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March 31, 2023

Ep. 74 | The Crises of the Sexes (and what to do about it) w/ Pastor Rich Lusk

Men and women rise or fall together. It is a dance that God has wired into the created order. In this week’s conversation, I talk with Pastor Rich Lusk about the responsibly men, woman, the family, and the church have in fixing what is going on in…
Life on Target
Life on Target
Ep. 74 | The Crises of the Sexes (and what to do about it) w/ Pastor Rich Lusk
/

Men and women rise or fall together. It is a dance that God has wired into the created order. In this week’s conversation, I talk with Pastor Rich Lusk about the responsibly men, woman, the family, and the church have in fixing what is going on in the culture at large. We also discuss, how effeminate pastors and unfaithful churches have made the problem worse!

Relevant Links:

Books Discussed:

Episode Transcript:

Nathan Spearing:
Pastor Les, thanks for being with us today.

Rich Lusk:
Thank you for having me. Great to be here.

Nathan Spearing:
Fill everyone in the listeners on kind of your family and vocational, Stat. If they haven’t run in the c, r, C circles and

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
haven’t been familiar with you today.

Rich Lusk:
I pastor Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and have been here, I wanna say, maybe about 19 years or so, maybe coming up on 19 years. So for a while, and God’s been very gracious to us here, we’re a series C congregation, and been married for, wow, 20, what, 27 years, maybe 28 years this year, I think, to Jenny. And we’ve got four kids, all of whom are grown and out of the house, two are married, And another freshman in college so she’s not quite there yet, but it’s a son is my oldest and then three girls and So they’re all walking faithfully with the Lord couldn’t be prouder of them So that’s a little bit of background on me

Nathan Spearing:
What was the? maybe? Go a little little further back in time, for you know your upbringing in how you found yourself as a pastor, Kind of what was the your education like growing up and in the path

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
that God brought you along?

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, that’s great. So I was raised in a Christian home and very thankful for God loving, God fearing parents. We moved around quite a bit, settled in the Chicago area. That’s where I had some very formative years, junior high, high school. Always went to public schools, almost always growing up, but my parents have been very faithful in teaching and in training. Me, training. other in the faith and I had no, I certainly no desire to be a pastor, but I did have a desire to walk faithfully with the Lord. And so when it was time to leave for college, I realized I didn’t know the faith as well as I wanted to know it. And so I realized that the kind of, even though I read my Bible a lot, I knew I didn’t understand very much of it. The kind of reading I had done was really mostly more devotional type reading, not very deep. So I went to the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School bookstore to pick up a few books to take with me to college and I really didn’t know anything. I mean I had been catechized a little bit in the shorter catechism but I really didn’t know the lay of the land very well theologically and so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into but I ended up buying a copy of

Nathan Spearing:
Hmm.

Rich Lusk:
my eyes to a lot of things and made me a Calvinist before I even knew what that label was. I picked up a copy of DietRich Lusk Bonhoeffer’s book, The Cost of Discipleship, because I’d heard my pastor quote him and I knew the story and I figured anybody that was trying to assassinate Hitler, you know, must be a good guy and have something to say. And that book was really, and I opened her to just in terms of helping me understand what it really means to be a disciple of Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him to come and die as about cheap grace versus costly grace in that book. And it’s always stayed with me. And then I can still remember it. This was when the whole Lordship controversy was going on with John MacArthur and Zane Hodges and people like that. And they had the blue book and the red book, red pill, blue pill kind of thing. And I heard John MacArthur, so I picked up his book, the red book, the Gospel According to Jesus. And I read that and it was a real eye-opener too, just in terms of the necessity obedience and the importance of obedience. I don’t know that MacArthur was as clear about the gospel in that book as he later would become. He corrected some things, but in terms of the necessity of obedience, the importance of being faithful and striving and fighting the good fight, all that. It was a really really helpful book for me to read. So that kind of launched me down this theological journey, but I still had no interest in being a pastor. I got involved in a campus ministry in college and then the pastor ended up going to plant a church. I was pre-med, so I was headed down that track. And he left to go plant this church in Texas before my senior year at Auburn and said, hey, you need to come work for me at the church. You know, if you want to go to med school later on, you can. But you definitely need to see if you’re called to the ministry because I think you might be. And so I did that. I ended up going out to Texas and going to work for the church never looked back, worked at that church for several years, kind of a, you know, jack of all trades type position on staff at the church, did a lot of different things, and it was just a great experience. And I realized, yeah, this is what God is calling me to do. I ended up going to graduate school and studying philosophy at the University of Texas. I looked into going to seminary, but just the way things were at the church and the situation I was in, the session there church actually called me to an ordained position without a seminary degree, which is a little bit unusual, and I wouldn’t necessarily

Nathan Spearing:
How

Rich Lusk:
recommend

Nathan Spearing:
dare

Rich Lusk:
that

Nathan Spearing:
they?

Rich Lusk:
for everybody.

Nathan Spearing:
How dare

Rich Lusk:
But

Nathan Spearing:
they?

Rich Lusk:
yeah, really, I mean, it just depends a lot on your situation, but I was in a situation where it made a lot of sense to do that, and

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
I was able to pick up my languages and all that, and so it worked out really well. I was in the PCA for many years, ordained in the PCA, ended up moving from that church in Austin, Texas, to what was known as Auburn Avenue, which was PCA at the time, in Monroe, Louisiana, and then took this call to the church here in Birmingham. And yeah, God’s been very good, very good to me, very faithful. And everything’s by the grace of God, of course, but I’m very grateful for what God has enabled me to do as a pastor. I’ve very much enjoyed my calling as a pastor. It’s not always easy, but, and again, it’s not anything that I was, had you asked me when I was 20 years old, are you gonna be a pastor someday? I would have just laughed at you. But,

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
you know, that’s often how it goes. We think we have things all mapped out, only to find out that God’s got a different, very different route for us to take. And so, I’m gonna go back to the beginning of the video.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, yeah, I told Sierra Wiley that that was a that’s a rung up in my book that you weren’t, you know, growing up wanting to be a pastor and that God, you know, basically drags you into it and and pulls you into it. So did you graduate from Auburn then and then

Rich Lusk:
I did.

