categories:, church, church planting, mentoring
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January 24th, 2012

by Craig Groeschel

Round Tables at

In order to help serve churches, we will be hosting several round tables this year. Here is information on the first two.

ARC (Association of Related Churches) will be doing a one day Leadership Forum for all pastors and church leaders at Pastor Chris Hodges, Rick Bezet, Joe Champion, and I will be contributing.

This round table is for those who are interested in church planting and for pastors interested in developing their leadership skills. The forums will be a great time of learning, sharing ideas and growing relationships in a dynamic setting. There will also be an opportunity for you to learn about the vision and mission of ARC and how you can join the team!

When: Monday, February 27, 10am to 2:30pm


Cost: The event is free.


Multi-Site Round Table

I will be hosting a small round table for senior pastors of churches with 2500 or more in attendance that are going multi-site or are already doing multi-site ministry.

When: Thursday, March 1, 2012, 8:30am to 4pm

Where: /Edmond

Cost: The event is free. I’m asking that all churches make a generous donation towards church planting.  Every dollar given will be used to help start new churches. This event is limited to 22 pastors. Email for more information or to reserve a spot.


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categories:, church, church planting, creativity, innovation, leadership
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August 16th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Death of the Five-Year Plan

When I started in ministry two decades ago, everyone I knew made five-year plans. While planning is wise and biblical, I’m changing how I plan.

Instead of planning for specific buildings, campuses, staff roles, and outreach, I’m planning to be prepared for opportunities that I can’t name today. We are creating margin and planning to respond quickly to ideas that we don’t yet have.

Speed, agility, flexibility, and financial margin are far better than a detailed road map.

We are in the ready position. Instead of asking God to bless our carefully crafted plans, we’re trying to be prepared to move when He speaks and guides.

When people ask me what we’ll be doing in five years, I laugh. I have no idea. But I’m certain it will be more fun and more impactful than anything I could plan today.


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categories: church, church planting, culture
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May 6th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Promise and Deliver—Later

Because we had over triple our projections when we opened our newest campus, we were and still are behind the curve on many things:

  • We don’t have nearly enough groups.
  • We’re recruiting volunteers and releasing leaders on the fly.
  • We’re training newly hired staff.
  • We’re recruiting more staff.
  • We’re putting finishing touches on the building (including solving parking challenges).
  • We’re not close to having the programming in place.

In short, we’re building the airplane while it’s in the air. That’s okay. People understand and actually like it—if we lead well.

Though we don’t have everything the way we want it, we can make promises.

  • We’ll be adding parking in the next few months so you won’t have to walk a quarter a mile! Thanks for being a great church and making it work!
  • We’ll be adding a Saturday night service one day so you don’t have to sit in the overflow! Thanks for understanding and still bringing your friends!
  • We’ll be starting our youth ministry in two months! It’s going to be amazing!
  • We’re looking for a junior high pastor right now! Pray God brings us the right one.
  • So many of you are new! We thank God you are here. Within the next month, we’ll have some meetings just to get to know you.

You don’t have to have it all today. Make promises for the future—then deliver.


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categories: church, church planting, global church, one prayer, working together
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March 19th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

India: Global Partnerships

While we were in India, we had the privilege of visiting some groups and organizations we’ve partnered with. We got to spend time with Jack Magruder from Granger Community Church, and their partner in India, Life Mission International. opchurchindiaWith the help of the One Prayer initiative, hundreds of churches have been planted there and tens of thousands of evangelistic contacts have been made.

It was a great reminder of the importance of churches and ministries working together to accomplish more than we could on our own. If we were truly united, I believe the Great Commission could be fulfilled within our lifetime. The Church has the resources and the connectivity to make that happen if we were all pulling together.

This is why we’re excited about the 3rd year of One Prayer coming up in June. If your church hasn’t signed up, we’d love to have you on board! You can learn more and register at


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categories: church, church planting
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February 22nd, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Suggestions For My UMC Friends (Part 1)

crossflameA leader from the United Methodist Church asked me if I’d write a few suggestions for the denomination. I was very honored by his request and thought I’d share a few thoughts.

My family attended various Methodist Churches in Texas and Oklahoma. I did my undergraduate work at Oklahoma City University (a UMC school). After graduating from college, I entered ministry as an associate pastor of First United Methodist Church in downtown Oklahoma City.

Amy and I planned on serving God in the Methodist Church for our full ministry. After experiencing other styles of ministry, God gave us a vision to do church in a different way. We asked for permission to plant a new UMC church. Since I was only ordained as a “deacon” and not an “elder,” church planting, for us, was not an option as a UMC pastor.

Our burden to start a church became greater than our loyalty to a denomination. We left the UMC on good terms with fond memories and many great relationships.

This week, I’ll post six suggestions for my UMC friends. I offer them humbly and in love. I hope one or two ideas are helpful.

Let’s start with the use of Financial Resources. Not long ago, the UMC launched a $20 million advertising campaign called “Rethink Church.” While I wholeheartedly applaud the church’s aggressive efforts to reach people, I don’t think advertisements that promote a denomination are the best plan.

Today’s generation wants to join a cause, not an organization. I would have suggested investing $20,000 each into 1,000 UMC church plants across the United States. Starting new churches is easier than revitalizing old churches. Once a new movement begins, revitalizing the old becomes much more doable.

My thought on this: People are more likely to join a new mission rather than an old denomination.


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categories: church, church planting, community, encouragement, global church, leadership, working together
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April 7th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Church Planters

Today I’d love to hear from Church Planters.

I remember the early days of Even though I was often high with big faith in God, there were long seasons where I felt very low, lonely, tired and afraid.

Church Planters, teach us what you’re facing.

What are your biggest challenges? What is your biggest joy? How can we pray for you?


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categories:, church, church planting, encouragement, global culture, leadership
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March 24th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Working With God’s Seasons

Proverbs 20:4 says, “If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest.”

In ministry it is so important to work with God’s seasons. Instead of always wishing for the next season, we should embrace the season we’re in.

Here are a few examples of how to work with the seasons:

  • If you’re a church planter, you won’t be any more of a real church when you have a real building. Enjoy the ride in portable facilities. You’re in a special season.
  • If you’re 50 years old and not naturally a cool person, you’ll look silly trying to act and dress 28. Embrace your season and be a mentor instead of a buddy to the next generation.
  • If your church is debt free and strong, don’t pretend like everything you have is for you. During this season, your greatest calling might be to fund the next generation’s vision.
  • If you had a singles ministry that worked for 9 years, but is no longer effective, celebrate the 9 years of success. Close it down and do something different. Don’t keep something on life support once its season has passed.

Because I was 28 years old when I started Life Church, I always felt like I was the young guy with everything in front of me. I’m not the young guy any more. (It happened so fast.) Now rather than just building our church, I embrace this season of lifting the next generation to do more than I’m able to do.

How can you better embrace this season?


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categories: church, church planting, recommendations
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February 12th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Your Turn: Hiring Staff


Thanks for all the great responses to yesterday’s question.

Continuing in the same line of thinking, imagine that the Spirit of God empowered you to build a great core group and God blessed your investment of resources.

Your new church plant now has about 400 people worshiping.

God has blessed you with the financial resources to hire 2.5 staff members. (You can hire any combination of half time or full time people.)

What roles would you fill and in what order?


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