Summer Vacation

The Dusek family just spent a week of summer vacation at Hunting Island, SC. We camped in the popup right on the beach, and had a great, relaxing week. I’m not one to blog too much about our personal lives… BUT, I can’t overstate the value of unplugging from the everyday schedule, and reconnecting with family. We’ve been pretty focused on launching The Orchard Church over the last 8 or 9 months, so there hasn’t been a lot of quality time for family, as you can imagine. This break was just what we needed. Long walks on the beach, exploring the island, fishing and more fishing. Zac caught a big shark! (we threw him back.)

I find myself becoming more and more aware of a season of life coming to a close. Zac is 17, and Lauren is 14, going into high school this fall. We probably only have a handful of family vacations left. Before long, their jobs and extended families will prevent our kids from being able to get away together like this. How can this all happen so fast? Weren’t they toddlers just last week?

So, I know a lot of you guys are away here and there for the summer. I hope that each of you get time to connect with those close to you. I really believe that God gives us EACH and EVERY ONE of our relationships SO that we can demonstrate CHRIST in them.

Minor Improvements

Today, Doug Moore and I spent MOST of the day in the movie theater executing yet another upgrade on the big room. As you know, we’ve been using these really ugly light tripods to put our stage lights on. They sit near the front of the room, take up space, look bad, and get kicked from time to time. On Saturday, Darron Chastain hung some AWESOME light mounts on the walls for our stage lights. We couldn’t use them yet, because we had to rewire the room first. (again.) Today, we got it done! The new light mounts look GREAT, and free up seating space! Thanks for your help, Darron and Doug!

Also, you may have noticed that the projector image was improved on Sunday. The projector has been sitting on the ledge just over the entrance to the room, and has been throwing it’s image at a low, shallow angle. The result has been singers and speakers with their faces oddly lit. Well, no more! Kenny Crook constructed a new mount for the projector that raises it up to ceiling level! Thanks, Kenny!

Minor Improvements

Today, Doug Moore and I spent MOST of the day in the movie theater executing yet another upgrade on the big room. As you know, we’ve been using these really ugly light tripods to put our stage lights on. They sit near the front of the room, take up space, look bad, and get kicked from time to time. On Saturday, Darron Chastain hung some AWESOME light mounts on the walls for our stage lights. We couldn’t use them yet, because we had to rewire the room first. (again.) Today, we got it done! The new light mounts look GREAT, and free up seating space! Thanks for your help, Darron and Doug!

Also, you may have noticed that the projector image was improved on Sunday. The projector has been sitting on the ledge just over the entrance to the room, and has been throwing it’s image at a low, shallow angle. The result has been singers and speakers with their faces oddly lit. Well, no more! Kenny Crook constructed a new mount for the projector that raises it up to ceiling level! Thanks, Kenny!

Sunday Thoughts

It is Sunday night, and it’s time for another round of “Steve’s Random Sunday Thoughts!”

  • Six weeks in… triple digits in attendance!
  • Technical stuff- AWESOME this week. Transformers trailer was fun.
  • Music- I think the band just gets better each week. I am listening to the recording of the music from this morning right now. I loved their rendition of “Holiness.”
  • The whole “Reel Life” thing is great. I am really glad we’ve gone this way for now. We’re halfway through!
  • Tracy Crook is just awesome.
  • We were visited today by some old friends from “back in the day,” people that influenced me from when I was very young. Great to see you, Reagan and Pat!
  • Today was church planter visit day, I guess. We had a church-planter friend of mine from Tennessee come to check out what we were doing. Also, a great guy named WIll, who is planting a church in Brisbane, Australia hung out with us today! How cool is that?
  • 41 sounds OLD.
  • I liked the text message feedback thing. That worked well. What did you think?
  • P31X! It is the next wave to sweep the nation!

Over all, it was a pretty good morning. I felt like not only did everything seem to go really well, but I really felt caught up in worship during the music set. I really appreciate the band… I just felt like they got right out of the way and allowed us to have some quality time with God! Man, that was great.
We recorded the message this morning. I will get the podcast up later tonight or tomorrow.

The Proverbs Experiment

On Sunday, I challenged our group to do a 10-minute recharge each day from the book of Proverbs Today I was reading Proverbs 12, (on May 12) and I found a few great nuggets…

  • Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.


  • Worry weighs a person down; and encouraging word cheers a person up.


  • To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.


There is a lot more than just this, too. What have you found in your recharge time? Email me at
stevedusek@orchardellijay.com to let me know what kinds of things God is teaching you!

The Proverbs Experiment

On Sunday, I challenged our group to do a 10-minute recharge each day from the book of Proverbs Today I was reading Proverbs 12, (on May 12) and I found a few great nuggets…

  • Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.


  • Worry weighs a person down; and encouraging word cheers a person up.


  • To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.


There is a lot more than just this, too. What have you found in your recharge time? Email me at
stevedusek@orchardellijay.com to let me know what kinds of things God is teaching you!

Church Hop

Someone emailed me this week with a really good question. She says that she goes to one church on Sundays and another on Wednesdays. Neither of them “feels right” to her, and she had just received an invitation to come to The Orchard Church. She was conflicted, and didn’t know what to do about it.

