Craig Groeschel

American Pastor

Craig Groeschel (born December 2, 1967) is an American author, speaker, and the founding and senior pastor of Life.Church, a multi-campus church with over 80 weekly worship experiences in 13 locations. He, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in the Edmond, Oklahoma area where Life Church began in 1996. He is author of It – How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It, Chazown, Going All the Way, Confessions of a Pastor, and The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn't Exist (released on March 30, 2010).


It – How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It (2008, Zondervan)Edit

  • If you've ever been part of a ministry that had it, you knew you were part of something special. In other words, you knew it when you saw it. And it was an awesome work of God that couldn't be contained, couldn't be harnessed, and couldn't be explained.
  • I believe that God makes it available to anyone who wants it. I believe he wants to give it to you and your ministry.
  • The first-century church in Jerusalem clearly had it. And they didn't have any fancy accoutrements. So it can't possibly be stained-glass windows, hand-carved cherubs, custom silk tapestries, gold-inlaid hymnals, thousand-pipe organs, marble floors, mile-high steeples, hand-painted ceilings, mahogany pews, giant cast-iron bells, and a three-piece, thousand dollar suit. It doesn't stick any better to a young, hip, shaved-headed pastor with rimmed glasses, a goatee, and tattoos than it does to an older, stately gentleman in a robe. Nor is it spotlights and lasers, video production, satellite dishes, fog machines, shiny gauze backdrops, four-color glossy brochures, sexy billboards, loud "contemporary" music, free donuts, coffee shops, hip bookstores, break dancing or acrobatics, sermon series named after television shows, a retro-modern matching chair and table onstage, or blue jeans and Heelys. It is not being on television, being on the Internet, or being on book and magazine covers. It is real. It is genuine.
  • The best explanation I can give of what it is, is this: it is what God does through a rare combination of these qualities found in his people: Passion for his presence; A deep craving to reach the lost; Sincere integrity; Spirit-filled faith; Down-to-earth humility; Brokenness.
  • Have you ever tasted stale popcorn? The only thing worse is stale vision. If a ministry loses the vision, it's only a matter of time before they lose what made them special in the first place. Without vision, the people will quickly lose it.
  • There's a huge difference between a good idea and a God-inspired idea.
  • Here are a few questions to stir your vision: Why does your organization exist? What can your organization be the best in the world at? If you could do only one thing, what would it be? If you left your organization tomorrow, what would you hope would continue forever? What breaks your heart, keeps you awake at night, wrecks you?
  • Seek God. Hear from God. Receive his vision. Let it overwhelm you. Consume you. Burden you. Tell the vision. Cast the vision. Communicate the vision. And watch it spread.
  • Ministries that have it tend to be focused on a limited set of targets. They do a few things as if all eternity hinged on their results, and they do these things with godly excellence. Their vision is characterized by specificity. Selectivity. Exclusivity.
  • Doing the wrong new things, things that usurp what God calls us to do, is dangerous. Focus tends to let it breathe. Lack of focus generally suffocates it.
  • When you increase your focus, you decrease your options. Good things are not necessarily God things.
  • As long as you're afraid of intimacy and spiritual partnership, you won't likely experience it. To have it, you have to share it with each other. Just as there's no I in team, there's no it in independence.
  • When two parties compete, one loses. That's why in ministry, those who have it don't compete with one another; they work to complete one another.
  • Those without it can be two-faced. Those with it are true-faced. There is no substitute for being transparent and real. The more real we are, the more likely we'll experience it.
  • The spark of passion ignites the fuel for innovation.
  • If there is any group in the world that should be motivated to make improvements, reflecting God's creative nature, it should be Christians.
  • Reflecting God, innovative believers tend to have it. And it is borne out of their passion to please God, reach people, and help those in need.
  • With increasing passion comes increasing creativity to reach people.
  • With-it ministries are filled with people so passionate, they're driven to become innovative. They create opportunities.
  • Instead of saying, "It will never work," with-it people say, "What if this does work?"
  • Instead of whining, "We can't reach certain people," with-it people exclaim with faith, "We will find a way."
  • While many lament, "We don't have what it takes to make a difference," innovative leaders say, "God is our provider; we have more than enough."
  • Have you hit an obstacle that appears impenetrable? Maybe God will guide you to see something that you couldn't have seen if he'd just removed the wall.
  • Whenever you're tempted to whine about what you don't have, remember that God has given you everything you need to do everything he wants you to do.
  • If you don't have something you think you need, maybe it's because God wants you to see something you've never seen.
  • Those with it recognize that God brings it. It is not found in the things the eye can see.
  • Passion creates motivation, which leads to innovation.
  • Limitations often reveal opportunities.
  • Your greatest ministry innovation could come from your greatest limitation - if you have a sincere passion to reach and care for people.
  • What obstacle are you facing? Ask God for breakthrough thinking. Don't think about small changes. Think radically.
  • For the sake of those who don't know Christ, think big.
  • As God blesses your ministry with it, remember that those without it tend to criticize those with it, especially when you do things differently.
  • Don't let the rules of man stop you from following God. When he gives it to you, go with it.
  • Don't get tricked into trusting your spiritual bells and whistles or you might become too slick, lose your edge, then lose it.
  • Don't put your faith in the innovations. Keep your faith in Christ.
  • Ministries without it are usually the ones playing it safe, doing only what is sure to succeed.
  • Failing often can help a ministry experience it. Being overly cautious can kill it.
  • It-owners know that setbacks can be setups for better things to come. They study their failures and learn from them.
  • The it-ish understand: failure is a part of success.
  • As you seek God and he rekindles it in your heart, I believe he is going to speak to you.
  • Sometimes the fruit of your steps of faith is measured not so much by what God does through you as by what God does in you.
  • Let God turn fear into faith. Instead of becoming a hesitant leader, ask God to make you bold and aggressive.
  • Stuntmen and stuntwomen are paid to fall. They fall, get beat up, and get blown up...gracefully. We need to learn to fail gracefully.
  • The it-rich are those who have chosen to face their fears rather than live with regrets.
  • Get out of the boat. Face your fears. Fail. Learn. Adjust. Try again. And watch God do more than you can imagine.
  • Is your ministry becoming more faith-filled or more risk-aversive?
  • Across the board, almost every with-it church I've observed is virtually obsessed with reaching those who don't know Christ.
  • Without-it ministries can be filled with very sincere Bible-believing Christians; unfortunately, they're simply more concerned about themselves than the lost.
  • Who do you love? If you love God, you should love people. If you don't love people, you don't love God. It's that simple.
  • If your ministry has become focused on the already-convinced, I'll bet that your ministry doesn't have it.
  • A church that has it recognizes that reaching people is not just the pastor's job. It's everyone's job.
  • When we love deeply, love makes us do things we wouldn't otherwise do.
  • To have it, we have to care about those who are far from God.
  • When our churches look inward instead of outward, we're basically saying to nonbelievers, "You can just go to hell."
  • Be careful not to blame yourself if someone rejects Christ. If you do, you might be tempted to take credit when someone accepts him.
  • Love overcomes obstacles.

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