CNLP 289: Tim Lucas on Reaching Cynical Unchurched Young Adults, Launching What Would Become a MegaChurch in an Unchurched Region, and Surviving His Brush With Burnout

Tim Lucas mentally disconnected from the church at age 14, and never expected to be back…let alone plant a church. But as a Bible study Tim and his wife led grew into a church plant, Liquid Church New Jersey was born.

Tim not only shares the fascinating story of Liquid—including the strategy he used to both share the Gospel and get past the cynicism of young adults living near NY—he also talks about the rhythms he embraced running a church of 5000 with 7 locations after he had a brush with burnout.

Welcome to Episode 289 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

Tim Lucas | Instagram | Twitter

Liquid Church Book | Liquid Church

Episode Links

If you’re an American church and you’re struggling under health care costs and you want to do better for your employees you got to check out Remodel Health.

Didn’t See It Coming

Want the exclusive launch day offer that Tim mentions in the interview? You can get more information and order your copy of Liquid Church here today.

3 Insights from Tim

1. You can see great results by doing helpful and loving events that nobody would expect the Church to do.

The Church has a reputation for being predictable. We do the same events, support the same causes, and sing the same style of music every year. As we’ve done this, the church has lost relevance to speak into the culture around us. Liquid Church has seen great return on doing things that nobody would predict a Church to do.

A couple of unexpected and unpredicted things that Liquid Church has done that have gone viral are going to a gay pride parade and passing out water bottles, and hosting a “sleep in” in their church parking lot where they donated 25$ for every person that came and slept in a cardboard box overnight. Both of these events got a lot of people talking about their church and even drew the attention of their local news sources.

2. Modern preaching needs to transcend a logical lecture and become a visual event.  

The format of preaching hasn’t changed for centuries. The 3 point lecture format has worked for a long time, but as the medium that our message is communicated through changes, our method of communication needs to change with it. Tim began to learn this because more and more people are watching Tim’s sermons online. He is also beginning to see our culture become more and more visual with the rise of Instagram and Pinterest.

That shift has required him to have an A+ visual experience with each message that he preaches. Every sermon, he tries to visually engage each audience member’s left and right lobes of their brains. He does this with a 3 winged strategy. His strategy required him to have Story, Symbol, and Scripture in each sermon he preaches. He has seen that: “When you take a concept out of scripture, marry it to an image, and then you connect it to an emotion, it burns in people’s brains, and they remember it forever.”

3. Keeping the Sabbath is an investment a church can’t afford not to make.

Early on in the process of planting Liquid, Tim went through a season of personal burnout. He was working extra hours seven days a week and eventually began to see that he was neglecting his family in the process things continued to get worse. Eventually, his wife confronted him about his overworking and said: “You love the church more than me.” Tim was shocked and had realized that he made the church his mistress and that he needed to change.

Of all of the changes he made, Sabbath-keeping is by far the most important. Now, He has a personal rule with his wife and kids where no matter how late he works on Thursday night, be will wake up at home on Friday morning and not talk about Liquid or anything work-related for a full 24 hours. This has allowed him to intentionally slow down and spend much-needed time with his wife and kids. As a result of him starting this, all of Liquid has adopted this as a church-wide rule. they refuse to become a 7 day a week organization.

Quotes from Episode 289

When you take a concept out of scripture, marry it to an image, and then connect it to an emotion, it burns in people's brains, and they remember it forever. @pastortimlucas Click To Tweet

The scriptures are so rich. We're the ones who've neutered them. @pastortimlucas Click To Tweet

We have actually said that we're going to reach fewer people, but we're going to disciple our leaders better and healthier for the long haul by observing the Sabbath as a church. @pastortimlucas Click To Tweet

As preachers, we have to be able to communicate visually. @pastortimlucas Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 289

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

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

Watch Back Episodes of The Podcast on YouTube

Select episodes of this podcast are now on YouTube. Our new YouTube Channel gives you a chance to watch some episodes, not just listen. We’ll add select episodes to YouTube as time goes on.

Do what you’re best at when you’re at your best

Find posts like this overwhelming because it leaves you wondering how you’ll find time to become the inspired leader you want to be?

Let me help.

My approach to life and leadership changed radically for me over ten years ago when I figured out how to get time, energy and priorities working in my favour.

I’d love to help you free up hours each day to do the same thing. And I’ve helped over 5000 leaders do just that.

If you’re trying to find the time for what matters most in life, my High Impact Leader course, is my online, on-demand course designed to help you get time, energy and priorities working in your favour.

Many leaders who have taken it are recovering 3 productive hours a day.  That’s about 1000 hours of found time each year. That’s a lot of time for what matters most.

Here are what some alumni are saying about The High Impact Leader Course”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you for providing the course again. It has absolutely made an impact in my life and family already that I can’t even describe.” – Joel Rowland, Clayton County, North Carolina

“Just wow.  Thank you, thank you.” Dave Campbell,  Sioux Falls South Dakota

A game changer.” Pam Perkins,  Colorado Springs, Colorado

Curious? Want to beat overwhelm and have the time to reflect, rest and reinvent yourself?

Click here to learn more or get instant access.

Subscribed Yet? 

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.

Subscribe using your favorite podcast app via

Apple Podcasts


Google Play



Spread the Word. Leave a Rating and Review

Hopefully, this episode has helped you lead like never before. That’s my goal. If you appreciated it, could you share the love?

The best way to do that is to rate the podcast on Apple Podcasts and leave us a brief review! You can do the same on Stitcher and on TuneIn as well.

Your ratings and reviews help us place the podcast in front of new leaders and listeners. Your feedback also lets me know how I can better serve you.

Thank you for being so awesome.

Next Episode: Max Lucado

NYT Bestselling author Max Lucado talks about how he knew he didn’t have another ten years of senior leadership in him, why his passion has shifted, and on what causes happiness and how to be happier. Plus, Max shares some thoughts on the best and worst decisions he’s made over his decades in leadership.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 290.

CNLP 289: Tim Lucas on Reaching Cynical Unchurched Young Adults, Launching What Would Become a MegaChurch in an Unchurched Region, and Surviving His Brush With Burnout


  1. Ssemanda Mbuga Moses on September 10, 2019 at 9:31 am

    I would love my pastors and leaders to get these powerful lessons on leadership.

  2. Ssemanda Mbuga moses on September 10, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Thank you for refilling my leadership skills. I am getting much insight every time I read and listen to you.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.