CNLP 224: Levi Lusko on Planting Churches Where Nobody Plants Churches, Being Yourself in a Different Culture and Declaring War on the Issues that Plague You As a Leader

12 years ago, Levi Lusko left Southern California to plant a church in Montana. Today, Fresh Life Church has 12 locations, most of them in very small towns where few people would plant churches.

Levi talks about why and how they did it, how he handled the cultural gap, and about how he’s met some of the personal challenges he’s faced as a leader along the way.

Welcome to Episode 224 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Levi on Instagram | Twitter | I Declare War

CNLP 213: Levi and Jennie Lusko on Losing their Daughter, and How to Fight through Grief to Keep Living and Leading

Fresh Life Church Locations


Episode Links

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3 Insights from Levi Lusko

1.  Planting in small towns can lead to big growth

Have you fever felt called to break ground in an area that just doesn’t make sense on paper? The gospel seems to be going dark in a lot of small towns – poverty, drugs, suicides. Clearly plenty of people need to find hope in Jesus outside of large cities. If the church doesn’t reach out, who will?

Levi and the team at Fresh Life Church are building the mold for growing churches in towns with smaller populations. Through innovation and a lot of heart, Fresh Life Church is celebrating successful launch after successful launch because they’ve learned how to adapt common strategies on a smaller scale and offset the load at the central location so the smaller campuses can be viable and sustainable.

2. Leading yourself through leadership funk can be the hardest part of leadership

Often times the most difficult part of leadership is self-leadership. Ever had to lead a team when you’re having a really bad personal day? The leader’s mood can positively or negatively affect the pace of a meeting or the tone in the office if you struggle with keeping leadership funk under control. Levi’s new book I Declare War breaks down how God can help you with words, thoughts and habits so you can lead at your best.

3. Depending on the Holy Spirit is a daily commitment 

What does dependence on the Holy Spirit look like in your week?

Some days are just hard. Some days can feel like we’re inauthentically going through the motions of what we’re expected to do.

That’s why we can’t ignore the importance of committing to daily dependance on God. Our strength simply can’t compare. Every day, trust and ask for it and then wake up the next day to repeat the request. Only the Holy Spirit can give us the energy necessary to be the leaders we were called to be.

Quotes from Episode 224

In business and church planting you have to really think through how much the pendulum should swing to the global side and the local side. @levilusko Click To Tweet

No one ever told me that you could be having the best of times and the worst of times simultaneously. @levilusko Click To Tweet

Our culture places such a high value on authenticity that we excuse bad behavior in the name of living our truth. @levilusko Click To Tweet

Your emotions eventually catch up to your obedience but your obedience has to go first. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 224

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

Grow Beyond 200

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Next Episode: Joshua Gagnon & Daniel King 

Josh Gagnon started Next Level Church in New England with 30 people on day one…in an auditorium that sat 800. Not a great recipe for success.

On the second Sunday, Daniel King volunteered to join Josh’s team, and they’ve seen Next Level grow to 5000 people in 9 locations and four states. They share all their challenges, principles and secrets on breaking all the attendance barriers between 30 and 5000.

Guess what? The first 200 was the hardest, and they share why.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 225.

1 Comment

  1. Joey A on October 30, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Carey, wow, thank you for this! So much relevancy and authenticity from Levi. Needed to hear it. Encouraged my soul.

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