Rick Rusaw is the Senior pastor of Lifebridge, the host church for the externally focused church conference. Rick is also th author of the book “The Externally Focused Church.”

Rick kicks off the day, as we enter the door we’re handed a puzzle piece probably signifying that we’re all apart of the Master plan. This is the second time we’re brought physically and prophetically into the message. The first was when Rick McKinley had everyone come up and put their spare change in a fountain they put on stage with running water. The change was meant to signify that together we can make a big difference in bringing clean water to those in the world without it.

Rick starts off by talking about the healing of the lame man by Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda in John 5. People like this man are quick to say that they want to be better, but what they really mean is that they don’t want to change they just want the pain to go away. There are things that we say matter but we are not willing to change ourselves to maintain them and/or have them. Then he uses Isaiah 32 as a frame for his talk emphasizing a noble man, a noble plan, and noble deeds.

We need something to anchor to today , Jesus sets us free from the little ‘t’ truths and brings us to the BIG ‘T’ Truth. John 6 When we’re living out from the BIG ‘T’ Truth. The world needs this, but how do we engage the world with it? We do it by service, when the world realizes that its falling apart it first looks for those who’ve been serving it and loving it and seeks help from them rather than some ‘professional’ minister or ministry. (Book suggestion “Blue Ocean Strategy“) We need to serve in an innovative way, we need blue ocean strategies – new ideas imparting new value to areas of life; not red ocean strategies – sticking to what and where we’ve always been.

When we say service in the church we often mean we need people to serve us and our vision rather than the good of the community. At LifeBridge they say they want people to discover grace, grow in grace, and live in grace. How are we as leaders in the church engaging people in what God is up to in their lives already. Here’s an idea use the PGA principal, Rusaw says it means asking ourselves what is it that we want to be. Purposes sit in judgment of Goals, and Goals sit in judgment of Activities = PGA principle. Here’s the thing we are only free to succeed when we are free to fail. We need to serve to serve, not serve to succeed. “Good deeds create good will and that creates the opportunity to hear good news.

L-oves, I-ntersection, F-ortune, E-ternity; another neumonic device Rick used basically emphasizing that noble deeds flow out into every part of life. Rick at this piont has us pull the puzzle piece out, and emphasizes that the puzzle isn’t complete until all the pieces are together.