Nathan Spearing:
went

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
okay.

Rich Lusk:
Yeah. Yeah. Sure did. Yeah. Yeah. So, and that’s a long story in itself. But yeah, so graduated from Auburn and then moved out to Austin to work at the church. So, yeah, you know, one thing about that, you know, I heard, I’ve heard people through the years say, you know, if only become a pastor, if you can’t do anything else. And I think that’s terrible advice. That’s just

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
terrible advice. I mean, I understand why somebody might say that, but that’s how you end up with a lot of underperforming, poorly qualified pastors.

Nathan Spearing:
Amen.

Rich Lusk:
You know, the right way to think about it. You should become a pastor if it’s clear that God is calling you down this pathway to ordain ministry. Obviously, most Christians are not going to be, you know, most Christian men are not going to be pastors. So you can serve God in all kinds of different vocations and that’s perfectly appropriate. But obviously, God needs, God desires to raise up faithful men to serve as pastors in his church. And I would say especially in our era, it’s very important for a pastor to be competent, to have wisdom, to have courage in order to be a skillful preacher and teacher of the word of God. You’ve got to be diligent. You’ve got to be a hardworking student of scripture. So, you know, I don’t think pastoral ministry should sort of get the leftovers. Oh, these are the guys that couldn’t do anything else. Let’s make them pastors. It should be men who are qualified and could do all kinds of other things, but God calls them into this particular kind of ministry.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, I don’t want to go too far out on a limb, but I’ve kind of been kicking around a podcast episode critiquing missions as well, because I feel like not everyone and I obviously our church does their due diligence on who we support and stuff, but there’s I’ve had experience with a lot of people that that would try five or six different business endeavors and not be able to eventually kind of just fall into it because it’s got this moniker where you can just, oh I’m doing God’s work now, oh okay, we can, we will pay, you couldn’t earn a profit in the free market or you wouldn’t honor contracts in the free market and do a good job and so now you can slap a Jesus sticker on it and everybody starts throwing money your way to, you know,

Rich Lusk:
Right,

Nathan Spearing:
to

Rich Lusk:
right.

Nathan Spearing:
actually not really work that hard compared to

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, let

Nathan Spearing:
some

Rich Lusk:
this

Nathan Spearing:
of

Rich Lusk:
happen.

Nathan Spearing:
the stuff.

Rich Lusk:
Yeah. And I can tell you, you know, I’ve known a lot of really faithful, diligent, very hardworking pastors. I’ve known some pastors who worked too hard, quite frankly. But

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
I’ve also known some really lazy pastors. And that’s true in the mission field as well. We’re honestly, a lot of times there’s even less accountability and less oversight. So yeah, it’s one of those things where I mean, you have to, you know, it’s really interesting to me that in first Timothy, first Timothy three, as Paul is getting into the He says if a man has ambition to be a bishop, that’s a good thing. So there

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
has

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
to be an ambition. There has to be a drive. There has to be this, you know, this does, which I think Paul himself modeled. Paul was incredibly ambitious and even talks about that like in Romans 15. It’s his, it’s his ambitions. Take the gospel where it hasn’t been before.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
You know, he was very ambitious as a missionary. We need ambitious pastors who want to grow their churches and have an influence. who wanted to be like William Currie and win whole nations and whole continents to Christ. A lot of times I think we’re not nearly ambitious enough.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah. So at what point did your, I can’t do the math, kind of on the fly, what point did your wife enter the picture?

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, yeah. So we met in college and got married basically the week after we graduated college. So we had one of those, what’s been called a cornerstone marriage where you kind of start out with nothing and build a life together,

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
which has been great. We’ve loved it that way. So we got married right out of college. I took, quite frankly, a very low paying job in Austin, Texas to work with this church. She took an even lower paying job to teach at a private Christian school. We just went from there. And we’ve kind of always had this sense that this is what God has called us to. And we’ve always wanted to be involved in the church and in things like Christian education. And God’s just opened those doors for us over the years. Obviously, once kids came along, she was a, I want to say a stay at home mom, because I never think that really captures everything, but she was a true homemaker

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
in every sense of the term, raising our kids. And then when they got a good bit older, part-time at a classical Christian school here close to us actually the one where my kids went so

Nathan Spearing:
Okay. And so you guys were, you’re probably, if you’re getting married right out of college, you’re wading through the professional thing while you’re still engaged, but very much

Rich Lusk:
Thank you.

Nathan Spearing:
talking about it. And that’s kind of, was a stop on the road towards ministry to get married and or it happened after the fact or how, I guess I’m always interested to hear how that vocational, you know, how you’re charting that course as a married couple. and

Rich Lusk:
Well.

Nathan Spearing:
trying to figure things out.

Rich Lusk:
You know, my wife likes to joke that, you know, there’s a kind of bait and switch because when we started dating each other, I was pre-med. So she thought she was going to marry a doctor.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
But, but here’s the thing. She knew that I was going to be in pastoral ministry before I did. You know, she kind of figured out that that’s really where I needed to be. And like I said, I mean, this, the campus pastor that I had came and, you know, he kind of turned the screws on me and said, it’s kind of like a, you know, a feral go into Calvin saying, you’ve got to stay here kind of thing. It’s like how do you say no to that? It was kind of a you know arm twisting. This is what you need to do. Okay yes actually now I see the light. You’re right that’s what I need to go do. But she had kind of already figured that out even before I had I think. And so

Nathan Spearing:
Nice. Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
Do you know the name Peter Doyle? I imagine you do.

