I’ve been waiting for this message from Craig Groeschel from Lifechurch.tv. Highlights from his talk:
- When Groeschel heard Bill Hybels say, “The local church is the hope of the world”, he heard it and believed it.
- Of 13 Lifechurch campuses, only Groeschel’s home church has declined in growth.
- God makes ‘it’ happen. It is for His glory. We can’t recreate it. It’s rare for one person to bring it, but one person can kill it. It can be caught rather than taught. It’s not a system.
- Wherever you see it, you see transformed lives.
- Wherever you see it, you will have critics.
- “IT” happens.
- If you have it, doesn’t mean you’re going to keep it. If you don’t have it, doesn’t mean you can’t get it.
- The early church had it; even when church was boring and a guy fell out of a window and died, they just brought him back to life. That’s ‘it’.
What qualities are necessary to have ‘IT’?
- Laser-like focus – not 287 different ministries. The key is to have better ministries, better. What can you be the very best at? – this is the defining
- In order to reach people that no one is reaching, we have to do things that no one is doing. In order to do things that no one is doing, we can’t do what everyone else is doing. Groeschel calls this ‘planned abandonment’. Narrow the focus and attack it with passion.
- Lifechurch has narrowed its focus to worship experiences, small groups, kids ministries, student ministries and missions in order to free up margin, staff and money – all to reach people that no one else is reaching.
- “What are you doing that you need to stop doing?”
- You have everything that you need to do everything that God wants you to do. If Peter had had the money, he would have given the guy what he asked for – not what he needed.
- God often guides where he doesn’t provide. Struggling with what we DON’T have – what is God trying to show us through our greatest limitations?
- Be willing to fail. Failure is a necessity – failure is often the first step into seeing God.
- God may have given you a vision to do something, but there could be three steps of failure before you get it right. Shake it off – shake off the failure – and step up.
- “What has God called you to do that you’re afraid to attempt? When are you going to do it?” If you can do it, it doesn’t take faith.
- Ministry can kill ‘it’. For Groeschel, it became more about building the church than building the kingdom. When we have ‘it’ in us, we get ‘it’ out there – then we start focusing on out there. Groeschel preached a message that was focused on ‘what will they think’? God showed him that he had become a full-time pastor and a part-time follower of Christ.
- Becoming more about your ministry than His kingdom will lead to losing it.
- Groeschel quit reading ministry books – read only the word. Began to fast. Went to hold a baby in another country who would not live through the week. For some of us, it’s time to let God break our hearts. And that’s it.
Greg Ferguson sang ‘First Love’ to close the message. This was an incredibly powerful talk.