I emailed her a response back, and I thought I would share my thoughts on this with you.

First of all, I never really liked the whole “church hopping” thing. I don’t think that is good for you. I am pretty sure it isn’t God’s plan for you, either. See, I am convinced that God creates each and every one of us with a specific purpose… A specific way that YOU will function in the Body of Christ. He couples that with a gift (or gifts) to be used intentionally for HIM. It is your ministry… The way you impact the KINGDOM. If you are a follower of Christ, YOU have a purpose… And it is all about HIM.

Your purpose in The Kingdom, and your gift is to be used as part of the Body of Christ, otherwise known as The Church. This is where we get tripped up. We think we “find a church that we like” and we “go there” to “get fed,” or whatever. With American consumerism, it is easy to fall into this trap of thinking.

The reality is that GOD places you into a local body on purpose. Your church experience shouldn’t be based on what “feels right” to you, but on where GOD has CALLED you to be. Has God called you to the church you are in now? How do you know? What is your ministry there? How is HE using you among those people?

If you aren’t in a church now, please, BY ALL MEANS check out The Orchard… But before you join our church, or any church… Seek God’s will on it. He won’t put you in a place by accident. He wants the BEST for you… And HIS BEST is always when HE is bringing out HIs best in YOU.

1 Corinthians 2:7 (Message)
God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene.

Romans 12:3-8 (NLT)
Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

The Five-Week JUMP?

Didn’t get a chance to update yesterday… Busy with Mother’s Day and all!

I just wanted to jot down a few random thoughts about Sunday’s service. Here they are, in no particular order.

  • What happened?? After four weeks of relatively “smooth sailing,” it seems we had every technical glitch that we could think of!
  • What happened?? After three weeks of double-digit attendance, we suddenly jumped up to nearly 110! Wow!
  • We had a record number of kids in the toddler and preschool rooms
  • Kirsten did a great job on behalf of all of us.
  • Practice is important
  • Proverbs is awesome
  • Always great to see new faces, and meet new friends.
  • The air conditioner in there works REALLY WELL when it wants to.
  • We didn’t get the message recorded, either. Hope to have everything fixed next week.
  • Star Trek: best movie of 2009. Should have done THAT trailer.

Even though the Night At The Museum 2 trailer didn’t work on cue, I am still really excited about this message series. I hope it is a blessing for you. Next week, we’re doing our take on Transformers 2. Should be fun! If you haven’t been to The Orchard Church yet, I think you will love it.

The Three-Week Slide

Well, we’ve just completed our first message series at The Orchard Church. It sort of feels like a landmark for us.

  • I am really proud of our worship band. They’ve worked hard, and have done a great job. Not only is the music awesome, but the Spirit is evident.
  • Shout out for the tech crew, also! We have people running sound, lights, and video week in and week out that do a great job.
  • Every week, our CLEAN UP CREW works the movie theater very late on Saturday nights. Great job, guys.
  • The church-planting gurus say that we should have expected a “three-week slide” of 50% from our launch day attendance numbers. Well, we are WAY above that! It is amazing the spiritual hunger that is so evident all around us!


I have been thrilled at the great comments I have heard and read from people who have visited with us over the last several weeks. I love it when I hear people say things like, “we feel so welcome here,” “this place rocks,” and “this is like coming home.” I am most thrilled that we have seen at least eight people turn their lives over to Christ!

Our next series, “Reel Life,” begins on Sunday. I think you are really going to like it. If you haven’t been with us at The Orchard Church yet, you should give it a try. Have a look at the details here.

Next Steps?

I am so pumped up right now. We just got back from an abbreviated leadership mini-retreat… It was just me and some of our guys that have been with us since the beginning of this whole process of launching The Orchard. I’m excited because even though we DIDN’T get to everything I wanted us to get to on our retreat, we definitely covered some very important ground!

FIRST, we took our first chance to step back and evaluate the run-up and the launch, all of which happened from January through April. Everybody there felt that we met and/or exceeded our goals, expectations, and hopes. We reflected back on those initial intensive prayer times, and looked at how God has worked and answered prayer time and time again in this process. We are so blessed to be part of this!

NEXT, we began to dream about what THE ORCHARD is really ultimately going to be all about. ALL of us agreed that we DO NOT want to be simply a weekend worship service. That is fun, and it is important… But ultimately, what does it produce? EACH member of our group desires for us to be a DISCIPLE-MAKING FACTORY. We talked in depth about what that looks like, and it is exciting. We do NOT have all the pieces in place… In fact, we just got the general structure down. Next, we will have to spend some time putting the “meat on the bones” of how that will look for us. I know you will be hearing more and more about this in the coming weeks and months.

Just a little insight… we hope to launch small groups this summer! (as in, just a few weeks from now!) BUT, we have a LONG way to go before we’re ready to do that, so please be praying.

My favorite quote from the weekend: “We can’t ENABLE the old habit of sitting and soaking… We want to EMPOWER people to step up and lead!” You will DEFINITELY be hearing that from me again.