Rich Lusk:
I sure do. Yep, went

Nathan Spearing:
My

Rich Lusk:
to

Nathan Spearing:
parents

Rich Lusk:
his church

Nathan Spearing:
both

Rich Lusk:
in college.

Nathan Spearing:
graduated from Auburn and then

Rich Lusk:
Oh, great.

Nathan Spearing:
were

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
under him going through school and still actually were.

Rich Lusk:
I was under him as well.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, they sent me a photo. They were at dinner with him last week or the week before.

Rich Lusk:
Well.

Nathan Spearing:
We actually read his his books that he published, I think, originally to focus on the family.

Rich Lusk:
The Adventures in Odyssey

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
books.

Nathan Spearing:
And there there

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
were the and

Rich Lusk:
Yeah,

Nathan Spearing:
then

Rich Lusk:
that’s it. Yeah, yeah, that’s right.

Nathan Spearing:
he also had the American Revolution ones as well. And we got

Rich Lusk:
Yeah,

Nathan Spearing:
them

Rich Lusk:
my

Nathan Spearing:
actually

Rich Lusk:
kid’s right there too.

Nathan Spearing:
off the typewriter in a Manila folder before they were published. Like my dad actually read them to us before the editor took out some of the Marshall things in the, with

Rich Lusk:
Ha

Nathan Spearing:
like,

Rich Lusk:
ha

Nathan Spearing:
it

Rich Lusk:
ha.

Nathan Spearing:
was pretty crazy. Like we read the end up reading the ones that got published and we’re like, what? She’s shot above the guy in the actual book. She shot him and killed him. And then he got the American Revolution told them, you know, like.

Rich Lusk:
Well, you know, Dr. Joe is one of my favorites, you know, he, so he was the one. So when I was in, you know, I was in college and I was going to his church, I was sitting under his, his preaching, wonderful preacher. And, and also he did a college men’s Bible study.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
And it was incredibly helpful because he more than anyone else I had been around to that point. He was able to talk about men and women.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
differences between men and women are unique callings and unique glories as men and women, roles within marriage and how those roles are rooted in our natures. He just did an incredible job and it was one of those things that it was not, it was definitely something I was interested in obviously, as somebody who wants to be a student of scripture, but I didn’t really have a whole lot of direction and I’m so thankful. I mean even looking back on things now, there are things that he said when I set under his ministry as a college student that I still think of all the time. That is just very formative. I remember he gave us a book to read called Man and Woman in Christian Perspective by this German theologian, Warner Neuer. And I remember thinking, some modern German theologian, how could he possibly have anything useful to say about men and women? Just assuming that it had to be, that some kind of liberalism or egalitarianism is gonna be snuck in through the back door, but read the book and found it to be an amazing book, incredibly biblical and I would say, you know, conservative, traditional, and its outlook on the sexes and super helpful. He hadn’t made a number of other reading recommendations that were really helpful. So yeah, sitting in his Bible study and all that, very, very helpful, very formative in my own understanding of a theology of the sexes. And he definitely painted a picture of marriage that was very attractive and compelling, get married. You know, so many young people today just have no no real interest or desire in marriage. They don’t they don’t see anything glorious about marriage. But he really helped us see the glory of marriage where man and woman together or a symbol of the gospel and their relationship with each other. And what that means. So just I’m so thankful for his ministry. That’s that’s great that you’ve got a connection with him as well. And I will say this, his his books do a great job and obviously they have been sanitized I remember him talking about that, but

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
his books did a great job of sort of pulling out those differences between boys and girls, men and women. And, you know, to me, he’s kind of like Chesterton. I mean, no, Chesterton gets a lot of things wrong. He’s not really trustworthy as a theologian or a or an historian. But Chesterton delighted in the differences between the sexes.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
And there’s just kind of this jovial outlook on marital life for that reason. And Dr. Doyle really had the same kind of thing. that just being fascinated by and enjoying the differences between men and women, those God-ordained differences between us. That was really a wonderful thing.

Nathan Spearing:
Well, and he is sitting at their table too and watching him. You know, he’s not only is he preaching about it, teaching about it, but if you ever get to sit and watch him interact with his wife and just

Rich Lusk:
I did

Nathan Spearing:
how

Rich Lusk:
many

Nathan Spearing:
pleasant,

Rich Lusk:
times. Well,

Nathan Spearing:
you know, and he

Rich Lusk:
yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
would

Rich Lusk:
I did

Nathan Spearing:
make

Rich Lusk:
many times.

Nathan Spearing:
those

Rich Lusk:
Well, yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
jokes like kind of the chauvinistic almost jokes about, no, dear, dear, you know, whatever. And she’d just roll her eyes, you know, it was just like a

Rich Lusk:
Right,

Nathan Spearing:
funny

Rich Lusk:
right.

Nathan Spearing:
banter between them that just was hilarious.

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
And she’s brilliant and cultivating skills and training, you know, young women and all that stuff too is just,

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
it’s an example. I think it’s one of those things that you don’t really realize until you’re out in the big wide world, what a gift it was to kind of be exposed to that informative

Rich Lusk:
Yeah,

Nathan Spearing:
years.

Rich Lusk:
their their relationship in that way kind of makes me think this must have been what Martin Luther and Katie were like in their interactions with

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
each other kind of playful banter. You know, whenever I talk about headship and submission as you know, what the man is called to marriage with the woman is called to I always liken it to a dance, you know,

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
or the man leads and the woman follows. She’s not passive. She’s active as a follower, but she is following his lead. So he’s initiating. She’s responding all that. And when you are around a couple that has a really. and biblically-oriented marriage, just their daily life kind of feels like you’re witnessing a dance. I mean they’re not

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
on the

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
dance floor, they’re engaging maybe over the dinner table or wherever, but it feels like there’s a dance going on between these two people

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
and that was always the sense that I had when I was around them.

