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: church, development, leadership, team, vision
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November 24th, 2009

by Bobby Gruenewald

Following the Recipe

It’s not unusual for ministries to take a close look at other churches. Often, they’re in search of the recipe for success.

It’s great that churches can learn from each other. Our church has certainly been helped by it, and we hope other churches have found value in what we’ve been able to offer.

But there’s something important to keep in mind as we study others. We have to realize we have different ingredients.

When you do the same things as Ministry X, you can’t assume you’ll get the same results. God has given you and your team unique talents, resources, and vision to reach your community.

We’re better off building a recipe that takes into account the ingredients we have.

What are some key ingredients for your church?


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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: development, leadership, mentoring, relationships, team
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September 28th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Developing a Leadership Culture

One of the most important things we can do in our ministries is develop a strong culture of leadership. Too many pastors hope to find great leaders. In most cases, great leaders are built, not found.

Rather than searching for a developed leader, I like to search for a developing one. Those with more future potential than past success are often the hungriest and most willing to learn.

Average leaders look for great leaders. Truly great leaders find and develop other great leaders. This week, we’ll talk about developing a leadership culture.

What are you learning?


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categories: church, hiring, leadership, team
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July 31st, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Final Thoughts on Hiring from Inside or Out

While some of our best staff members have come from other churches, I am still heavily biased to hire from within. Our rate of success in raising up leaders from our church outweighs bringing them in from other churches.

While many staff from other churches sell out to the vision, for some it is just another job. I don’t want to fill roles with people doing a job. I want people obsessed with a mission. Those from within are usually more prone to give their lives to the mission.

We’ll continue to look for the best everywhere. To me, it is always more fun when you recognize those God has put in your local body and equip them to do more than they ever thought possible.


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categories: church, hiring, leadership, team
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July 29th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

Hiring From Other Ministries

Hiring From Other Ministries

When done with integrity, hiring from other ministries can be a big win for everyone involved.

The advantages include:

  1. Observing a proven ministry track record. When hiring from within, there are many ministry unknowns. Those who have served somewhere else in ministry have often honed their gifts and have a proven track record to observe, minimizing some of the risks.
  2. Deeper biblical knowledge. This isn’t always true, but when someone is trained by a strong seminary or has served for years under a great Bible teacher, they are often more theologically grounded than a lay person.
  3. Placing under-challenged leaders in a place to maximize their gifts. If a gifted leader isn’t fulfilled, he or she can be a huge blessing to another ministry when they are allowed to fully use their gifts and passions to make a difference.

More tomorrow on the disadvantages. What are your thoughts?


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categories: church, culture, leadership, team
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July 28th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

The Down-side of Hiring From Within

Although there are many advantages of hiring staff from within the church, there are some potential challenges as well. Here is my short list:

  1. They often have limited ministry experience. Even though they are gifted and passionate, it is still a big step to move from corporate life to ministry life. Those from other churches likely have experience preaching, visiting the sick, officiating funerals or weddings, etc. Those from within are often very “green” and generally need a lot of development in ministry basics.
  2. If it doesn’t work out, it is generally more painful for everyone. If you hire from within, chances are you did so because you know and love the person. If they don’t succeed, moving or removing them can be costly on many levels.
  3. It can be hard on families. Because the rhythms and schedule of local church ministry are so unusual, those transitioning from the business world to ministry often struggle. The differences can be especially hard on spouses and children.

Jump in…



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categories: culture, leadership, team, working together
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July 27th, 2009

by Craig Groeschel

The Benefits of Hiring from Within

When building a staff team, you have two basic choices:

  1. Raise up staff from within
  2. Hire from other churches

In the early years of Life Church, we hired almost exclusively from within. Over the years we expanded more to bringing in gifted and godly staff members from other churches or ministries. (85% of our current staff members have come from within our church family.)

This week, I’d love to dialog with you about the benefits and down-sides of each.

Let’s start with the benefits of hiring from within. I’ll list what I think are the big four:

  1. You develop a culture of leadership development. When people see lay people excelling and growing into staff members, it naturally produces a leadership culture. Instead of bringing in the “professionals” from other churches, it promotes equipping and raising the local body.
  2. People already understand your culture. When you bring someone in, it is always questionable whether or not they can catch the spirit and fit into the culture of your ministry.
  3. People are generally more loyal to the vision. Those who come from within are generally more loyal to the vision. Rather than being another rung on their ministry ladder, most who come from within see your ministry as a life calling.
  4. They can bring huge life experience. Those who have been successful in non-ministry roles can bring a wealth of wisdom from their life’s learning into a local church.

There are plenty of more benefits. What are your thoughts?


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