categories: church, community, future, global church, global culture, relationships
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February 18th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Missional Ministry

If you plan to reach the next generation for Christ, don’t ask them to believe what you believe, instead invite them to do what you do.

Beliefs are a dime a dozen. This generation has seen every variety of spiritual beliefs you could imagine (and many you couldn’t imagine).

They’re extremely turned off by people who don’t live what they claim to believe.

This generation doesn’t want to hear about what you believe. They want to see your beliefs in actions. And if you’re daring enough to live like Jesus, you’ll have a shot at reaching the next generation.

  • If your version of Christianity is limited to what you’re against, you’ll not likely reach many.
  • If, on the other hand, your faith is so alive you must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and love the outcasts—all in the name of Christ, the King, you will attract interest.

As strange as it might sound, if you truly live a missional and Spirit filled life, the young generation might join you and do what you do, then one day believe what you believe.

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categories: church, communication, community, future, global church, global culture, relationships
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February 16th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

The Next Generation

A lot of people believe the next generation will be very difficult to reach with the Gospel. I disagree. From my perspective, the coming generation is positioned to be reached and shaped for Kingdom greatness. Let’s build a foundation for our discussion on reaching the next generation.

Here are a few of my observations of the coming generation:

  • Their world is smaller and their perspective is broader. Because of technology, most have been raised with a global mindset. My best friend lived across the street. Their best friend might live across the ocean.
  • They have a wider definition of “friends”. To me a friend was someone you spent time with and confided in. Today a friend can be someone you may not have ever met before they clicked on your Facebook page and asked to be your friend.
  • They’re more experiential. Most in my generation were into accumulating possessions. Many of the younger generation are into accumulating experiences. I read about other countries in school. Many in this generation have visited the countries I read about.
  • Most have been under-challenged. Many in this generation have been given much yet they’ve been challenged little. They have more potential than most realize.
  • Their world is gray. I was raised believing in absolute truth. Many in the up- coming generation believe truth is relative. “What is true for me may not be true for you.”
  • They’re searching for a cause. This generation is looking for something (anything) worthwhile to live for. When they find a cause, they’ll go to extreme measures to make a difference.

When you put all these differences together, I see a generation ready to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

What are your thoughts? What differences do you see in genearations? (If it is helpful, you might mention your age.)

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, church, global church, global culture, leadership, personal
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January 14th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Responsibility Versus Freedom

Pastor, people are watching you!

One of your challenges may be learning to walk the fine line between responsibility and freedom.

  • I pray you have the freedom to make decisions that are best for God’s Kingdom, your family, and your ministry.
  • I pray you will feel the responsibility to make wise decisions and be a righteous example.

For example, can a pastor drink alcohol? Clearly it is not a sin to drink (although it is to get drunk). In some parts of the world, a pastor drinking is acceptable and expected. In other parts, many frown on it.

A wise pastor will ask important questions: Could I cause others to stumble? Would it matter if everyone knows? Even though this is okay, is it best?

Your answers will vary. Before you act, wrestle with responsibility versus freedom.

Another example… What kind of car should a pastor drive? Should he drive an expensive car proving the goodness of God? Should he drive a moderate car showing good stewardship? Should he drive a clunker because his treasure is not in this world? (Side note: Many pastors around the world will never own a car.)

Your answers will vary widely… and probably should. Before you act, wrestle with responsibility verse freedom.

Paul said everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial (See 1 Cor. 6:12).

I’d love to dialog about some of the issues you’re wrestling with. How are you handling them?

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categories: global culture, one prayer
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May 7th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

One Prayer Pastors: Greg Surratt

We caught wind that Greg and his team from Seacoast Church (one church with multiple locations in the east) were wrapping up their One Prayer message yesterday.

(Don’t forget — the deadline for submitting messages is next Monday, May 12!)

We asked Greg to share his heart about One Prayer.

gregsurratt_06.jpgWhat are some of the great things God is doing in your church?
God is continuing to give us opportunities to reach more people for Christ, which is encouraging to me as we celebrate our 20th year as a church. This month, we will open our 13th campus and will be using an “all-video” model. This will be our first campus with video worship elements. It’s an experiment that we have wanted to try for a while as it broadens the ability to open campuses in smaller more rural communities. God is also using our study of the book of Luke to really help people become fully-devoted to Him. We have been a largely “topical” church for 19 years, but over the last year I have found that studying a book of the Bible for a concentrated time has really been beneficial to our teaching team as well as our church. We kicked off the new year by joining LifeChurch.tv (via video) and had Craig Groeschel teach on the Authority of the Bible.

Why are you excited about participating in One Prayer?
The multi-site video approach has really changed a lot about how church is done. It has broken down barriers to growth and I think it has been a good thing for the body of Christ. However, one thing that has concerned me is that there could be some unhealthy competitive juices flowing as we see another church as an “opponent” that may could come into “my town”. I think that One Prayer will help in some ways to squash that as we remember that we are all on the same team, serving the same God and using the same resources as effectively as possible to reach more people. I am also just pumped to get to have some of the speakers come to Seacoast for free!!!