Nathan Spearing:
And yeah, I think that the indication too, as I’ve said with other guests on the podcast is if you witness that dance and people embracing that role of headship and submission as you phrased it and it nobody’s looking at that woman and thinking, Oh, poor her. She’s so oppressed, you know,

Rich Lusk:
Right, that’s

Nathan Spearing:
she

Rich Lusk:
right. That’s

Nathan Spearing:
it’s,

Rich Lusk:
right.

Nathan Spearing:
it’s vibrant. It’s, it’s a demeanor and a, a kind of meta narrative of their life is just overflowing creativity and joy.

Rich Lusk:
Right.

Nathan Spearing:
And it’s in a sense a the things that that she wouldn’t have to normally you know The the feminist agenda will prop it up as like you all these things you get to be in charge of and you don’t need a man that That actually beat you down as a woman when there’s not someone else to handle that That some of that external security kind of things and and all the different things so I think it’s

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, that’s that’s exactly right. And so it is it contradicts everything that our culture says about the the the the male-female relationship. Everything our culture says about intersexual dynamics is just wrong. So our culture thinks that the key to female happiness is feminism. And so, you know, you get some feminism and then women are not real happy about it. So then they double down and want even more feminism. So they get more of it. And then they’re even more miserable. And I saw this morning where, you know, now it’s It’s like we have unprecedented levels of female unhappiness trickling down even to, you know, teenage girls and preteen girls.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
So, you know, what’s going on? Why all of this female misery? Well, it’s because that they are rebelling against the way God designed them to live. They’re rebelling against their own nature. They’re rebelling against God’s word, God’s law and God’s calling for them. But then you look at a marriage like, you know, so what a feminist would call oppressive it’s biblical where there’s clearly the man is the head and the woman is in submission to him and yet the woman is gloriously happy and we’ve had people come and join our church who have said the same thing. I’ve had several people even in the last few years tell me this. It seems like especially more recently it’s happened where people joining our church and they’ll say you know one of the things that stood out to us is that in your church the men are men and the women are women and everybody’s happy about that. Like the the the the men are clearly the leaders and the heads of their households and the women are really happy about it and that really stood out and I’m like well great you know praise God that’s what we want and that’s what we would expect to see

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, that’s we’ve gotten lots of comments from people coming in and just saying, you know, the men singing as well. There’s just a different feel that that male voices in that, you know, singing out loud. There’s a there’s a church militant aspect to it that resonates for guys coming in. I mean, there’s some guys have come in and said, I have not experienced anything like that. You know,

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, it’s

Nathan Spearing:
time.

Rich Lusk:
true. Yeah. And so I mean, and actually, that’s another great metaphor to use for this kind of thing is, you know, like singing it saying a choir or a congregation singing in parts. What feminism or what egalitarianism does is it says, Hey, if women want their voices to be heard, they’ve got to sing the bass part. Okay,

Nathan Spearing:
Uh-huh.

Rich Lusk:
but women can’t do that.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
They can’t they never be able to hit the bass notes the way a man can. But feminism says, that’s what you have to do to make your voice be heard to make it count. And then of course quite honestly with the Galatianism, they’ve got the men trying to sing the soprano part.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
It just doesn’t work. It just, it goes, so what I say is look, men and women, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re both made in the image of God. We, we, you know, in that sense, you can talk about equality between men and women. We have equal worth, equal value, all that equal redemption. All, you know, all that you can say is equal between men and women. But what, what we really have to emphasize, I think in our cultural context, are these God ordained differences. between men and women that are absolutely glorious. You need men singing their part, you need women singing their part, and it’s going to be a disaster if they try to sing each other’s parts.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
But that’s what our culture is pressing people to do.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s, I mean, it’s for the those that have their head screwed on straight, you know, the man singing the part is, is a joke, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s like, is this guy serious, you know, or it’s,

Rich Lusk:
Thank you. Thank you.

Nathan Spearing:
it’s a spoof, you know, or whatever. And it’s, and it’s a, it’s a circus more than it is anything that is is all struck or or inspiring all.

Rich Lusk:
totally agree

Nathan Spearing:
So let’s shift over to the And I mentioned kind of pre-interview. I think that some of the reason why men, and I know, you know, Lars and I talked last week just a little bit about this, about how there’s this, you know, it feels effeminate or it feels homosexual in some way. Like, Jesus needs to be your boyfriend, you know, and there’s this in the big evangelical culture in some ways that men feel check their, you know, put their man card in the slot outside when they go through the front door of church. And then maybe they get it back if they’re, you know, if they can, however fast they can get out the door and grab their man card and go back to the Super Bowl or, you know, the different things. What are, you know, as a pastor in observing these kind of trends and, and, you know, you know, comment on that and how you kind of the unique time in history that the church has finds itself. some of the ways why we’re experiencing in our particular circles of church, you know, historic growth and why that is.

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, well, so I, yeah, the church has really, now here, one thing that I think we need to be really clear about is that it is impossible for one sex to thrive while the other flounders.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm.

