categories: church, church online, community, staff, team, technology
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December 9th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Online All Staff Meeting

We had our first online “All Staff Meeting” this week. Several people were asking how we did it, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts.

HOW? We used our church online platform at

WHY? Since our staff is spread out, bringing them together is costly, time consuming, and challenging. We hoped an online event would provide us with the opportunity to communicate, inspire and motivate.

In addition to simply receiving information, the staff had the additional benefit of talking to each other through the online chat.

SURPRISES: None of us had any idea how much fun we’d have. I was laughing out loud much of the time at the hilarious chatting. The staff was buzzing with excitement the day after the meeting.

When we asked people to get serious, they did quickly. The corporate worship was powerful and the prayer time was deeply moving.

We will continue to meet together in person and do an online event once or twice a year when it makes sense. Here is a short clip from the meeting.

If any staff members would like to add some thoughts about your experience, please do.


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categories: encouragement, leadership, staff
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June 28th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Swerve Favorites: An Outsider’s Words Often Mean More

[Repost from October 22, 2008]

I see it as one of my biggest roles to encourage and strengthen our staff.

Almost every time we gather, I remind them they are part of something special. But no matter how often I say it, it doesn’t mean as much as when an outsider tells them.

We’ve been blessed to have Dr. Sam Chand, Chris Hodges, Perry Noble, Steven Furtick, Jentzen Franklin, and Bill Hybels speak to our staff.

Each time, I promise you they say things very similar to what I often say, but when they say it, it means so much more!

  • Invite the youth pastor from the other side of town to speak to your youth leaders.
  • Call another worship leader to lead your choir in worship.
  • Ask a neighboring pastor to speak to your volunteers.

Leverage the voice of friends to lift those around you in a way that you can’t.

How have you observed this in your life or ministry?

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categories:, hiring, staff
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January 18th, 2010

by Craig Groeschel

Executive Assistant

After almost eight years, my assistant, Sarah McLean, is transitioning to a new role on our staff team.

If you are interested in knowing more about the executive assistant position available, please click here.

Feel free to send a resume and a short video describing why you might be a good fit for this position. If you choose to submit a one to two minute video, just use a webcam and a service like Vimeo and send the link to

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categories:, communication, development, leadership, staff, team, time management, working together
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November 2nd, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Letting Go of Control

To move forward, you often have to let go of something significant.

Too often, what we hold tightly keeps us from following God’s promptings toward something new.

This week I’ll write about a few things leaders need to let go. We’ll start with control.

Too many leaders try to control too much. Our perceived need to control is one of the greatest limiting factors to what God wants to do.

When we control everything:

  • We train people to do what they are told rather than think.
  • We build followers instead of leaders.
  • We put a lid on our ministries.
  • We put our faith in our abilities to manage rather than in God and other people.

What are you controlling that you need to let go of?


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categories: Uncategorized, innovation, leadership, staff
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October 21st, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

Small Explosions

Next week, I’ll be traveling to Chicago with several members of my team for the Cultivate 09 Conference.

While we’re there, Terry Storch and I will be talking about combustion engines…sort of. Actually, we’ll be discussing the idea that the same principles that propel an engine can also build momentum for your team.

Small explosions, or really a carefully timed series of small explosions, are what make an engine run. To create thrust on our teams, we need to figure out how to mix the right ingredients at the right time.

What are the right ingredients? A great idea. A great team. Appropriate autonomy and empowerment. Intensity.  Short term scope with high expectations.

There have been times when we’ve drastically shortened the scope for a given project, and in turn have experienced dramatic results. By focusing on what can be accomplished in a short period of time, we’re able to tackle those pieces and then move on (quickly) to the next thing.

Is there a project or idea you’ve been putting off because it’s just too much? What can be done in two weeks?  How about one week?


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categories:, hiring, relationships, staff
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July 30th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Disadvantages of Hiring From Outside

Some of this is repetitive from earlier posts this week. In many ways, I’m saying the same thing from a different perspective. Even though these thoughts are similar, I think they are worth addressing again.

The disadvantages of hiring from outside your ministry include:

  1. Cultural risks. Just because someone is successful ministering at one place, does not guarantee they will be successful at another. The cultural and value differences are often difficult to discern in an interview.
  2. Hurt Relationships. If you hire from other ministries, you can put a strain on ministry friendships. We must be careful to hire with integrity.
  3. Family risks. When someone uproots their family and moves to another city, state, or country, there are many factors involved besides the giftedness of the pastor. We’ve hired effective staff from other churches, but the spouses and children never settled in and kept their ministry relationship from working long-term.

Please share from your experience.


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categories: leadership, staff, team
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June 10th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

On Leading Up: Do Well With What You Have

The easiest way to lead up is to do a great job with what you’ve been entrusted with.  I’ve known several people who are confused about why their great idea or new project/plan is seemingly being ignored by their leaders. Regardless of how insightful the idea might be, it’s hard to give more influence or receive significant input from those who are not being responsible with what they have been given. I know my ability to lead up or have influence can be significantly reduced if I’m not leading well in my areas of responsibility.

Have you faced seasons where it’s been difficult to do well with what you’ve been given? How did you work through that time? What was the outcome?


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categories: leadership, staff
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June 9th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

On Leading Up: In Their Shoes

In every leadership role I’ve held, I’ve had to make decisions that others did not agree with and did not understand. In hindsight, not all of those decisions were the best, and in a few cases would have been better if I had heeded more of the input from those who worked with me. So why didn’t I take their advice? I wasn’t sure they appreciated all of the factors that I had to weigh in making the decision. I also didn’t think they fully understood the potential consequences of a bad decision, or how those would affect me.

Those experiences have helped me in leading up (or having influence with other decision makers). Sometimes it’s easy to think the key to influencing a decision is for your leader to understand your perspective, but it is much more important for you to spend your energy trying to understand their perspective. Doing so will help you build trust and give better input.

Can you share some ways you’ve found to better understand your leader’s perspective?


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