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: 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 www.catalystoneday.com 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: 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 LifeChurch.tv 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: culture
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May 20th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Root of All Dishonor

The reason our culture is dishonoring is because people aren’t honoring God.

We are treating God as common or ordinary.

God is not the “big guy in the sky” or the “man upstairs.” He is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.

Jesus is not our “homeboy.” He is the risen and soon-returning King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

In Isaiah 29:13, The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

It’s time we stop giving God lip service and give him the honor He is due.

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categories: church, culture
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May 19th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Honoring Your Church Leaders

1 Timothy 5:17 says, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

Remember, to dishonor is to treat as common or ordinary. To honor is to highly esteem, to build up.

I remember a time when a church asked me to consult with them. For many years, they had been in decline. I was happy to meet with their pastor and elders to hear their story.

Each time the pastor spoke, the elders talked over him and brushed off his comments as meaningless. The longer the meeting carried on, the more obvious their problem became to me.

When they asked me what I thought, I’m sure they expected me to tell them to change the style of their service or add a Saturday night service, etc.

Instead, I told them that their number one problem was that they were dishonoring their pastor. Immediately, the elders became defensive. It wasn’t until I quoted their words and demonstrated what they had done that they realized their lack of honor.

I explained that I didn’t expect God to bless their church until they trusted and believed in the one God had put there to lead them. On the spot, they sincerely repented to their pastor. Four years later, this church has almost doubled in size.

Showing honor obviously isn’t the key to growth. But a lack of honor certainly doesn’t help. As my church honors me as the God-appointed leader, I feel a deeper sense of urgency to hear from God and do what pleases Him.

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categories: culture
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May 18th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

To Highly Esteem

In our current series at LifeChurch.tv called Forgotten Virtues, the first message I taught was on “Honor.” If you are interested, you can view it here.

When Jesus said a prophet is without honor in his hometown, the Greek word he used was “atimos” (pronounced at’-ee’-mos). It means to dishonor, to treat as common or ordinary.

The word translated as honor from Greek is the word “time” (prounounced tim-may’). It means to value or highly esteem. This word means to treat as precious, weighty or valuable.

Applied to our daily lives, we could say:

  • Honor builds up. Dishonor tears down.
  • Honor believes the best. Dishonor believes the worst.
  • Honor values. Dishonor devalues.

If you want a common marriage, dishonor your spouse. Treat him or her as ordinary. If you want an exceptional marriage, highly esteem your spouse. Treat him or her as precious or valuable.

You might say, “But he isn’t acting honorably.”

Remember, respect is earned, but honor is given. If you treat someone with honor even though they haven’t earned it, they might start behaving honorably.

Romans 12:10 in the ESV says, Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” (Emphasis mine)

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categories: culture
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May 17th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

A Culture of Honor

When I travel to different countries, I always ask my friend who has traveled to well over 100 countries, what do I need to know about showing honor?

For example, when we ministered in Korea, my friend told me to

  • Always bring a gift to offer
  • Hand it with two hands not one
  • Embrace my right forearm with my left hand when shaking hands.

These are simple ways to show honor in Korea.

After learning from him about several different countries, I asked, “How would you advise me to show honor if I was visiting the United States from another country?” He laughed as he told me, “I wouldn’t have to tell you anything because most people don’t care about showing honor in our country.”

His comment made me think. Have we become (for the most part) a culture without honor?

When Jesus returned home, people were offended by him and treated him as a commoner. Jesus said, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” Mark 6:4

Verse 5 and 6 said, “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their lack of faith. Mark 6:5-6

Notice the Bible doesn’t say he “would” not, but “could” not do any miracles.

I wonder if our “lack of honor” to God and His people is limiting what could happen in our churches. What do you think?

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