Rich Lusk:
So, you know, you’ll hear some people talk about, well, there’s a crisis amongst men. Men

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
are in crisis, men are dropping out of the workforce. Men are living in their parents’ basements when they should be out getting jobs and starting families. of boys to launch into manhood. Warren Ferrell’s talked about the boyhood crisis and how boys are struggling in school. Male suicide is really high. You can talk about all those kind of things. And all that’s true. There is a crisis amongst men. But the way God has made the world and the way God has designed the sexes to relate, it is impossible for one sex to succeed while the other fails. OK. the lie of feminism. And it’s really, I mean, I frequently say that feminism was really the first form of identity politics in American history, because it separated out women as a distinct group, and ultimately, with women’s suffrage, a voting bloc, a political group, and said, women have interests of their own that might be contrary to men’s interests, or their husband’s interest, or even their children’s interests. Women have their own interests. They’re their own interest group. obviously. It’s a disaster for marriage and it’s a disaster for the family and the household. But what I think is really important to understand is that if men are struggling, women are too. It may not show up the same way, but if men are floundering, women are too. If there is a crisis in masculinity, there’s a corresponding crisis in femininity. So there are people who will say, oh well, you know, men are really struggling and women are doing great because more women are going to college than ever before and women are doing this, doing that. You know, at the Super Bowl, had the first all-female flyover. I don’t know why we’re supposed to celebrate that, since men have been doing this for years. What’s the big deal? They make a huge deal out of stuff like that. Well, that does not mean that women are doing well. And actually, and I made reference to this before, but when they do these surveys of things like happiness and well-being and whatnot, women are, the modern woman is largely a miserable creature.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
And again, this is because women and men stand or fall together. We will either succeed together or fail together. But you can’t really have a battle of the sexes where one wins and the other loses. It just, that’s just not the way the world works. So there is a crisis in masculinity. The church has lost its men by and large. The church has very little that appeals to men. And this has been going on for a really long time. And you can trace out the history of this, you know, if you read, I know Leon Podless book, I think that’s I say his name. I think it’s called The Church Impetent. Trace this back to medieval times. I’m a little bit skeptical of that thesis because there’s too much intervening history. And too many times when the church has done quite well with men in the intervening centuries. But in general, in the modern West, particularly going back to say the 19th century, it’s church has not really had much appeal to men. culture in America and in Western culture in general has been very feminized. It’s become very effeminate. Some of that is the music that you mentioned. It’s you know kind of Jesus is my girlfriend type music. Some of that is that the men who went into the pastoral were often repulsive to men in general because they were very effeminate. They were weak. They were cowardly and that was manifested in their preaching. Some of it is that the church adopted feminine forms of piety and spirituality and elevated them so that in you know in a lot of 19th and early 20th century literature especially it’s almost as if women or angels men or demons and it’s like you’ll have you know basically women are put almost in the place of the Holy Spirit in a way very often in in various forms of literature fiction and nonfiction women’s spirituality elevated above men’s which makes it seem like spirituality is for women and then, you know, men do kind of all the rugged stuff out in the world that has nothing to do with God or Jesus or the Bible. This is reflected in a lot of, you know, say country music, you know, it’s kind of a common theme in country music where, you know, grandpa cusses and, and choose tobacco and grandma knows every hymn in the hymn book kind of thing, you know,

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
that that kind of motif is really, really common. So, you know, grandma is a saint. kind of thing. And there’s just that that’s been a very common motif. And so churches, even churches that have all male officers have basically become matriarchies,

Nathan Spearing:
Hmm.

Rich Lusk:
where women really determine the culture of the church. And it becomes a very and especially blue collar type men, walk in and they can immediately tell this is not a place for them in any kind of way.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
And the music and preaching and just the overall culture of the place is just repels them. In the meantime, and you made reference to this, in the meantime, you’ve got all of these particularly online figures that have emerged that have a very viable message for men. Now, it’s inadequate, it’s distorted, there’s all kinds of problems with it, but it has a real appeal to men. So you’ve got the Jordan Peterson’s and the Joe Rogan’s and, you know, and all these kind of, they’re mostly secular figures who have developed huge followings among men. And it’s because they actually understand men’s issues and men’s concerns, and they’re giving men practical, actionable advice that in many cases, even though, you know, these these teachers may be missing the big picture in the sense that they don’t have Christ, they don’t have the wisdom that comes from God’s world, they’ve paid attention enough to the way the world actually works that they can give some advice that is sound and in many cases superior to the feminized advice that men would be getting from pastors or in their churches. And so there’s been this real disconnect between men in the church, and then you’ve got men who are gravitating towards these other kinds of figures. And basically, you know, using somebody like a Jordan Peterson or in some cases a surrogate father, since you’ve

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
also got this whole issue now with the breakup of the family and our culture, with half the kids in America being raised in broken homes. You’ve got a whole generation of boys who are looking for a father figure, and they’ll latch on to anybody who seems to have a message that resonates deep within them that seems to connect with their masculinity and their masculine instincts. is misbadly on this and it’s a real problem.

Nathan Spearing:
So what do you think, you know, I know that it’s not a good tactic to replicate, even though the church has done it, replicate a rock concert model or a, you know, a seeker sensitive, if you will, type model for, you know, flashy marketing campaigns and influencer pastors and things like that. But I know you’re engaged in some, some new mediums, some podcastings, things like that. And and also, you know, I’m sure that there’s. There’s local men’s things happening in your circles. So what are some of the things that, obviously, we have a view that the death has been conquered, Christ is victorious, and

Rich Lusk:
Thank you for watching.

Nathan Spearing:
so we have this confidence. We can have this confidence as men. I’ve spoke about it before that when I was on the battlefield, the Stonewall Jackson quote about being as safe on the battlefield as you are at bed at night. experienced that, the peace of the gospel, the reality, the finality of what Christ did and make me fearless on the battlefield. And also in some ways now people, oh, hey, what do you got about this, Nate, these different issues with the military, issues with men and stuff. It’s like, well, I got to raise my sons well. And that’s, do good business and then model like you just talked about are they looking or my kids looking at my wife and my dance with her and thinking I want that. And

Rich Lusk:
Well, there’s so many things here to talk about. And we’ll barely scratch the surface in the time we have together in terms of what needs to be done. But I’ll throw a few things out, because I think sometimes the wrong prescription is offered. So for example, you mentioned rock band, kind of using a rock band in church. I don’t think there’s anything particularly masculine about a rock concert. In

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
fact, isn’t it interesting that long before we had transgenderism, like as a mainstream thing, I mean, I grew up in the 80s, okay?

