Today is Lukas Naugle's last day at DG. And we’re feeling a mixture of sadness, deep gratitude, and excitement about what the Lord has in store.
Lukas joined the DG staff in 2004 as our Customer Service Manager (CSM). He didn't remain in that position very long. Not because he wasn't good at it, but because he was good at many other things too.
I discovered quickly that Lukas is not one to color inside the lines. I have come to love that about him. The fact that his job description didn't say anything about creating new resources mattered little. He just started doing things. Sometimes he'd come to me with a new idea and sometimes he would just go ahead and do it and tell me about it later.
It didn't take a genius to realize that the best thing I could do was to make his job all about dreaming up and running with new ideas.
One of the first things he did was choose a few chapters from Pastor John's book, 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die, and turned them into an evangelistic booklet, "For Your Joy." Over 500,000 copies of that little booklet have been distributed over the last 5 years.
Once, before we had a coordinated International Outreach effort, he made contact with some Spanish-speaking friends who wanted to translate some Piper sermons. So he got them going. I didn't know about it until it was underway. The result of that initiative was that all of Pastor John's Romans sermon series were translated into Spanish. Amazing.
Before Lukas, DG didn't do much video work. And Lukas had no video experience. But that didn't stop him. He took one of our young staff, who was a self-taught videographer, and started experimenting in video resources. A few years later and Lukas had built a media team that was putting out incredible pieces. They even produced an award-winning music video. If you've benefited from our free online conference videos, the John Piper Small Group Series, the Ask Pastor John videos, or almost any of our videos made in the last 5 years, the human agent most responsible is Lukas.
And it's partly why we find ourselves saying goodbye to him today as he heads to Phoenix with his great wife, Gretchen, and their four precious daughters. They are discerning the Lord's call to some new kingdom ventures.
One of these new ventures is what Lukas is calling CHANGEGOAT CREATIVE. It's a creative consultancy he's launching to help churches, organizations, and businesses be excellent in fulfilling their unique calling in the world. We have benefited from Lukas' wise counsel and amazing creativity for six years. I highly recommend him. And I plan to be a customer!
The other venture is to be part of a church plant in downtown Phoenix with his good friend, Justin Buzzard, and getting involved with the Surge Network of church planters. Planting a church is a great reason to have to say goodbye to a friend.
But goodbye is not easy. We will miss Lukas here. I miss him already.
Thank you, my good friend, for six precious and fruitful years. DG is more effective because of how God has used you. And he has good things in store for you. May he lead you, provide for you, and bless your every effort to spread a passion for his supremacy in all things in new ways.
I love you.