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Vision Week - Radio Special - Part E

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
October 28, 2022 6:00 am

Vision Week - Radio Special - Part E

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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October 28, 2022 6:00 am

On this broadcast, Skip's wife, Lenya Heitzig, spends time in the studio talking about her journey leading Calvary Church with Skip, her calling to women's ministry, and stepping out in faith with her organization, Reload Love.

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We live in a world where people can see it, what's happening around the world more readily than any time before. I mean, you're immediately, you're not having to wait until the six o'clock news, which I know when I was a kid, I never watched the news with my parents ever. But nowadays, kids not only are not having to watch the news, but they're getting the news via social media constantly.

So they're seeing what's happening around the world, but it desensitizes them to it. And I think as we all know, Chip, there's a difference between seeing pictures and videos of a mission trip and what's happening in the third world country and being there. On today's Connect with Skip Heitzig program, Skip's son Nate will be our special guest as we conclude this vision week. We'll resume our Hunting Giants series on Monday. But today, Nate will talk about being the first child dedicated at Calvary and now serving on the executive team in Albuquerque. Now let's move into the studio and listen to Nate Heitzig and Chip Lusko. Hello and welcome to Connect with Skip Heitzig. We're not connecting with Skip today, but the next best thing.

I don't know about that. And that would be his son, Nate Heitzig. Nate, welcome. Thanks, Chip. Hey, 40 years, Nate. What's your first memory?

You've been along for most of the ride. What's your first memory at Calvary? Some of my earliest memories are some of the things that we still do today that are nostalgic for me. One of them is our Thanksgiving banner service. And I remember early memories of being really little and walking with the family around the sanctuary with these banners that we would make that would say what we're thankful for. And those are great memories for me. Other early memories are our fall festival. We used to call it Hallelujah night and having all the games in the kids ministry and doing those things and having that Halloween alternative. Those were some of my early memories as a kid, things like OCC and the shoeboxes, all those great things that now have become legacy events that we do every year and are reaching a new generation or reaching my kids. My kids look forward to going to those are some of my earliest and fondest memories at Calvary. Well, I look around this campus and I can see you different stages and ages. I can see you probably see your kids at different ages and stages too.

Absolutely. I see you on a skateboard or some kind of vehicle and coming up with a femur issue. Yes, I was a bit older there. I was in my 20s and I was married and I rode an electric skateboard off some stairs and broke my tibia, got a tibial plateau fracture.

I thought it was dislocated in a very kind bystander, tried to pop it back into place, but it was broken and it was just making it worse. Those are not fond memories and a little fresher, but really great memories. It's just fun growing up in youth group here. I was thinking through, I was telling somebody the other day that back in the day when we had lifeline and hotline, lifeline met in what is now the kids' cove, which is where our kids' ministry meets, and hotline met in the two classrooms that were in the far north area of the kids' ministry. We used to have a hotline and lifeline met in there and thinking through just early days of youth ministry and how impactful that was to me, and just so many great memories in this place. Well, I do recall you being dedicated, but hey, besides your dad, obviously, who have been your mentors?

You've been shaped, you've been molded to date, and you become a man of God. Yeah, I always say my biggest mentor that I would say is your son, Levi Lusco. Before he was my youth pastor, he was my friend, and several years ahead of me in school, but always took me under his wing. We went snowboarding together. We did things together. I was in his wedding. He was in my wedding, but he was my youth pastor and had probably the biggest impact on me. Actually, before he was my youth pastor, he had a big impact on me when I was going on a mission trip. I was at Murietta Bible College for lifeline training, and Levi had gone already at that point on a few different lifeline mission trips to the Philippines, to Romania, a couple other places, and always brought me back cool things from those areas. From a young age, he gave me a hunger and a desire for missions because I saw him going on a mission trip.

I knew that when I got into high school, I wanted to go on mission trips. I remember the first year that I went and we went to the training at Murietta. Matt Ellison was there.

