It’s the dawning of a new day in the Lusko house–a Clover day! We thank God for this beautiful and healthy little girl we have been given. Jennie is doing great as well. Thanks for rejoicing with us!
The launch of the Velvet Steel series was awesome all around. But it was an especially significant weekend for our Billings campus. At 3 months old it is our newest, and it was thrilling to see growth, momentum and salvation. Aaron Gillespie, a great friend of our ministry, came in from Florida to lead worship for the launch. He is a phenomenally gifted musician, but what I love most about him is his heart. He burns so brightly for God that you can’t get near him without being ignited into flames yourself. Partnering with him over the years at O2 experiences and Skull Church events has been a thrill. The team at fresh life Billings is amazing. They are passionate and focused like a laser on reaching their city. Fresh life radio was there broadcasting live and that is always fun. But what really made it an off-the-charts great weekend was that 7 young men responded to the invitation, giving their lives to Christ! In the immortal words of the hokie-pokey–that’s what it’s all about.
We are launching a brand new series this weekend at all fresh life locations and broadcasts. At fresh life Billings we will be joined for the series premiere by Aaron Gillespie! I hope you will bring a friend and join us. You can also send out invites here.
I can’t ever remember enjoying a birthday party so much! The celebration for five years of fresh life was something I don’t think I will ever be able to forget. We thanked God for all we have seen Him do, experienced the Fresh Life Story, and unleashed the plan for 2012.
If you missed it, we will be making the film available in the days to come so stay tuned.
Today it has been five years since fresh life began! If there is one word that encapsulated that day it would be the number 14. It was Sunday, January 14th, the temperature was 14 degrees outside and there were 14 people that came to our first service. It is very special now to look back on the small beginnings of the great things we have seen God do. We have put together a very special film to preserve our history called, The Fresh Life Story. (If you haven’t seen the trailer check out this post!)
It will be played this weekend at all fresh life campuses and online experiences so make sure to catch one of them if you can. I can’t think of any project that has been more difficult and exciting than trying to encapsulate what we have seen God do in these 5 years in Montana in this documentary. I pray God uses it in big ways! If you can’t make it to a fresh life campus or webcast this weekend we will be making it available for purchase in the coming days so stay tuned.
As a fresh life birthday celebration warmup, I thought I’d prime the party with a little video I shot for my blog, with my phone, explaining how and where I made the decision to move to Montana. In case any of you are reading this post during a layover or are killing time with nothing to do…let me just tell you this, God can move in a life and in this world cataclysmically through an hour in an airport. I marvel now when I think back to how much God has accomplished as a result of this hugely pivotal moment that seemed arbitrary at the time.
Paul McCartney was once asked when he knew the writing was on the wall for the Beatles, as a band. He pointed to the summer of 1965 and specifically their sold-out performance at Shea Stadium. Because the screaming of the crowd was was so loud, and there wasn’t such a thing as in-ear monitors to block out noise back then; they could not hear themselves play their set. Paul said that he knew in his gut that it was the beginning of the end when they could no longer hear the music but they kept performing anyway.
I think that is a haunting lesson for anyone who is passionately pursuing any dream. Failure, as trying as it can be, is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Success can actually be worse. This is true in ministry and in business. You can get so big and so successful that as an organization you are no longer lit by the same fire you once had. You have to fight to retain the original passion you had when you were starting out.
There are two things that we have been intentional about doing at fresh life, as we have grown, to keep us on mission and fight the forces of entropy. One is being careful to remember our history. This is vital. New hires and those who join later on need to understand what they are a part of or they will take the sacrifices paid early on for granted. The second is to make sure that the core values that lead to the success in the first place are instilled afresh, again and again, so that they are not forsaken.
A while back a friend of mine, Pastor Steven Furtick from Elevation Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, gave me a book that really opened my eyes to seeing the need for these things to be specifically nailed down and not allowed to remain nebulous. The book is called The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause (you can buy it here). That and the book Onward by Howard Schultz (link) are two phenomenal resources for any leader looking to create clarity in their organizational culture.
One things for sure, it’s a war you must wage if you want to continue to hear the music. It doesn’t happen on accident.
Check out this video where I explain what’s unique about the culture at fresh life to our church.
It’s hard to believe it, but this weekend we will be celebrating five years of fresh life. These sixty months in Big Sky Country have been an incredible journey. We have seen God move in power. And we have been working hard to record our story so we never forget what we have seen and heard.
In the Bible you see a big emphasis on this kind of thing; God’s people being intentional about not forgetting God’s faithfulness. The Israelites were often instructed to set up reminders, usually piles of stones, so that their kids and their grandkids would bump into them and unleash memories of epic things the Lord had done. That is why we have put this film together, so we can tell of His mighty works to another generation. (Psalm 145:4) That’s what this project is to us, it’s sort of our digital pile of rocks.
Simply put, since God has done big things we are making a big deal about them. And I’d love to have you join us as we paint the town red–fresh life red!
I can’t think of a better way to start out the new year than by seeing people walk into forgiveness and grace through Jesus, and that’s exactly what we saw happen at the first Skull Church event of 2012! The Mayan calendar may be signaling the end of days, but for those touched whose hearts were touched by the gospel last night, this year is the beginning of a brand new life. It was also nice to expose Montana to some hip hop; living sixty miles from Canada we don’t get a whole lot of that.