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
all the hard rock and heavy metal bands, all these men were incredibly effeminate.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm.

Rich Lusk:
They’re limp-wristed, long hair, lots of hair spray, makeup. I never really understood how that worked, why these

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you. Bye.

Rich Lusk:
guys who are playing electric guitar feel like they need to dress and act like women. But there’s something weirdly unnatural about it. And I’m not saying that’s what happens Rock bands, hopefully not. But I don’t think that’s the answer. David Murrow, you know, he wrote the book. I think it’s called Why Man Hate Going to Church? And there’s

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
a lot of good counsel in his book. There’s also a lot of stuff that I think just kind of misses. Like he like one of the things I recall him saying is, well, you know, men like technology. So, you know, become a high tech church and get them involved in that. I don’t think that’s an answer. I don’t think that really matters. I don’t think that really does anything.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
I don’t think it really matters whether you’re high tech or low tech. I don’t and I don’t think that’s how you’re gonna keep men in the church by having you know the latest, you know gadgets or tech stuff whatever

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah,

Rich Lusk:
I Just don’t

Nathan Spearing:
I

Rich Lusk:
think

Nathan Spearing:
kind of, I think I probably made it 60% of the way through that book on audible. And then was like, I get what he’s saying, like, I don’t need

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
to finish this anymore.

Rich Lusk:
I mean,

Nathan Spearing:
Like

Rich Lusk:
it’s not,

Nathan Spearing:
it’s

Rich Lusk:
it’s not that everything he says is bad. It’s just, I think he misses what’s most important. Here’s some things I would say, like if I was, you know, in terms of just the recipe, one is I think you have to have preaching that has, that is, um, that is masculine. I mean, why has God ordained, uh, the pastorate in such a way that it’s only open to men?

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
There is something manly about the work itself. Pastoring is masculine work. can’t see that. Like if you think about what your pastor does, and you think, Oh, a woman could do that just as well, then your pastor’s not doing it right.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
Because it ought to be obvious that he’s doing things that have a kind of masculine flavor to them, whether that is rebuking error, or whether that’s teach you teach. I mean, the reality is men and women communicate differently. And it’s a well known fact that when women communicate, they tend to, for example, turn declarations voice kind of gets higher at the end of the sentence because they’re sort of beckoning to you for agreement. Like they want affirmation with their statement. Whereas men just tend, you know, traditionally men have just spoken in much, it’s just much more plain spoken and much more direct in their speech. Well, I think we need to be really direct and plain in our speech. I mean, if men are called to preach, then we ought to sound like men when we preach. You know, if only

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
men can be

Nathan Spearing:
Thank you.

Rich Lusk:
pastors, then we ought to put on display regularly those masculine facets of the So that’s a big part of it. I think preaching courageously against the error, you know, basically being willing to stand against the tide of whatever is going on in the world and pushing back against that so much. So many churches today, pander to the world in various ways. I think you saw this and, you know, I’ve got, you know, even in more conservative, reformed churches. I saw lots of pandering over the elderly. LGBTQ stuff

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
and really weird rhetoric used to try to tip toe around the homosexual issue. Like, you know, we shouldn’t say that homosexuality condemns people to hell because being heterosexual doesn’t save you. What an absolutely idiotic thing to say

Nathan Spearing:
Mm.

Rich Lusk:
or the Bible whispers about sexual sin. Again, what kind of fool would say something like that? I mean, what Bible are you reading? It’s just

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. But people say men say stuff like this from the pulpit and all I can think is you’re just a coward. You just don’t want to say what the Bible says.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
So I think I think you have to have preaching that is clearly masculine because God only calls. Men to preach, you know, so there’s got to be something masculine about the work itself. The music, I mean, not every hymn has to be a, you know, war song of some sort, but there ought to be a lot of hymns that clearly have a martial orientation. And if you go back before. the advent of revivalism in church history, you find a lot of that kind of music that’s very martial in its orientation. We need to remember that worship is warfare and so at least some of our hymns ought to clearly reflect that dimension of what we’re doing when we gather for worship. I think in the prayers that we offer, again the prayers ought to reflect the priorities of God’s kingdom which is going to take courage to pray for certain things and against other things. We should not be afraid of in in our prayer and then I think one of the things that would be most helpful I mean obviously you know discipling men teaching men about for example what it means to be a husband what it means to be a father all of that but then supporting them in it

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
I’ve seen far too many situations where churches that would profess to believe every word Paul wrote in Ephesians 5 when it comes down to it and they’re say a marital crisis the pastor or the session and this is something that’s just widespread in our culture they default to the woman of you. Uh

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
they they tell the man well if you just loved her more like Christ loves the church then this wouldn’t be happening to you and and and some of this I think is uh they’re they’re they’re much more afraid of confronting the woman’s sins than the man’s sins. I mean

