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October 27th, 2010

by Bobby Gruenewald

Tackle Porn Addiction on Super Bowl Sunday

National Porn Sunday takes place next year on February 6, 2011, the same day as Super Bowl Sunday here in the U.S. This is a great opportunity to bring pornography addiction out in the open and reach people in your church with hope for healing. The event is free and offers a 30-minute message featuring Craig Gross along with several other professional football players speaking about the issue of pornography. When you register, you’ll receive a Porn Sunday Manual that will help your church prepare.

Craig Gross and the team at XXXchurch are great friends and are doing a fantastic job at equipping the Church to offer real help for people who are struggling with pornography. They partnered with us to host The Porn Event at Church Online earlier this year.

Now is a good time to start planning for National Porn Sunday, so check out the video below and then sign up for free.

2011 Porn Sunday Trailer Promo from XXXchurch on Vimeo.

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January 27th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?—2

It might be time to move when you and the leaders are in constant conflict.

All ministries have people in power: your senior pastor, the elders, your denominational leaders, or certain church members. If you’re constantly butting heads and you can’t agree on the ministry strategy, vision, or direction, you’ll likely want to wrestle with these questions:

  • Can the ministry structure/system/culture support what you feel called to do?
  • Are you the right person to bring about the changes?
  • Do you have the right idea but you’re at the wrong place?
  • Could it be that you have the wrong idea?
  • Will the (possible) results be worth the cost to move forward?
  • Are you spiritually and relationally strong enough to endure the pain of progress?
  • Are you willing to risk your job to move the ministry forward?
  • Are you seeing more spiritual fruit this year than last year?
  • If you didn’t work at your church, would you worship there?

If you’re repeatedly facing battles and the “spiritual bloodshed” exceeds the “spiritual benefit,” you have two options:

  1. Make the best of your current assignment with a genuinely submissive and supportive heart.
  2. Acknowledge you’ve done all you can do at your current place and be open to a new ministry.

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November 29th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Spiritual Esteem 4 (of 4)

I’m fairly certain I read the following thoughts somewhere. (I found these in an old journal, but I didn’t note the source. This sounds like something Tim Keller would say, but I’m not sure if it was him, my adaption of his words, or someone else.)

Let’s contrast false-esteem and spiritual-esteem:

False-Esteem: I do good things, therefore God accepts me.
Spiritual-Esteem: I’m accepted because of what Jesus did for me, therefore I do good things.

False-Esteem: I try hard, so God loves me.
Spiritual-Esteem: God loves me radically, so I try hard.

False-Esteem: I produce, therefore God is pleased.
Spiritual-Esteem: God is pleased with me in Christ, therefore He produces through me.

False-Esteem: Self is the center.
Spiritual-Esteem: God is the center.

What is the biggest thing God has shown you this week through this series of posts?

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November 28th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Spiritual-Esteem 3 (of 4)

high-five-2.jpg

Self-esteem puts more focus on self than on Christ.

For me, to have a strong self-esteem:

  • I acquire an ungodly competitive spirit, measuring success against other ministries.
  • I become easily threatened.
  • I become hypercritical of others.
  • I’ll manipulate things for the “win.”
  • I perform for people rather than for God.

Spiritual-esteem (being esteemed by Christ rather than people) empowers me to:

  • Cheer for other ministries and partner with them to reach people for Christ.
  • Be secure with what God is doing through me (or not doing through me).
  • Defend other ministers rather than criticize.
  • Live with integrity.
  • Live for God’s pleasure and approval.

God, may we never strive for a strong self-esteem. Empower us to find all our worth in You, Your truth, and Your name.

How are you growing in spiritual esteem?

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November 26th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Spiritual-Esteem 1 (of 4)

self-esteem.jpg

When people talk about “esteem,” it usually has “self” before it. I’ve heard some say that to be successful in ministry, one has to have a good self-esteem. I’d argue for another kind of esteem that I call “spiritual-esteem.”

I’ll define spiritual esteem this way: To find our identity in Christ, not ourselves, our performance, or our ministry.

In ministry, we often find our worth in one of two things:

  • What we’ve accomplished.
  • What people think about us.

For years, I rode an emotional roller coaster.

If someone said, “Good sermon,” I felt good about myself.
If someone said, “That wasn’t your best sermon,” I felt lousy.

If attendance was strong, I felt successful.
If attendance dropped, I felt like a loser.

If the weekend giving was strong, I had confidence.
If the weekend giving was weak, I lived in fear.

No amount of “self-esteem” could fix my problem. I needed (and still need) true spiritual esteem. I need to know “who I am in Christ” and find my security in Him alone.