They were doing all the training sessions. Levi really took me under his wing and developed a love for God's word for me. I had never really had personal quiet times until then, and Levi really gave me a hunger for the word of God and taught me how to really dig in and apply it to my life. Also, it was the first time that I prayed for an anointing of the Holy Spirit. Levi, we were in a park at Murietta. There's a beautiful area that kind of the dorms surround, and we were sitting out there and I was asking about the Holy Spirit and the difference between the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Obviously, one occurs when you first give your life to Christ, and then the other occurs when you ask the Holy Spirit to come upon you and show you your gifts and show you those spiritual giftings. I was able to pray with Levi, and it was just a really, really a formational time in my life. I had the chance and the joy to actually serve with Levi for years in student ministries. He was really the one that taught me how to teach before my dad taught me how to teach. He was really the one who taught me how to prepare sermon notes, how to go through a text, how to exposit the text, how to dig into it, and was really foundational to my love for ministry. Growing up, surprisingly, I never wanted to be a pastor, and it wasn't because I saw something different in my dad than at home, but I just didn't want to do it because people expected me to do it.

People would always ask those questions as a young kid, are you ready to fill your dad's shoes some days? And so I always ran from it, but Levi was really the one who gave me the desire to go into ministry and gave me the passion to be in ministry and the passion to teach and serving alongside him really, I think, called and equipped me into that role. And then once I stopped running from that, then my dad came in and really started adding more to that as far as the teaching and exposition and sermon prep.

But Levi was really the foundational role and mentor in my life in all those areas. So was Nate at Marietta, you first felt the call? I mean, that just stirring in your heart? Yeah, I would say that was definitely the first time I felt a call to ministry. I didn't know what kind of ministry. I didn't know that I wanted to be a pastor. I just knew that I wanted to serve the Lord. I knew I wanted my life to be used to make an impact in the kingdom.

And I felt that profoundly. And it was the first time that I also at Marietta, I think, developed my own love for God's word. Prior to that, I knew every Bible memory verse. I would win in the quick draw competition in Sunday school to get to the verse, but I didn't have a genuine love and passion for God's word. It wasn't my own passion.

It was just something that I was good at and I knew because I grew up in it. But Marietta, when I was going on a mission trip, that was the first time that God burdened my heart with a love for his word, a love for his people, and a desire to use my life, my giftings, my talents, who I was to make him famous and to make his word proclaimed. How important was it for you to go overseas to understand a broader perspective of God's work? Yeah, you know, I think mission trips are so important. For me, it was less about going overseas. And honestly, the Marietta training camp was even more pivotal and foundational for me to develop relationships with believers.

It was so great. The way that they do that and the way we've always done mission trip trainings is you're with this team for months on end. You're fundraising together, you're doing events together, you're building team relationships, you're doing all these things. And it's so pivotal for you to develop these relationships that everyone's needed in the body of Christ that you work together. And I've always said mission trips are way more for the people who go on them than for the people that you're going to reach.

In America, we can kind of have this. And you know, I know mission trips have talked about it for years, but this white hope idea that we're these great, you know, white American missionaries, we're going to go to another country and change the country and we can go with these idealistic ideas. But we don't realize most of the long-term missionaries in these countries, they would actually be more profitable to do the work without us, but they're doing it for us.

They allow us to come in and they host us because they realize the impact it's going to have on the lives of those who are coming, not as much on the lives of those who they're going to minister to. And it opens your mind. It opens your idea to something larger than yourself. And I think in our culture right now, it's so important because we are so introspective. We're so focused on ourselves. We're so selfish and kids right now are being told their entire lives that it's all about them. It's all about what they want to be, what gender they want to be, what idea, what do they feel? And it's all about them.

Everything about the culture now is about you, you, you, you, you. Mission trips take you completely out of that mindset and you realize the world is so much bigger than you and it's not about you. And it's so healthy and helpful to develop that in kids, to have them have to earn something and fundraise and, and write sponsor letters and earn the money to go on a mission trip, to spend all this money to go on a mission trip and get there and realize you didn't spend a bunch of money to go to Hawaii. You spent a bunch of money to sleep in a tent and get bit by mosquitoes and see things that are going to shock you and change your worldview forever in some of these third world countries. And it's, it's one large sum of time between the fundraising, the team building and the mission trip that you're really reprogramming kids to realize that life is not about them.

The world doesn't revolve around them. The world is bigger and God has called us to be a part of the resources that he wants to use to impact the world. Wouldn't you agree there's almost no other way for teenagers or even college age students to understand the issues outside of the boundary of this country? Yeah, I think so because we're desensitized. We live in a world where people can see it, what's happening around the world more readily than any time before. I mean, you're immediately, you're not having to wait until the six o'clock news, which I know when I was a kid, I never watched the news with my parents ever.