Nathan Spearing:
Hmm

Rich Lusk:
the reality is in most most every single time when you have a marital breakdown you have sin on both parts. You know both the husband and wife have sinned in various ways but I’ve seen all too many situations where only the man’s sin got dealt with and the woman got a free pass and her sin was always excused whatever he did that somehow excused her sin. I think if we really if we’re gonna teach that you know men need to be men and men need to be the heads of their households then we have to support them in that and support their authority within their own households.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t rebuke men I mean obviously we do when they when they misuse that authority and some men do become tyrants in their own homes and and that’s gotta be dealt with, you know, some men become abusive and that’s gotta be dealt with. There should be no patience for that, no tolerance for that. But a lot of times they kind of run of the mill ordinary situations where, you know, a marriage just runs into some trouble. You know, there’s sin on both parts and the assumption of everybody going in is, well, obviously this is all the man’s fault. Women don’t really sin and so we need to correct the man and then that’ll put the marriage back crack. Well, now there’s probably things that she needs to hear as well. She probably needs to be rebuked as well. And one of the things that stands out to me, particularly about Paul’s pastoral epistles, is that he is unflinching and unhesitating in addressing the sins of women. And Paul addresses very stereotypical sins for men and very stereotypical sins for women. Why don’t we do that in the church today? Why is there such a reluctance to deal with the sins that are that are that tend to be sex specific.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm

Rich Lusk:
We just don’t really do a lot of that. So I would say teaching men about the authority and responsibility they have in their homes, but then also supporting them in the exercise of that authority and the fulfillment of those responsibilities in their homes is also really crucial. I mean, I could tell you one story after another of situations where, you know, a, a, and this might be in a, you know, what would be considered a, you know, a good PCA church or and the wife commits adultery and ends up leaving her husband for another man and never gets disciplined for it.

Nathan Spearing:
Hmm.

Rich Lusk:
And the only thing that ever happened in their counseling was he was told to do a better job loving her. And it’s like, well, is there anything more? And I mean, I’m not really exaggerating here at all. I mean, I’ve seen this play out more than once. And so we have to be willing to confront the sins of both spouses. And so if a man is going to meet with his pastor or his session help deal with a problem in his marriage, he needs to know that, yes, they’re going to confront me about my sin. No question about that. I get that. My wife will let them know the things I’ve done wrong, and so far as her assessment is accurate, they’re going to rebuke me for that.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
But he also needs to know that his pastor in his session have his back, and will back him up when it comes to the proper exercise of his authority in the home as a husband and as a father. And I think very often that doesn’t happen.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
And I think that’s one reason why are very reluctant to go seek help in their marriages because there’s really not, it doesn’t seem like there’s really much help there. There’s really not anything that can be done about a rebellious wife because nobody wants to stand up to her. So that’s another issue here that I think if churches got the reputation for being much more even-handed in dealing with the sins of men and women both, I think you would see more men taking interest in the church and what the church might be able to do for them and how the church might be able to help them through some hard times.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, that’s an excellent, excellent point. And I think I’ve recently spoke with my pastor about particular, you know, couples that are having trouble and things. And he remarked that, that it’s almost like a last ditch effort when they finally involved the, the session or the men of the church. It’s like, you should have come to us a long time ago in some sense, you know, and that, that is, I think that is indicative of, of men generally being hard. It’s hard for us to open up about how we failed. And so we got to get over that and we need to have brotherhood in the sense that we have relationship that nobody thinks we’re perfect. Like you’re not able to keep the facade up when you’re in community. And so it’s

Rich Lusk:
All

Nathan Spearing:
even

Rich Lusk:
right.

Nathan Spearing:
that much easier to just say, Yep, you know the deal. Like I have this the struggle that you’ve been with me on this. But at the same time, like, I think that’s that’s a really good point to say, you know, going to come and get help when he thinks he’s going to get backed up, you know, and there can be some.

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, let’s let’s say you have a wife who has a spending problem

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
and he’s done everything he knows how to do to reign it in, but she still puts too much on the credit card every month.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
Okay, what can he do at that point?

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
Well, if and so let’s say he goes to your typical evangelical pastor today, his pastor is probably not going to do anything to correct the woman, but just tell him he needs to, you know, he needs to do X, Y and Z better. And if he

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
only did better, if he only loved her more as Christ loves the church or something like that, then she wouldn’t a spending problem and her sin never gets dealt with. And again, I’m not making these things up. I’ve seen these things play out again and again in situations that I’m familiar with. And so it’s just really, it’s one-sided and it’s reflective of things that are going on in the culture where women are pedestalized and men are denigrated. I mean, all you have to do is look at anything in pop culture, any TV show, movie, whatever, men are always portrayed incompetent, bumbling idiots and women are portrayed as basically can do no wrong and anything they choose is fully justified. That’s just the narrative in the culture right now and it’s seeped into the church. Let me shift gears here a little bit and give you one more thing, sort of one more ingredient. If the church wants to reach men and minister to men, something else the church needs to do. So, you know, several things I mentioned to you, I think are crucial, but this one is really, really important as well. venues and support for male friendship and

Nathan Spearing:
Mm.

Rich Lusk:
male bonding. And that means the recovery of male spaces. I mean, this is another thing that’s under attack is that men are not allowed to have their own spaces anymore. Now, in the church, I realized that we do, you know, we do have that sum and the culture at large, not so much, but the church needs to do what it can to support male friendship. And that’s because many men go through life. experiencing excruciating loneliness

Nathan Spearing:
Hmm.

Rich Lusk:
without any real companionship. And men have got to have brothers. They’ve got to have, you know, every David needs a JoNathan Spearing and every JoNathan Spearing needs a David. You need to have men with whom you are good friends, with whom you can share your struggles and your burdens, with whom you can be very transparent and and and open yourself up to a venue for forming deep male friendships within the church. Men, once they get out of college, men just have a hard time maintaining friendships. We get busy with family life and pursuing our careers and whatnot, and it seems like those friendships get squeezed out, but they’re really crucial to our well-being spiritually and probably, you know, physically and in other ways as well. But we’ve got to find ways to and encourage friendships amongst men.

Nathan Spearing:
That’s really, it’s really good. I guess it’s reflecting on, you know, how I have that in my church. And maybe, you know, don’t necessarily think about how critical that is to not experiencing that, being excited to go and have, you know, I think it’s even have, you know, kind of concentric rings that get bigger too. You have two or three guys that you’re particularly close with and then it moves

Rich Lusk:
Right.

