categories: church, global church, working together
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April 8th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

One Prayer…Wow!

Last week, we announced a vision for a way that churches could unite together called One Prayer. If you missed it, be sure to take a look at this video from Craig that talks about the vision for it. You can also watch this instructional video if you are interested in submitting a message.

Our team is completely blown away by the response we have received so far from the Church community to One Prayer. We are VERY VERY close to launching a website that will allow churches to sign-up, see who is participating, find tools to share one prayer with other pastors, get answers to many of the questions that you have, and more.

Since announcing it just a week ago, we have had over 150 churches from 8 countries contact us directly to “sign-up”…and did I mention we haven’t even finished the website?:) Wow! I get pretty excited thinking about what God might begin to do when churches begin to work together as The Church. In addition to churches, we have had several organizations/publications/blogs offer to promote One Prayer for free.

Look tomorrow for a post about the official website launch. We’d would love to have every one of your churches involved…and we’ll need all of your help to get the word out to your networks of pastors and churches.

In one word…”wow!”

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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: I'm curious, accountability, communication, community, personal, relationships, working together
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April 1st, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

Ten Questions: Ministry Relationships

  1. Are the people closest to me in ministry lifting me higher or dragging me down?
  2. How have I intentionally developed the leaders around me in the past week?
  3. Am I speaking transparently with at least two other close trusted friends on a weekly basis?
  4. Am I submitting myself to the correction and coaching of at least two mentors?
  5. Am I holding a grudge against someone?
  6. Am I speaking well of other ministers?
  7. Am I falling for the temptation of comparing, complaining, criticizing or gossiping?
  8. Are my words and relationships characterized by words of faith or negativity?
  9. Do people enjoy being around me or am I often “down”?
  10. Have a made at least three new ministry friends in the last year?

Are any of these timely for you? What questions would you add on the subject?

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categories: church, working together
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March 31st, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Big Announcement: One Prayer

open-prayer-swerve.jpg

Craig has a burning vision to unite churches together. Today I’m very excited because it’s turned into an amazing concept that I believe will impact the Church in a big way.

Craig has put together a video to talk about it. Please watch it.

For more information, visit this webpage or email Lance Young with questions.

If you are interested in submitting a teaching video for others to use, watch this short instructional video message from Craig.

We’ll be providing extensive details on this next week, but I wanted to give you guys the heads up.

We have a long and growing list of churches and teachers that have already committed to take part in this series which we’ll share soon. We’ll also let you know how you can involve your church.

Much more soon!

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categories: communication, priorities, time management, working together
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March 24th, 2008

by Craig Groeschel

The Myth of the “Balanced Life”

One of the most common topics people ask me about is how I balance my life, family, and ministry.

My response is simple, “I don’t live a balanced life.

In my opinion, the balanced life is unachievable and unbiblical.

balance.jpgJesus didn’t call us to live a balanced life. He called us to follow Him.

While following Jesus, our life will often be out-of-balance. He may lead us on long stretches of ministry followed by a substantial season of rest. Ministry will rarely be predictable.

Some pastors are pursuing the illusive goal of the balanced life only to fail again and again.

  • Their marriages struggle.
  • Their ministries limp along.
  • They are spiritually exhausted.

This week, instead of talking about living balanced, we’ll look at how to be imbalanced in a way that honors God. Along the journey, I’ll share certain ministry rhythms that help sustain me. (I hope you’ll share some of yours.)

How have you been failing at living the “balanced life?”

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categories: LifeChurch.tv, community, global church, relationships, working together
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March 11th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Partnering with Churches: United

I apologize for not finishing our conversation last week on partnering with churches. Our team spent time meeting some great people while we were in Austin for the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, and we’ll share some things we learned at some point down the road.

To continue…

The third way LifeChurch.tv partners with churches is through United. In the short history of LifeChurch.tv, five of our existing campuses are the result of churches of different sizes and in different locations taking the step of faith to become a part of all God is doing at LifeChurch.tv. We have been blown away by how God has used the Kingdom-minded selfless decisions of these churches.

Below are videos from two LifeChurch.tv campus pastors. They are unique in the fact that both were senior pastors of their churches before becoming a part of LifeChurch.tv United.

I know from talking to several of you, God is doing something special in bringing churches together all over the world. We’ve been so amazed to see how that has happened at here at LifeChurch.tv, and we are confident he will bring other opportunities for churches to unite with us. If you are interested in exploring the possibility, please contact Brian Ahern.If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.

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categories: relationships, technology, working together
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March 7th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

SXSW Interactive Meet Up

Friday through Monday, Terry Storch, Zach Foster (our Ninja), Anne Jackson, and I will be at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin.

We would love to meet up with anyone who might be attending SXSW or is in the Austin area. If you’d like to come by, we’ll be at Las Manitas, Sunday morning (March 9) at 8:00 am. (211 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701)

If you plan on showing up, please leave us a comment and email Anne.

You can see more about the SXSW Interactive Festival here.

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categories: NETWORK, church, global church, relationships, working together
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March 5th, 2008

by Bobby Gruenewald

Partnering with Churches: Network

Thanks for all your feedback on OPEN yesterday. Today, I’d like to re-introduce you to the LifeChurch.tv Network Churches, and tell you a little bit about Network.

network.jpgLifeChurch.tv Network is a global network of churches that are strategically partnered with LifeChurch.tv to reach more people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. LifeChurch.tv Network churches consistently utilize our video teaching messages in one or more of their weekly services or experiences. Promotional resources are also made available in advance of the targeted messages/series. All of the resources are free.

So, how does LifeChurch.tv Network work? The local church continues to remain independent (leadership, governance, finances, decision-making, etc.), and simply utilizes LifeChurch.tv teaching messages into one or more weekly services through DVD download. Additionally, Network churches have the flexibility to choose from over 200 past messages through LifeChurch.tv Open, or they can be aligned with us through a special login to access the resources associated with our current series. We also have invited the churches that are a part of Network to participate in some of our staff training events.

Below is a list of the LifeChurch.tv Network Churches and links to some of their websites. Many of them are growing rapidly and it’s exciting to see how God is working through such a diverse group of churches that are united in purpose.

Anew Church - Enid, OK
Catfish Farm Fellowship - Playa del Coco, Costa Rica
Connecting Points Community Church - Saginaw, MI
Elevation Church - Spring Hill, TN
Grace Community Church - Champaign, IL
H2Ochurch.tv - Ada, OK
H2Ochurch.tv - Ardmore, OK
H2Ochurch.tv - Lawton, OK
Happy Hour Church - Nowata, OK
InfinityChurch.tv - Traveling/RV Church
Journey Covenant Church - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Lamb’s Chapel - La Porte, IN
Life Center - Ponca City, OK
Life Church Military
Lifegate of Duncan, OK
Marantha Revival Church
New Jerusalem Fellowship
New Life Church
Real Life Church
TheBOD.tv - Roland, OK
The Connexion
The Gathering Place - Chambersburg, PA
The Well - Northville, NY
Valley Fellowship - La Grande, OR

If you are interested in learning more about Network, feel free to contact Brian Ahern, Director of Partnership Exploration. Also, if you have questions about the network, feel free comment on this post…I’d be happy to help.

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