But nowadays, kids not only are not having to watch the news, but they're getting the news via social media constantly. So they're seeing what's happening around the world, but it desensitizes them to it. And I think as we all know, Chip, there's a difference between seeing pictures and videos of a mission trip and what's happening in a third world country and being there. I remember the first time that I went to India, it was a shock to all my senses. I got off the plane and the heat, the smell, the sights, everything was an assault on your senses and the pictures cannot portray that. But when you're there, you understand what that is.

And when you see the people and you have people come to you and thank you and little kids hug you and little kids want a picture with you and the joy that brings to them, nothing can capture that like being there can. And it really does change your worldview. And that's the one thing I always used to tell when I was a youth leader and used to take kids on mission trips, I used to say that, is this is going to change your worldview. Before this, you've had a worldview of Albuquerque, New Mexico. When you come back, you're going to have a worldview of the entire world and it becomes much bigger than you.

It becomes much bigger than Albuquerque. And the issues, what I also find is, and I don't want to say this to be demeaning, but I think a lot of kids today are soft. And we see depression skyrocketing and rising and yet kids have more cell phones, they have better clothes, they have more access to a lot of things that people in generations didn't have and yet they're softer.

And I think a big reason behind that is because of the way we're shaping them. But when you go to a third world country, when you go to these places and you see people who truly are in need, people who have been sleeping their entire lives in cardboard boxes with a tarp over their heads, people who don't get to eat for weeks on end, I was in India and literally saw a family like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean, literally in mud with pigs, sleeping with pigs in mud, things that you don't think are real. When you see those things, it broadens your worldview and it makes you realize, man, I'm so blessed to live in America, inspires patriotism for where you're at and inspires a love for your country. It inspires a love for your homeland.

It inspires so many things that I think are foundational and formational to kids that if they don't have those opportunities, they're missing out on that. Will you send Seth and Katie? Oh, a hundred percent. Where?

Wherever. Honestly, I am pretty open-handed with that. My kids have been blessed to visit more of the world than most kids their age and see things most kids haven't gotten to see. But I'd love to send my kids. You know, I remember being young, going to Belize. It's an easy place to get to, but you can see a lot of disparity between the way we live and the way the rest of the world lives. Uganda, India, these are all places I love my kids to visit.

Maybe not Ukraine or Eastern Europe right now, but there's a lot of places I'd love my kids to visit and I'd love my kids to get to be exposed to. And we're actually in the process right now of rebooting our missions program here at Calvary. COVID and that era put a big damper on short-term mission trips for the entire world. And we're just now talking about how formational and foundational that is and how we want to reboot that. So we have plans in 2023 to be able to have those opportunities for kids again. Well, COVID was something. Sure was. Walk and talk us through. We quickly pivoted here at Calvary. We were prepared with digital platforms.

That wasn't the case at all churches, but it was here. Walk us through your thinking in those times. Yeah. Well, I remember like everyone else does when Trump got on the television and said there's going to be two weeks to slow the curve. And we all thought, all right, we can do two weeks. Like that's not a, that's not a big issue.

That's not a big deal. We can figure out how to roll with this. And so we all kind of went for that ride and then two weeks became three and three became four. And I think pretty quickly we realized we don't know how long this is going to go. This was still in an era when I think COVID was something in our minds that we realized now it wasn't. I think we kind of viewed it at the beginning, like the bubonic plague, like this thing's going to spread and people are going to be bleeding from their eyes.

It's going to look like something from outbreak with monkey bites. Like we didn't know what this was going to be. Great movie, by the way. Really good movie. I actually tried to watch it the other day and I realized like this maybe wasn't as kid appropriate of a movie as I thought it was.

We'll try World War Z. But it really became something we didn't know what it was. And I think all churches had to think really quickly how to pivot. And we had for a long time not done church online, but we had done streaming, which basically for many churches, what most churches did is they would just, you know, have a camera in the back and they would stream what was happening on stage.

We realized pretty quickly that wasn't going to be enough. What we wanted to do is create content for people at home. Whereas I think your typical church live stream is content for people in the sanctuary that you happen to have, you know, a voyeuristic view of it in the back showing what's happening where it's not actually geared towards your online audience. You're not talking to them.

