categories: Uncategorized, development, personal, time management
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July 6th, 2011

by Craig Groeschel

The Imaginary Deadline

For years I struggled with managing my time effectively. One tool I learned that dramatically increased my effectiveness is the “imaginary deadline.”

If I’ve got a project without a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate or work halfheartedly. When an assignment has a hard deadline, I start faster, work smarter and focus better.

  • Instead of thinking, I need to have my sermon finished before I preach this weekend, I have a Wednesday-at-noon deadline. It’s not anyone else’s deadline. It’s mine.
  • Rather than saying this video needs to be finished by next week, I complete all videos by Wednesday at 2 pm. Again, this is my deadline.
  • Instead of deciding to read my Bible plan some time during the day, I have mine read before I leave my house.

These are all imaginary deadlines. But when I treat them as real, my productivity and efficiency increase.

I’d love to hear from you if you do something similar.


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categories:, Resources, development
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October 28th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Chazown Experience

Life Church is excited to announce a FREE online teaching experience called The Chazown Experience. This course can be used in small groups, churches or retreats, or individually online.

It includes six video teaching sessions, a study guide, and facilitator guide with small group discussion questions and activities, all downloadable for FREE.

All of the resources you need can be found at:

The Chazown Experience is the perfect complement to the book Chazown. These are available at 1/2 off by the case. Contact if you are interested.


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categories: church, development, events, marketing
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May 5th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Almost Ready Event

When launching a new anything, most people want it to be perfect. Opening before it is perfect is often better than waiting for perfection.

One of my friends opened a yogurt store before he had signs, pictures, or decorations. Instead of a cool clock on the wall, he put up a piece of paper with “clock” written on it.

My friend greeted everyone that came in and explained how they were his special guests. The store has taken off—and they still don’t have the clock up.

In church, people love to be in on the ground floor. The sound system doesn’t have to be perfect. All of the walls don’t have to be painted. The carpet might not even be laid.

When launching a new program, it might not need a logo, a room, or an agenda. Sometimes a vision an the right leader may be all you need to start.

If everything is done, people don’t get to contribute to or enjoy the process.

Even if everything is not perfect, God can still work through a mess.


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categories: church, culture, development
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May 4th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Hold Off On Organizing

When any ministry is starting or suddenly experiences growth, most people want to organize it and immediately put systems in place. While over time you’ll be wise to do both; in the beginning, I prefer to enjoy the chaos.

As a leader, you can maximize the chaos and use it to your advantage. Since it is more than you planned for, it’s not a bad idea to tell people with excitement, “Wow! God grossly exceeded our expectations!”

Instead of apologizing that the parking is tight, the classes are full, or that people are standing in the aisles, it’s great to enthusiastically say, “Thank God for what he is doing!”

Instead of trying to figure out how to handle the growth, work with it. For example, on our newest campus, we opened the doors with two services. One the first week, we made an audible to add two more, totaling four.

Do you think it was chaotic going from two to four services in one week? Absolutely. It was wonderfully chaotic. Everything wasn’t perfect. But no one was expecting perfection.

Somehow it simply felt like a “blessed mess.”


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categories: development, mentoring, personal
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April 1st, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Meeting

Once you establish your own personal board of directors, I’d suggest you meet as a group one to three times a year.

(I’ve done this with individual mentors but never had them all together. I’ll be doing it this year.)

If a meeting in person doesn’t work, you might try some form of conference call.

I’ve already got a list of personal questions to ask my board.

What is one question you’d ask?


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categories: church, development, mentoring
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March 31st, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

The Missing Board Member

For years, we had church members and staff members serving on Life Church’s board. Once we decided to add other senior pastors, our board became increasingly effective.

If you are developing your own personal board, it could be that you are missing an important person.

Perhaps you are missing:

  • A spiritual mentor—The spiritual mentor is one who has walked with Christ longer than you and can help you grow deeper.
  • A financial adviser—Even if you are good with money, you’d be wise to seek advice from someone who is great.
  • A futurist—All of us need someone who can help us see and create our futures.
  • A barrier remover—Some people have the ability to help remove obstacles from our path.
  • A connector—Most valuable relationships I have today came from an introduction from a friend. Most of my most strategic ministry friendships can be traced back to a few connectors.
  • A spouse—Even though you might be married, you may not be taking advice from your spouse. If you aren’t, start!

Who is missing? What are you going to do about it?

Who is missing at your table?


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categories: development, mentoring, personal
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March 30th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Your Informal Board

Marcus Buckingham implied that all of us have an informal board of directors (“informal” is my phrase, not his). These are the people who regularly speak into our lives (although they may or may not even know it).

  • Some people are helpful. Others are not.
  • Some propel us forward. Others hold us back.
  • Some are objective. Others are dangerously biased.

The people closest to us will often determine our destiny.

Who currently serves on your informal board? Do they know the important role they play in your life?


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categories: communication, development, mentoring, personal
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March 29th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Your Personal Board of Directors

Life Church has a board of directors to oversee the affairs of the church. This board is comprised of three pastors, three lay people, and five staff members. Each person brings a unique set of gifts and perspectives that are invaluable for our church.

Recently I heard both Marcus Buckingham and Ken Blanchard talk about establishing your own personal board of directors. Instead of just inviting great leaders to speak into your church or ministry, why not establish a board to meet regularly to speak into your life?

This week I’ll write about developing your own personal board of directors.

If you currently do this, I’d love to hear from you.


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