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by Hilary Tompkins
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‘This hope is an anchor for the soul’: Levi Lusko talks with Mark Driscoll
This fall, Levi Lusko, pastor of Fresh Life Church, will speak live at our Albuquerque, NM, broadcast location for the 2013 Resurgence Conference. Levi recently answered some questions from Pastor Mark about his life, ministry, and the recent loss of his five-year-old daughter.
Mark Driscoll: What was life like growing up? How did God prepare you for the work he called you to do?
Levi Lusko: I grew up in Colorado, so even though I would later live in and fall in love with California, God instilled in me a lifelong love for the mountains and a tolerance for cold weather that would help me out down the road.
MD: How old were you when God called you to ministry? What was going on in your life at the time?
LL: I have always known deep down that I was supposed to be a preacher. As a little kid I would shut off the lights and lock the doors at the church where my dad was a pastor. I would save the sanctuary for last so I could prop myself up on the pulpit and deliver sermons to the empty room. On Sundays, I would follow my dad around holding my Bible and help out in different areas of the church, like duplicating sermon tapes (old school) or serving coffee. It wasn’t until high school, after a rocky time of rebellion in junior high, that I would fully commit my life to Christ. But deep down I have been aware of God’s call all my life. I preached my first gospel message to a live audience at 15 years old, and I've been plugging away ever since.
MD: What were you like at the age of 19?
MD: Have you ever wanted to quit? If so, how did God lead you through that season?
LL: No. It’s an absolute honor to even have a jersey. I have always assumed it was a clerical error that I got a spot on the team in the first place, so I have just been driving it like I stole it ever since before anyone can change their mind.
It’s an absolute honor to even have a jersey.
MD: What has God taught you through failure over the years?
LL: The product is the process. Failure is necessary to grow and to learn. I tend to be forward thinking and always on to the next thing. As a result I often fail at being in the moment and appreciating the present. Smelling the flowers is just as important as sensing the winds of change. I am also strong willed to the point of being a bulldozer, and I value loyalty to a fault. All these things come in handy, but the flip side of every virtue is a vice.
MD: Are there any particular verses or passages in Scripture that have proven to be especially meaningful to you over the years?
LL: 2 Corinthians 12:8–10: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
MD: As you look back on your life, what moment stands out as especially pivotal?
LL: Leaving a comfy gig as a teaching pastor at a church in Southern California where we had a promising future, season tickets to Disneyland, and an ocean view from our house to go plant a church in Montana in the dead of winter.
MD: Why Montana?
LL: If you or someone you know figures out the answer to this question, please let me know. Looking back I suspect the thousands of people that have come to know Jesus in the last six years in Montana have something to do with why God sent us here.
Everything we preached in the sunshine has been proved and found true in the shade.
MD: I cannot fathom the grief your family has endured over the past few months with the sudden loss of five-year-old Lenya. The Driscolls have shed many tears in prayer and sorrow for the Luskos. In what ways is God comforting you and redeeming such devastating loss?
LL: We have walked through a dark, dark valley since Lenya went to heaven. It felt like the scene in Braveheart where William Wallace was gutted and it still hurts every hour. But I will say this: everything we preached in the sunshine has been proved and found true in the shade. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul. It is both sure and steadfast.
Levi Lusko is the exclusive live speaker for the Resurgence Conference broadcast location in Albuquerque, NM. Buy your tickets for R13 in Reno for only $99, or see the main event live in downtown Seattle with Mark Driscoll, Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, and more. Click below for details.