You're talking to a live audience and cameras are capturing that. So we quickly decided that we wanted to create content for people where they were at and not just content for the weekends. It was a hard time for everybody. And we knew that to get through every single day, not just through the week, we needed to have hope for people on a daily basis. You know, church really is an oasis for people. A lot of people view that as a refresh every week. Like, man, this has been a hard week. I need to get to church. But in COVID, it was every day felt like that for people.

Like I just need somebody to get through today. And we saw people turning to drugs and alcohol and pornography and all the things that the world was turning to to satisfy that. And we realized very quickly that we needed the hope that would really get people through each day was the gospel. And so we began developing not only online specific services where we would, with a live audience, different sets, we would record and have the messages speaking directly to the audience with good worship. And it was a really, really compelling experience that we created, but we were also be able to create things throughout the week. We were able to work, create workout programs that you could do with your family. We were able to create talk, like mom talk where moms could talk and discuss things. We were able to do other talk shows. We did a book reading club where we were able to with SOPO partner and send coffee and books to people who could subscribe to it.

And we would once a week have a book discussion of what we were reading together. We were able to do a bunch of different unique content that I think really encouraged people to get through each week. And for me, as somebody who oversees a lot of the creative stuff, I realized we weren't going to be able to do a lot of what we do for who knows how long. And I'm somebody who I can't just not do anything.

I just go stir crazy. So I was like, well, if I can't do what we're going to do, let's use all of our creative energy, all of our creative juices, all of our teams to create an incredible church online experience that isn't just giving people content on the weekends, but is trying to disciple people and make them better in every area of life throughout, however long the season goes. And that's what we tried to do. And I think our team did a really good job at it, ministering to each person in the family where they were at and creating compelling content that was helping people not just get a great message once a week, but was truly discipling them on a weekly basis.

Let me hand you a live hand grenade here, Nate. We live in the auspices of a government that considered marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores essential, but church is not essential. They literally closed churches. Have you thought through how to respond if that is repeated? Yeah. Well, I mean, we grappled with that in COVID. Um, you know, I think I saw most people go along with the two weeks to slow the curve, because at that point, people didn't know what it was. And I think we truly didn't want to love our neighbor and keep people safe. Um, and so most churches I know closed down in that time point, some didn't.

And, you know, I think I could go either way with that. I think we were at a place where we were hearing from the federal government, no one knew what this was, if there wasn't enough science that to keep people safe, I think it was the right call at that season to close down for a couple of weeks. Um, but then we opened up pretty quickly after that. Um, and then our state tried to close us down and we started fighting it. Um, and we started fighting some of those mandates. We started fighting some of the, um, the, the capacity things. We started fighting some of the things they wanted us to say in voice. And we kind of determined even in the midst of COVID that we weren't going to close down again. And we voiced that we had a, because our standpoint in heart wasn't just to be mean spirited or obstinate, but to work with the government, we had a good working relationship with our government, even though, um, it was adverse to our beliefs. As we close a couple of quick questions, kind of a lightning round.

Yeah. What's it like for you to fill in for Skip Heitzig on a Sunday? The first few times, um, it was terrifying because you had the questions that people said, what is it like trying to fill your dad's footsteps and fill your dad's shoes? And I remember when I first started preaching, I tried to emulate people that I respected. So I went through seasons where I sounded like my dad and I went through seasons where I sounded like Levi.

And I really quickly realized that if I do that, I'm robbing, um, God of the gifting that he wants to do through me. And I'm never going to be Skip. I'm never going to be Levi.

And if I try to be, I'm just going to be cheap ripoffs of them. And I had to quickly realize who I am and who God has called me to be and be confident in that and not try to be Skip 2.0, but be Nate. Um, and so once I found that groove and I found who I was and what my communication style was, that was when it became fun and enjoyable. And now I don't really think of it much. Um, my dad will sit in the front row sometimes and it doesn't bother me anymore. Um, but in the beginning, it was definitely intimidating.

Well, that bothers me when he sits up front. Anyway, um, what lights you up these days? Project wise, Nate.

