categories: church, communication, creativity, culture
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October 14th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Catalyst One Day : Virginia

Catalyst One Day is coming to Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia next Thursday, October 21. Join Andy Stanley and Craig Groeschel for a one day leadership event focusing on the topic of Momentum. How to create it, how to sustain it, and how to implement systems and tactics in your organization that will fuel momentum on a continual basis. This practical leadership experience includes Q and A, dynamic music, and insight from two of the principal leadership voices in the Church today.

Visit to register to attend. Use special Rate Code SWERVE to receive a discounted ticket price of $99.


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categories: church, communication, culture, leadership, relationships
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September 7th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Generational Tension

Thanks for the help last week on brainstorming titles for the new book. Your insights were amazing. (I’ll let you know the final name when we have one.)

I’d love to learn more from you.

Brad Lomenick asked me to do a talk about “Generational Tension” for Catalyst.

I’d be grateful for your insight(s):

  • What tension(s) do you see between the older and younger generations in ministry?
  • What is the biggest challenge facing the older generation? Younger generation?
  • What questions do you have about this subject?

Please include your age if you think it might be helpful.


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categories: books, communication, leadership, mentoring
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July 28th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Willow Summit and Tony Dungy

mentor-leader1I’m very honored and excited to interview Coach Tony Dungy at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit on August 5th. We’ll be discussing Coach Dungy’s newest book, The Mentor Leader, Secrets to Building People and Teams that Win Consistently.

In preparation for the interview, I reread Quiet Strength and enjoyed a couple of pre-interview calls with Coach Dungy. I’ve always admired Dungy’s leadership and spiritual strength from a distance. He’s everything you would hope for and far more up close.

Tyndale House Publishers also provided me with an advance copy of Coach Dungy’s new book. I’m so thankful for his exceptional work on the important subject of mentoring. This is a must read for pastors and spiritual leaders.

In fact, at Life, I will be doing a 4 week teaching on mentoring and investing in the next generation of leaders in September called, “I Believe in You.”

If you are able to attend the Summit or a satellite broadcast location, I know you will benefit from his story and example.


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categories: communication, vision
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June 17th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Swerve Favorites: Think Ahead

[Repost from July 29, 2008]

Successful people are often great at anticipating.

  • If you want to be promoted as an assistant, anticipate how you can better serve your boss.
  • If you want to be successful in business, anticipate what the market will do.
  • If you want to be successful in church, prayerfully anticipate. What new thing is God going to bless?

I try to think ahead by asking questions like these:

  • How are people relating differently? What will relationships and community look like in two years?
  • How are people going to communicate in the future?
  • What future technology/innovation can help spread the gospel?
  • What trends (business, entertainment, philanthropy, etc.) will affect the church?

Think ahead.

I’d love to hear your theories or ideas about what is coming in the church.

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categories: church, communication, leadership, personal, recommendations
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June 14th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Swerve Favorites: Training Your Church

[Repost from April 16, 2009]

If you don’t train your church what boundaries are appropriate, you likely won’t  have many.

If you are the senior pastor, you can set the tone publicly.

I’d suggest a few of the following:

  • Publicly communicate when your day off is. Talk about how important that day is to your family.
  • At appropriate times, explain the challenges of your schedule. Some people think you only work on Sundays. Explaining some of what you face will create understanding.
  • Create some level of screening if possible. Even if you are a solo pastor with no staff, a volunteer could help you with your email or answer phones. Many things you do daily can be handled by capable volunteers. You don’t need to know and do everything.
  • Be willing to “go dark” at least once a year. You might explain to the church that you’ll be away with your family and not taking calls for a week. Ask your lay leader to be in charge. I’d suggest you give a phone number to one person who has permission to contact you with only dire emergencies. You need at least one week a year to disconnect.
  • Don’t feel pressure to reply to emails instantly. I like all emails returned, won’t be slave to them.
  • Protect at least one night a week for dates or family nights. Explain that Monday or Thursday or whatever is the one night you protect. When someone asks for counseling or a wedding rehearsal on that night, don’t do it.
  • Be willing to say “no.” As a pastor who loves people, you’ll say “yes” to many invitations. Don’t be afraid to occasionally or often say “no.” Don’t feel pressure to give an explanation. A simple, “No, I’m sorry, but I can’t make it” is enough.

Ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. Set the boundaries that will help you go the distance.

What are your thoughts?


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categories: communication, culture
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May 21st, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

I’d Like to Honor

These week we’ve been talking about honor. I’d like to honor a few people:

My wife: Amy is my best friend and the woman who gave me six children. She is the most godly person I know. I love her and honor her with all my heart.

My parents: My mom and dad were unbelievable parents. They always told me that God was with me and with him I could do anything I dreamed of doing. I believed them. I honor my parents.

My pastor: Nick Harris took a chance on me when I was twenty-two years old. He taught me more about God’s word than I could have learned in ten years of seminary. I honor my pastor.

My staff: I’m grateful to my staff members who serve sacrificially and faithfully. I’m especially thankful to Jerry Hurley, Sam Roberts, Kevin Penry, and Bobby Gruenewald. These men have served with me for over ten years. They are the leadership strength behind our church.

My church: The people at are willing to try anything. They are evangelistic, faithful, and more generous than any people I’ve ever met. I hope to serve them for my whole life.

My savior: I honor Jesus, the one who died so I could live. Without him, I’d have nothing. With him, I have everything that matters.

Feel free to honor anyone you would like to…


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categories:, communication, leadership, vision
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April 16th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Code: Keeping it Brief

As we started to write out our values, we had more material than we could include. We wanted to keep The Code short enough that people could take it all in and remember relevant points during the course of ministry. Who says 13 is an unlucky number?

10)    We always bring our best. Excellence honors God and inspires people.

11)    The only constant in our ministry is change. God is always doing a new thing. Why we do what we do never changes. How we do it must change.

12)    We don’t recruit volunteers; we release leaders. Volunteers do good things but leaders change the world.

13)    We’re living in the “good old days.” We’re thankful for God’s blessings today and expect even more tomorrow.


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April 15th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Code: Writing the Unwritten

Instead of relying on unwritten rules to communicate our culture, we took the time to document them. None of these values are new. Bit by bit, they were woven into our conversations, meetings, and events. But having them written down allows us to communicate them effectively to new leaders and serves as a reminder and inspiration to our current leaders.

Here are a few more, and I’ll share the remaining ones tomorrow.

6)    We will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. To reach people no one is reaching, we’ll have to do things no one is doing.

7)    We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive.

8)    We will laugh hard, loud and often. Nothing is more fun than serving God with people you love!

9)    We will be known for what we are for, not what we’re against. There are already enough jerks in the world.

How do you communicate your church’s values?


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