What is your one prayer for the Church that you will be teaching on?
“Lord make us obedient.” I’m going to look at the story of Peter’s miserable fishing trip in Luke 5 and what it took for him to come to “but because you say so” obedience. God used a “no fish moment” in his life to teach him the rewards of passionate obedience. I hope it will help all of us to recognize those moments in our lives and make the right call.

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categories: global church, global culture, one prayer
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May 5th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Una Oración… en Español (One Prayer… in Spanish)

OnePrayer.com is now in Spanish!

una-oracion.jpgChurches in more than 15 countries are participating in One Prayer, including several whose primary language is Spanish. We also know that we will have some Spanish messages contributed.

Does this mean that all of the messages will be available in Spanish? No! Only the ones that are submitted in Spanish. If you are submitting a message and have the capability of doing both English and Spanish — go for it! :)

We are very excited because we know that church unity isn’t just an English or an American thing. It knows no bounds…not even language!

So, if you know any pastors with Spanish congregations, please send them over to http://unaoracion.com

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categories: global church, global culture, working together
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April 1st, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Update from Rwanda

rwanda.jpgI’m having a great experience in Rwanda and wanted to thank you for all of your prayers.

If you never been to Rwanda…it is an absolutely beautiful country that has risen from horrible genocide to a country full of hope.

The people are amazing and so kind.

I’ve had a busy schedule since arriving…but here are some of the more significant events.

Sunday

  • 40 Days of Purpose stadium event - 20,000 people gathered for a kickoff rally for a national 40 Days of Purpose campaign that is endorsed by the President of Rwanda. It was awesome seeing ministry happen at a national level.

Monday

  • White House Faith-based and community initiatives round table - I had no idea at how many significant projects they are involved with. Talked with some of the White House staff and they believe that the “faith based” initiatives program will remain regardless of who becomes the next President.
  • Met President Paul Kagame - He is an amazing leader who has brought his country from a time of deep despair with the genocide to a country full of pride and hope. And…I didn’t just say that because guys with machine guns were standing beside me.
  • Visited the Genocide Memorial - Incredibly tragic…graphic…heartbreaking. 258,000 of the million people slaughtered in the genocide of 1994 are buried in mass graves at that memorial.

Tuesday

  • Traveled to the western province of Kibuye - Rwanda is tropical and probably the most beautiful and hilly terrain I’ve ever seen. It’s surprisingly well cultivated with banana and coffee crops. The people are beautiful and kind, but in great need. Many children run barefoot throughout the mountainous terrain with no parents.
  • Visited a hospital that is treating HIV/AIDS patients, Malaria and just about every illness. Part of the P.E.A.C.E. Plan initiative to connect the government and the private sector with the church to help reinvent healthcare in Rwanda.
  • Attended a multi-congregation church service (African-style) - Since multiple churches were a part, all of their choirs had to perform. It was great and not as long as I prepared myself for. I also had about a half dozen little kids all wrapped around my neck and sitting on my lap. It was great.

You can see some pics from the first couple of days on my Flickr…I’ll update with a bunch more when I get back to the city. You can also follow me on Twitter as I am updating it as the trip goes along.

Your prayers still appreciated as we seek to understand how God is leading us through these experiences.

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categories: church, global church, global culture
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March 25th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

London to Rwanda

I wanted to you to pray for a trip that I have this week.

I’ll be traveling to London tomorrow night with Kevin Penry and we’ll be visiting with several leaders (including the Byers family) over the next couple of days. Drop me an email if you are in the London area…I’d love to connect (even if just by phone) while I’m there.

Then, on Saturday morning, we will be flying from London to Kigali, Rwanda to join Rick Warren and a few other pastors. There is full agenda of events and meetings surrounding many of the initiatives that Rick is involved with through his PEACE plan. I am really looking forward to the trip, am praying that God would use it to expand our perspectives and learn more about how we can better assist and impact the Church worldwide.

I’d of course appreciate your prayers too.

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categories: communication, global church, global culture, technology
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January 21st, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

The Future is Mobile

Dr. Joel Selanikio had an interesting article on BBC News titled The Invisible Computer Revolution.What Dr. Selanikio discusses is the use of mobile phones in developing countries, as opposed to computer/laptop technology. Organizations like One Laptop Per Child are breaking new ground by providing children all over the world with access to education through inexpensive computers. However, with mobile phones already available globally, should we be developing for and utilizing that technology first?My friend Dave Browning from Christ the King Community Church noted that internet access in Africa is very limited, but almost everyone has a cell phone. He has been working to develop leadership training programs that can be delivered via SMS (text messaging).

From the article:

“The question we should be asking ourselves, then, is not “how can we buy, and support, and supply electricity for, a laptop for every schoolteacher” (much less every schoolchild), but rather “what mobile software can we write that would really add value for a schoolteacher (or student, or health worker, or businessperson) and that could run on the computer they already have in their pocket?”

I’d like to add “church leader, pastor, disciple, new believer, and person who doesn’t know Christ” to that list. There is a great opportunity for any of us who might invest ourselves to leverage mobile technology to train, develop, and/or reach people around the world. It will take more than just those of you that are technical or can program… it will take ideators, teachers, pastors, business people, financial contributors, translators, project managers, administrators, missionaries, and more. I don’t know what all of the applications should be, will be or even are. Are there any applications using mobile technology that you have seen being used to reach people for Christ? What are some that should be built?

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