Yeah. There's a few things that I'm excited about. One, I am so grateful that our Supreme court, um, ruled on the life of the unborn and overturned Roe vs Wade. And I think there's a really unique opportunity for the church now to step up and put our money where our mouth is. We've been saying for decades that we're pro-life, but I'm curious and excited to see how the church is going to rise up to be pro-life from womb to tomb and be pro-life, not just in babies being born, but taking care of babies who don't have homes who are born. So I'm really excited to see how the church can rise up and foster and adoption care. I heard a crazy statistic that, um, in Colorado Springs focused on the family pretty much eliminated the need for foster families through some initiatives that they started in getting these kids into Christian homes. And I'm really excited about the possibility of how the church could rise up in this season. And historically the church is always the one to respond to humanitarian crises.

Every big nonprofit throughout, you know, centuries has been started by Christians to try to meet the need of the poor, the suffering, the homeless, those who need things. Um, and I think the church has an opportunity to rise up to that. So I'm really, really excited about what that looks like. I'm really excited about relaunching our missions program and what that can mean.

Um, we interviewed Matt Ellison, uh, the other day, and we're just looking at the impact that our missions program had, not just on kids in New Mexico, but all over the country. And I'm excited about what that, uh, could facilitate. And I'm excited to start answering some of those questions for online ministry. How can we get people more deeply rooted, more deeply connected?

How can we begin discipling people and finding those touch points? And I think that really is the future of the church. One thing that I'm really thinking through is we have this culture right now that, uh, no longer is it even, you know, what movie am I going to go to what showtime, but it's getting the content, what I want, when I want, where I want. So one thing we're trying to grapple with is how can we mobilize this content to where people can experience church, where they want, when they want and, um, how they want and trying to really think through that, but also think through maybe some of the dangers that that could, that could, you know, open up to.

And then finally, Nate, these are strange days. Uh, we are in a mega church, which was an interesting phenomenon, that they may come, that may not be possible. And I'm so impressed by your, um, priority of small groups. Speak to your heart on that.

Yeah. Well, I think especially for a mega church, this is important. You know, a lot of people can go to a small church and you know, everybody there, um, which can also be intimidating. Everybody knows what you're struggling with. And there can be a little bit of an element of the pariah kind of a church that if you're going through something profound and you go to a small church, everyone can look at you like, I know what you did.

I know what's going on. Um, there's a bit more anonymity in a big church, but the danger that presents is a lack of discipleship that you can come in during the first song of worship, leave during the last song and never have a meaningful interaction or conversation with somebody. And I think a huge part of church and relationship is finding your people. Um, Jesus himself existed in community, father, son, and Holy Spirit.

And he set this model for us that we can never truly accomplish what God wants us to accomplish. If we're running alone, we can always go faster by ourselves, but we can go further with others. You've been listening to Skip son, Nate heights, reflecting on the past, appreciating the present and projecting his view of the future provisionary on connect with Skip Heitzigs. Now, are you or someone close to you going through a life change of transition, perhaps a marriage, a new child or a change of location? This can be a time of real spiritual receptivity.

So you'll want to listen to this. Here's this month's offer of pivot point messages by skip. Our lives rotate around crucial moments and decisions where everything changes.

We call them pivot points. Here's Skip Heitzigs. In this you greatly rejoice though. Now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. Do you think Peter is actually saying that there are times when God knows you need a trial? Is that what he's saying? Uh-huh.

That's exactly what he's saying. You can prepare for inevitable upcoming pivot points in your life. Receive your copy of skips pivot points collection of six messages. The pivot point package speaks to marriage, death, depression, recovery, fear of the future, and moving to a new location or job.

This package includes a personal message of direction on each topic from skip. The pivot points package is our thank you when you give $50 or more to this teaching ministry by calling 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. We hope you'll help us take our messages into the top 20 population centers in our country. That's our vision for the coming year. Will you help us make it happen?

Please call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Thank you for partnering with us. When you take advantage of the resource offers on connect with skip, you help us take these messages to new national and international audiences. Your donation of $50 or more right now will help make our vision come true to have more people hear these teachings. When you vote for this expansion with your gift, we will send you the special pivot point messages along with the study notes on each message from skip. Call now 1-800-922-1888 or click in at connectwithskip.com and join us next time when we will resume our hunting giant series with the message the giant of self. Join us then. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of connection communications connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 20:13:20 / 2022-11-08 20:20:07 / 7

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