categories: I'm curious, accountability, church, culture, leadership
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January 19th, 2012

by Craig Groeschel

ACCEPTABLE PRIDE?

We know God opposes the proud. But some forms of social media seem to have redefined what pride is and what it’s not.

For example: Imagine if I stood before our church and told everyone, “Joe Smith said, ‘Craig you are the best preacher ever! Your sermons changed my life.’ And Jill Denny said, ‘I loved your book. Everyone should read it. You are the best author I’ve ever read!’ Not only that, but Mike Mitchell said, ‘Craig, Life Church is the best church in the world! No church is as good as Life Church.’”

Chances are good most people would look at me funny and think I’m a little full of myself for saying such things.

But if I simply retweeted those exact same statements, my retweets would seem totally acceptable to most. Honestly, I’m wondering if that is acceptable to God, or if it’s just pride in disguise.

I believe we need to walk a very careful line in ministry (I am certain I have crossed this line at times). Sure we want to celebrate what God is doing in our churches. Of course we want to get the word out about a new series or a book we’ve written. Unquestionably we want to share more reasons to give praise to our God.

But at the same time, we need to be careful that we’re not drawing attention to ourselves.

Your thoughts?

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categories: accountability, events, relationships, support
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October 27th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Tackle Porn Addiction on Super Bowl Sunday

National Porn Sunday takes place next year on February 6, 2011, the same day as Super Bowl Sunday here in the U.S. This is a great opportunity to bring pornography addiction out in the open and reach people in your church with hope for healing. The event is free and offers a 30-minute message featuring Craig Gross along with several other professional football players speaking about the issue of pornography. When you register, you’ll receive a Porn Sunday Manual that will help your church prepare.

Craig Gross and the team at XXXchurch are great friends and are doing a fantastic job at equipping the Church to offer real help for people who are struggling with pornography. They partnered with us to host The Porn Event at Church Online earlier this year.

Now is a good time to start planning for National Porn Sunday, so check out the video below and then sign up for free.

2011 Porn Sunday Trailer Promo from XXXchurch on Vimeo.

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categories: accountability, communication, development, encouragement, leadership, personal
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February 3rd, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Other Side of the “Almost Termination”

I’m writing this post on a plane next to Jerry Hurley, our pastor of team development. Jerry leads a team that hires, trains, and develops our whole staff.

We were talking about how many of our star staff members almost didn’t make the cut at some point or another.

I remember during my first ministry role at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, several people on the board decided that I was the wrong fit for the job. They told me plainly that I wasn’t likely to remain in that role.

Around the same time, leaders of the denominational ordination committee sincerely questioned my “call” to ministry. After several difficult conversations, God planted a deep resolve in my heart to humble myself, become teachable, and do whatever it took to please God–even if it meant losing my job.

Something inside me changed. I was no longer trying to prove myself and keep my job, I was trying to please God and fulfill His calling. On the other side of these rough spots, I had the opportunity to do more effective ministry at FUMC than I did before.

When a person faces one of his or her greatest fears of being terminated, sometimes the best ministry is still on the other side.

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categories: accountability, communication, community, development, encouragement, leadership, relationships, spiritual development
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February 2nd, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Other Side of Brokenness

A few years ago, I sat on my back porch with one of our campus pastors who was struggling in his role. It was clear that he may not make it as a campus pastor.

It wasn’t because he wasn’t trying. This guy was bringing his best. And it wasn’t because he didn’t care. No one cared more than he did. This guy simply wasn’t succeeding at producing the right outcomes through his people.

When he asked my advice, I told him that God needed to break him. That obviously wasn’t what he wanted to hear. Through tears he told me that he was pretty sure that he was broken.

I explained that if he was “pretty sure,” then he wasn’t broken. When you are broken, you know for sure you are broken.

Over a series of other painful events, this campus pastor finally reached a place of deep brokenness before God. When many parts of his life fell apart, God started putting them back together. Almost overnight, this pastor became an infinitely better spiritual leader and is leading a campus in a way that truly honors God.

Recently he told a group of people, “You won’t really know the goodness of God until you are totally broken.”

