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 podcast. Listen 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.
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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
Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?
Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.
Grow Beyond 200
Would you like to see your church grow to more than 200 in weekly attendance?
You’re certainly not alone. The vast majority of churches in North America never break this growth barrier. I’ve worked with hundreds of pastors during the last 20 years to better understand why churches hit plateaus—and how to break past them.
Just “working harder” won’t cut it either. In Breaking 200, I’ll share with you a few key changes your church can make to become the church God has called you to be.
In this eight-lesson video course, you’ll learn:
- How to structure your church to grow
- How to scale your pastoral care so you can help more people without burning out
- How to find the right leaders to take your church to the next level
- & much more!
Each session will include an interactive workbook with exercises to help you and your team apply what you’re learning to your ministry context right away.
Solve the Problems Most Leaders Miss: Didn’t See It Coming Will Help
If you want practical help overcoming some of the biggest challenges leaders face, my new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout, and the emptiness of success and provides strategies on how to combat each.
I wrote the book because no 18 year old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35. Yet it happens all the time.
The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s what top leaders are saying about Didn’t See It Coming:
“Seriously, this may be the most important book you read this year.” Jud Wilhite, Lead Pastor, Central Church
“Powerful, personal, and highly readable. ” Brian Houston, Global Senior Pastor, Hillsong
“Whatever challenge you’re facing, whatever obstacle you’re hoping to overcome, whatever future you dream or imagine, there is something powerful for you here.” Andy Stanley, Founder, North Point Ministries
“Uncommonly perceptive and generous…You have to read this book.” Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author
“Masterful.” Reggie Joiner, CEO Orange
“Deep biblical insight, straightforward truth, and practical wisdom to help you grow.” Craig Groeschel, Pastor and NYT bestselling author
“This book is sure to help you.” Daniel H. Pink, NYT bestselling author
Over the years, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most about being a public speaker is having opportunities to hang out with Carey…It’s not a matter of if you’ll run into these challenges; it’s a matter of when. Be prepared by spending a little time with a leader who has already been there.” Jon Acuff, NYT best-selling author
“Nieuwhof’s book provides expert guidance…with an accuracy that pierces the heart.” Nancy Duarte, CEO Duarte Inc.
“A refreshingly transparent guide for all leaders in a wide variety of industries.” Bryan Miles, Co-Founder and CEO, BELAY
Subscribe for free and never miss out on wisdom from world-class leaders like Brian Houston, Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Nancy Duarte, Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, Francis Chan, Ann Voskamp, Erwin McManus and many others.
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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.