Nathan Spearing:
out and there’s a larger, you know, we have

Rich Lusk:
Right.

Nathan Spearing:
a, you know, on a group text and then, you know, a couple group texts with, you know, one or two others that, you know, they’re different, different things that you can talk about or different levels of transparency and that, that feeds into in person stuff, you know. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
Right,

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah. Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
yeah,

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
you

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
can’t be best friends with everybody, obviously,

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
but

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah. Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
you need to have an, I mean, think about Jesus. You know, Jesus has multitudes of people that, you know, that he’s around regularly. So huge groups of people, then, you know, he’s got the 12, which is kind of his inner circle. And then he’s got the, you know, the three, Peter, James and John, kind of the inner circle of the inner circle, the innermost ring, if you will. And that’s not being clickish. That’s actually just, I mean, that’s how friendships work. You can’t be best friends everybody, friendships, in the very nature of the case, have a kind of exclusivity to them. But every man needs to have a band of brothers in his life. Every man needs to have a circle of friends that he can rely on, that he can count on, that he can be honest with. And I think that’s one of the best things. I mean, you want to talk about helping men do better in work and in marriage and as fathers. This is, I think, actually one of the things that would contribute the most to that If we had these, if we had strong and healthy male friendships within the church.

Nathan Spearing:
What are some of the ways that you’ve seen that accomplished well, you know, in your circles? In any particular, I wanted the things I call people out on as a show up, you know, you can’t race

Rich Lusk:
Yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
out the back door of church, you know, at the second to last note of the last hymn and round your kids up, like, hang out in the lobby for a little bit and chat, you know, like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like. Like

Rich Lusk:
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, you have. Yeah. So I would say show up is a huge part of it. You know, so be a part of what your wider church community is doing. And and and I would say make it a priority and put the effort into it. You know, you think back to the things that you did that and I think that men really bond. I mean, obviously, men need to have conversation with each other. We’re doing a conversation here and, you know, I get together with men in my church for lunch and that kind of thing. I do, you know, phone calls, texts, all that kind of thing. But, you know, so all that’s really important. But I also think that men very often bond over a shared mission of some sort.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
So so common projects work that we do together. I remember, I think it’s Dorothy Sayers and her book on work talks about how, you know, a man, I think he was he was either like a lawyer or a doctor, you know, after the war was over. But he talked about how how much he missed his days in the military the war

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
because it was the one time in his life when he really had close male friendships.

Nathan Spearing:
Mm-hmm.

Rich Lusk:
And he think, well, that’s kind of sad. It shouldn’t be that way. You know, we shouldn’t have to be in the military in the middle of a combat situation in order to have good, good male friends. Although there’s no question that good, good friendships come out of that, but it shouldn’t be, you know, we should be able to have good friendships period.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
And, and I think that friendship, you know, being being married, well, being married happily, requires a certain set of virtues and skills that you have to work at and that you can master over time. You may not be a good husband when you first get married, but you can become one if you’re willing to learn what the role, what the office of being a husband requires of you. And I would say the same is largely true of friendship. You have men who maybe are not very skilled in forming friendships, but if they will work at it, they can form friendships over time. They may have to ask, for some really honest and hard to hear feedback. You know, what are some things I’m doing that are hindering my friendships? Just like a husband might have to ask that of his wife or somebody else if he’s gonna be a better husband. You know, you need that honest and forthright feedback. But I think any man should be able to form close friendships if he’s really willing to make it a priority and pour himself into it. And so, I think that’s a good point.

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah, I think probably too, you know, if you are working at being a good husband that also may lend to having friends because if you’re not if you don’t have your wife under control, you’re not getting invited over anywhere, you know, and

Rich Lusk:
Right, or your kids, you know,

Nathan Spearing:
yeah,

Rich Lusk:
if

Nathan Spearing:
yeah.

Rich Lusk:
your kids are out of control. So,

Nathan Spearing:
Yeah.

Rich Lusk:
yeah.

Nathan Spearing:
Awesome. Well, I know we got in the interview a little bit late and I want to be generous or don’t want to take too much of your time. But can can you point people to, you know, your I will obviously link all the stuff in the show notes I benefited from the content you and Larsen are putting out. There’s some sermons that have benefited me, but what’s the ways that people can engage with what you’re putting out and…

Rich Lusk:
Yeah, sure thing. Yeah, this is great. Thank you again so much for having me on. You’ve got a great podcast and glad to be a part of this. Yeah, so, and I didn’t even know we had the connection with Dr. Doyle before we started talking, so that was great to hear. Yeah, so our church website is trinity-pres.net. So if you search for trinity-pres. between church Birmingham, we should come up, but it’s trinity-pres.net. And that’s got all sermons, Sunday school, actually a link there that will take you to the pastors page, right? Blog very occasionally, not, not, you know, I’m not a Doug Wilson when it comes to blogging, but every now and then I’ll blog something. And it’s got some conference audio and things like that. You mentioned my talk, uh, take your guns to church. Uh, you can find that on there. Um, and a number of other conference, uh, talks that I’ve given and things of that nature. So, um, that’s how people can find me. I do a podcast every, not every other week or so with Larson. called God a Minute. So if you search for God a Minute and my name or Larson’s name that should come up for you and that’s another way and then I’ve you know I’ve done some other things with some other men but most of those things you can you can find if you go to our church website and to the pastor’s page that’ll probably get you to just about everything that I’ve got out there.

Nathan Spearing:
Awesome. Well, I appreciate your time, Pastor Luss, taking time away from what you got going on locally and contributing to kind of the greater church movement. Thanks for your time.

Rich Lusk:
Appreciate it. Glad to do it, Nathan Spearing. Thanks a lot.