If you are hurting deeply right now, God’s love and power are even more evident on the other side of brokenness.

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categories: accountability, mobile
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January 8th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

X3 Watch

image002My friend Craig Gross from XXXchurch.com has just released a free application that provides accountability while surfing the web on your iPhone. image006When a user enters a website that might contain questionable material, the application records the site along with the date and time it was visited. A detailed report is then sent out to your designated accountability partners every one to three weeks, depending on your preference. So, for those of you iPhone users who are looking for a tool to help filter questionable materials and safeguard your surfing, download the application here .

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categories: accountability, development, future, personal, recommendations, spiritual development
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January 7th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

One Thing to Claim

As you strive to please God in 2010…

  • What is one promise you need to claim?

Even though Samuel had anointed young David as the future King of Israel, for years it looked like it would never come to pass.

When David found himself again on the run from King Saul, he tried to find safety among the Philistines. Deciding his best play was to act crazy, he found himself awkwardly caught between a rock and a hard place.

That’s when David implied that there were many things he didn’t know. But there is one thing he did know for sure. Psalm 56:9-10 in TLB says, “This one thing I know: God is for me! I am trusting God-oh, praise his promises! I am not afraid of anything mere man can do to me! Yes, praise his promises.”

Although David didn’t know much, he knew that God was with him.

Scripture is full of God’s promises. Here are a few.

God promises:

  • To meet every need you have from his riches. (Phil 4:19)
  • You won’t be tempted beyond what you can handle. (1 Cor 10:13)
  • To forgive all your sins. (Eph. 1:7; 1 Jn. 1:9)
  • To make everything work for your good. (Rom 8:28)
  • He’d never leave you or forsake you. (Heb 13:5)
  • To be your ever present help in trouble. (Ps. 46:1)
  • To give strength to the weary and power to the weak. (Isa 40:29)
  • To guide you and give you direction. (Ps. 32:8)
  • To give you a peace that goes beyond your understanding. (Phil 4:7)
  • To give you power to defeat Satan (James 4:7)
  • Nothing would separate you from God’s love. (Rom. 8:39)
  • You are more than conquerors. (Rom. 8:37)
  • Eternal life through Christ (John 10:27-28)

What one promise (not limited to this list) do you need to claim?

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categories: accountability, development, encouragement, future, personal, priorities, spiritual development
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January 6th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

One Thing to Let Go

As God is leading you forward into the New Year…

  • What is one thing you need to let go?

The Apostle Paul was describing how he wanted to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. He admitted that he hadn’t taken hold of it yet and wrote the words recorded in Philippians 3:14-14, “…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

I’m not certain what he wanted to forget and let go. Perhaps it was the Christians he hurt, tortured or killed. Maybe it was the abuse he suffered for boldly serving Christ: being beaten with the rod, whipped, stoned and left for dead. Maybe it was a personal failure we know nothing about.

Whatever it was, Paul knew he needed to let go of something from the past to move forward with God.

Maybe someone hurt you and you continue to harbor bitterness. Perhaps your spouse betrayed you and you still are trying to punish him or her. Maybe you let yourself down, let God down, or let those around you down, and you haven’t let it go. Perhaps you failed and fear failing again.

What one thing do you need to let go to move forward with God?

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January 5th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

One Thing You Lack

When it comes to your relationship with God…

  • What  one thing do you lack?

When a rich young man encountered Jesus, he wanted to know what he must do to receive eternal life. Jesus told him to obey all the commands. The confident up-and-comer believed that he’d been obedient since he was a child.

Mark 10:21-22 records what happened next. “Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Unfortunately, there was one thing that stood in the way of this man and his pursuit of the fullness of God in Christ: his love of his stuff. Sadly, he was unwilling to address this one hindrance.

What about you? What one thing is keeping you from further serving Christ? Maybe you have drifted from your study of God’s word or from prayer? Maybe you lack true and strong accountability? Perhaps your life is void of close Christian friends. Maybe you’ve been gripped by the things of this world rather than God’s kingdom.

Be honest. When it comes to your relationship with God, what one thing do you lack?

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