categories: I'm curious, accountability, church, culture, leadership
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January 19th, 2012

by Craig Groeschel


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: leadership
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September 13th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Be Unreasonable!

I bet you have heard this many times… “Be reasonable.”

Truthfully, under many circumstances, “Be reasonable” is sound advice—but not always.

As Christian leaders, there are times to be unreasonable.

  • When you pray, you might ask God to do something most consider impossible or unreasonable. Pray unreasonable prayers.
  • When you seek God, He might lead you to do something others consider undoable. Empowered by God, do unreasonable things.
  • When you lead, some people might think you’re making unreasonable demands. Lead passionately and pull unreasonable results out of reasonable people.

Being unreasonable all the time would certainly be a mistake. But if you aren’t being unreasonable every now and then, you probably aren’t leading by faith.


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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: events, leadership
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August 18th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Free Leadership Conference Comes to You

seulfWe’re pleased to partner once again with Southeastern University and 316 Networks to make the 2010 National Leadership Forum available online for free. Craig will be joining gifted leaders like Andy Stanley, Brian Houston, Bill Hybels, Marcus  Buckingham and more during this two-day conference webcast happening on September 9-10. It’s a great opportunity to gather your team together for learning and inspiration—no travel necessary.

Free registration is required and space is filling up quickly, so sign up soon for this unique event and share it with your friends and co-workers!


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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: 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: encouragement, leadership
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June 30th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Swerve Favorites: Fasting from Church Stuff

[Repost from August 12, 2008]

For years I tried to be like other ministers. I listened to messages, attended conferences, and devoured every Christian book I could.

Each time I learned from a new leader, I tried to become more like them.

God led me to do something very different. (I don’t recommend this for you. I’m just sharing the story of what God led me to do.)

For an extended season, I stopped attending conferences, reading ministry books, and listening to others’ sermons. Instead of becoming like others, my goal was to become who God wanted me to become.

It was very difficult to cut myself off from learning from other people. During this season, I felt like God wanted me to learn directly from Him.

I still love to study and learn from other leaders, but this journey of intensely seeking God freed me to be me.


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categories: encouragement, leadership
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June 29th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Swerve Favorites: Spirit Led Instead of Model Driven

[Repost from August 13, 2008]

Many pastors copy models.

There is the “seeker sensitive” model, the “purpose driven” model, the “emergent church” model, the “contemporary church” model, the “spirit-filled classic charismatic” model, the “small group” model, the “multi-site” model, the “missional inner-city” model, the “dream center” model, and the list could go on and on.

Each of those models and the leaders who practice them have contributed a ton to the Kingdom.

Rather than copying the latest model that moves you, I suggest you let the Spirit of God direct your ministry based on the values, gifts, and people God gives you.

  • What are YOU passionate about?
  • What has God put in YOU?
  • What needs can God use YOU to meet?
  • What breaks YOUR heart?
  • What are YOU uniquely equipped and called to do?

Even if you learn from another model, make it your own. Adapt it for your community. Improve on it. Tweak it. Take it up two notches.

Don’t copy models as much as you follow what God leads you to do.


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