You are not what you did, what you do, or what you are going to do. You are who Christ says you are.

In what areas of your life do you need better “spiritual esteem?”

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September 7th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Thoughts from an Assistant 4 (of 4)

All for His Glory

Sometimes being a servant doesn’t seem that glamorous, but it’s a matter of perspective. Jesus tells us in Mark 10:45 that “He did not come to be served, but to serve…” Like Jesus, we’re all called to serve. As church leaders, you’re called to serve the church. As your assistants, we’re called to serve you. It’s an honor.

Things at Life are constantly changing, and we move at a very fast pace. With everything going on, it can be overwhelming at times. We can start to become consumed with all the projects, or with trying to please those around us. In the midst of the busyness, we can lose sight of who we’re really working for and why we’re here.

When I start to drift that way, I stop and remind myself that I’m a child of God, living to bring glory to Him. It’s only about Him. Through His grace I have the ultimate gift… eternal life. I’m blessed to work in a place where I get to work every day serving such an influential person in God’s Kingdom.

I’ve found comfort in knowing Christ is the only one I need to worry about. I work for Him. Paul told us in Ephesians “to serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…”

It can be hard serving sometimes. Please remember to encourage and appreciate your assistant.

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September 6th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Thoughts from an Assistant 3 (of 4)

Behind the Scenes

So, you want some dirt on Craig?… just kidding!

Honestly, there’s not a lot to tell. Behind the scenes, Craig’s a normal guy. He struggles with the same things we all struggle with.

Most people think he’s a man of steel, but he can be emotional, too. He’s been known to tear up on occasion. His heart truly breaks for people to know Jesus in an intimate way.

With his permission, I’ll share some things that challenge him:

  • He wonders if his messages are impacting people.
  • The thought of leading a large church can be very overwhelming.
  • Even though he’s been preaching for seventeen years, he still gets nervous getting up in front of everyone on the weekends.
  • When I first started working for him, he would freak out pretty easy if things didn’t work out the way he was expecting. But he’s worked hard to think before responding. Now he rarely freaks out. He’s learned to process through his emotions better.
  • It’s frustrating to him that he can’t go out to dinner with his family without someone stopping him.
  • Being the leader of our church, people are inclined to agree with his thoughts. He truly seeks genuine input from others and is not afraid to be told when he’s wrong (which isn’t often. :) )

Just for fun…

  • His favorite thing to eat is all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet.
  • He likes to see how loud he can burp.
  • He likes to give people nicknames.
  • He’s got “mad” nunchuck skills. (seriously)
  • Don’t hold it against him if his clothes don’t match—he’s color blind.
  • He likes to play tennis, workout, our bike ride as a stress reliever.
  • He loves to read Nancy Drew books to his kids.
  • He loves to take his wife, Amy, to Bed and Breakfasts.

All in all, he’s human, just like us. He has bad days, just like you and me. We all need grace.

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September 5th, 2007

by Craig Groeschel

Thoughts from an Assistant 2 (of 4)

Communication

Sarah writes… 

To be an effective assistant, it’s imperative to have good communication.

Thankfully, Craig understands the importance of clear expectations as well as making time with me a priority. I’ve known several assistants who have a hard time meeting with their senior pastor. Over time, Craig and I have adopted a system that works very effectively for us.

We’re both list-makers, so we normally start each day with downloading what’s on the “to-do” list. He keeps a list of what he needs to do, and I keep a master list of his tasks and mine. Throughout the day, we’re talking back and forth. At the end of the day, we’ll meet before he leaves to review the list again. We’ll discuss what’s been accomplished and what still remains. Since Craig has so many things on his mind, wrap-around communication helps him breathe a little easier, knowing that things are taken care of.

One of the most important things I do for Craig is listen. He’s obviously very creative, so a lot of our time is spent brainstorming ideas. He asks a lot of questions, too. In addition to listening, I give him feedback. During his sermon preparation, he likes to talk the message out, to see what works and what doesn’t. Just hearing it out loud makes a huge difference, as well as hearing a woman’s perspective. I tell him what I think is most effective. This process really helps him tighten the message.

Another part of my role is confidentiality. It’s essential in my position to ensure that information is not discussed or divulged to third parties. Craig and Amy are comfortable sharing things with me because they know they can trust me. It’s vital to surround yourself with people you trust. This cultivates a healthy work environment.

Healthy work environments breed productivity, peace, and fun. We work hard, but we have fun, too. It’s not uncommon for Craig to pull out the remote controlled fart machine.

I’d love to hear how you cultivate good communication with your assistant.

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