-by-verse, through the book of Nehemiah. It will last for the next 4.5 months and during the summer portion, as a church, we will be ‘living the story out’ as we take radical steps to love and help build up the city we live in.

The basic concept is that everyone in the church selects one hour of community service for each month of summer off of the menu of outreach opportunities that we have established. (3 is the minimum but not the maximum–one super hardcore dude picked 30 hours) Once they have made their choices they just take their form to the “Rock this City Center” and get a free RTC shirt that they wear to their three events over the course of the summer.

No big deal right? Wrong. Even though the individual sacrifice is small, (the average american watches 4.5 hours of tv per day–all we are asking for is 3 hours in a period of 3 months) the group yield is huge. If everyone puts their back into it we will have given thousands and thousands of hours to this city in Christ’s name.

As a staff, we have been praying and prepping for this for months, and we believe that God is going to do some straight-up killer stuff in and through this study and initiative. And we were so stoked to see the body respond to the vision enthusiastically. Hundreds of people flocked to the RTC Center at all of our services committing to thousands of hours of service and happily receiving their shirts.

You can read more about Rock this City and be a part of it, even if you live in another part of the country, Rocking your city for Jesus by serving, logging your hours online and sharing your story with us–here.

You can see photos from the launch here.

Sheep Blog behind the scenes

In Psalm 23 David blogs about how great it is to be a sheep in God’s flock. I just spent the month of May combing through these 6 killer verses and here are some thoughts about the series and some resources that helped me along the way.

We also had some live sheep at both of our theatre’s for the launch weekend which made the messages come to life with the sounds and smells of livestock. And to send the message that it’s not just David that is apart of God’s flock–we are God’s sheep too–we had “sheep yourself” cutouts where people could take pictures of themselves as happy lambs before and after services. No end to the fun.