Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Few Connection Flashbacks

As you can see above, I was very young when I started managing Connection Communications.
Well, maybe I haven't been there quite that long, but I did start supervising The Connection Radio and TV broadcast 20 years ago this summer.

The Past
The Connection Brand actually was born 1n 1980 in Southern California when a friend of mine, Kent Bagdasar and I began a weekly contemporary Christian radio program on KFOX radio in Redondo Beach. I came up with the name, The Calvary Connection and then it all began. Kent eventually moved to Albuquerque to manage KKIM Radio, where the Connection made its New Mexico debut. Soon, Skip and Lenya moved to New Mexico and started a Bible study; Kent then applied this name to the CCABQ radio ministry on his station.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I moved to Colorado to manage a radio station and start a church.
Eventually, Kent and I owned two radio stations in Colorado Springs and I became General Sales Manager of a new Fox TV station. Here, Skip and I began producing The Calvary Connection TV program and I started producing the Connection daily radio broadcast.
So that's the ancient history. Oh yeah, I also moved the Lusko tribe to Albququerque and went on staff full time, at that time there were 1 and 1/2 people working at the Connection, Dawn Chancellor in art & Dan Elliot in audio. Who knew we would one day have our own building with over 40 people on the media team? God knew.

Career Highlight: Bibleman hugged me

What's Next: On the Road with Jaxon

The People
I can't say there is one singular lesson from this experience during my time on the Calvary Campus, but high on the list is this: I have learned to value people over projects. There it is, as a sometimes maniacally driven individual, I can be focused to the point of obsession. That trait doesn't always translate well into horizontal relationships, and just maybe this passion can come across as a bit aloof. It's been a process, but God has gradually helped me appreciate the people around me more than my own productivity. No one will confuse me with Dr. Phil, but I am making progress.
The team at the Connection is a talented group of dedicated professionals, my basic job was to turn the lights on for them. I served with some for 10-15 years, they rock.
Levi, Daniel, Heidi, Becca & Jesse

The Fam

One amazing opportunity I have had at Calvary is to work with my kids. In turn all have been a part of ministry at CCABQ. The campus has been a magnet for each of them and I am so grateful for the activities and events that have kept my kids off the streets and walking with the Lord. I am way blessed to have been able to serve in ministry with them, and there is more ahead. (Josh, not pictured, but he did his time at Solomon's Porch & the Skate Park!)

The Highlights

I won't even try to be remotely exhaustive here, but flow of consciousness goes like this:

  • The first Harvest Crusade at old Dukes Stadium
  • Signing on KNKT with Skip at midnight on a Good Friday in 95 (I think)
  • Israel Trip #5, with Chuck Smith, Skip and Joel Rosenberg.
  • Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem, Jesus Boat Shoot in the Galilee
  • Easter Sunrise Service (Pick one)
  • Levi coming from Montana to teach his first weekend at Calvary of Albuquerque
  • Debut of Massive Radio
  • Preaching in a soccer stadium in Ghana with the Kry
  • Making the Epicenter Documentary with Daniel, Skip and Joel in Israel
  • Road to Rome Video shoot with Daniel in Israel, Turkey, Greece & Italy
  • Daniel's multi-media auto biography event: Zeal!
  • Meeting Benjamin Netanyahu for Epicenter interview
  • Two hour on stage 'Actors Studio' type interview with Jim Caviezel at CCABQ 
  • Connection Celebration in Belize. Clive!
  • Set-up trip for Lifeline with Becca in Manila
  • Calvary Celebration in Anaheim for Riptide
  • Watching Larissa teach at Women at Calvary
  • Having Jesse in my Shepherd's School class
It almost sounds like bragging when I review these spiritual resumes. But not at all, I am boasting in the Lord, He did it. The kids have all  avoided the PK syndrome, gone voluntarily to Christian Colleges and are certain to surpass my accomplishments. Jesse is now co-leading Vertical and also still on campus is my lovely wife Larissa who is working with Lenya in management of Women at Calvary. She is a fine teacher, strong administrator and keeps me on the straight and narrow, generally.

Larissa. Yes, way over my pay grade

The Lowlight
No contest: It's the loss of relationships through the transition from hell a few years back. I received a crash course in crisis management that Michigan State did not offer, and lost some lifelong friends in the mix. Very sad. Did get a glimpse of what it is like for the media to smell blood in the water. Fins were circling, and no Jimmy Buffett music.
I learned that bloggers in bunny slippers can become spiritual criminals, lucky for them, I am not the judge and jury. We shall leave that to the Lord.
In the Romans 8 department, I saw that God's hand is on the thermostat, and He will let you get pretty well broasted.

The Next Pasture

Hope to spend some time in Montana with the Fresh Life Team, work with Daniel on his first feature film and launch Heidi properly. There are also a few movies I want to make while I pray large and push the borders. There are some good friends who are inviting me on mega-adventures. As Will Smith would say, Gotta go, gotta go!
Just want to stay hungry, and go hard till we  go home. Okay, and maybe dive Tahiti too.

Parting Shot
I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve at Calvary. Skip has always been very gracious to give me a shot at pushing the edges. Usually it worked, there were 'other' times when my ideas led me out to thin ice, but not many.
It has been an amazing ride watching God blow up this work. Calvary has an incredible pulpit and I have learned a great deal about pulpit faithfulness from Skip.
At the end of the day- it's about getting God's word out in as many echoes as possible, that's why I came to ABQ, and that's why I got up this morning too.
Or as Joey B says, 'It's all about the kids.' True, true.


Levi Lusko said...

Further up and further in! The best is yet to come!!

Terry Frost said...

Very nice website. I was always impressed with your writting skills. It was great to see you and work with you in Aneheim...Oh, by the way, say Hi to Kent Bagdasar, hope all is well with him...Blessings my friend!
Terry Frost

N and S said...

Way cool Chip! Stoked for your next adventure!

N and S said...

Way cool Chip! Stoked for your new adventure!

Becca Clay said...

Quite a legacy! Proud of my Dad!