As senior pastor of LifeChurch Craig Groeschel's leadership impacts thousands around the world. He is the author of many books including 'It' and 'Weird' and even planted a church inside the online platform 'Second Life'.
Raised in Southern Oklahoma, Craig Groeschel gained a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Oklahoma City University. It was while attending university that Groeschel, responding to a request to bring a friend to church, rallied
his 'Frat' brothers into getting up early on a Sunday Morning and attending the worship meeting at United Methodist Church. When the senior pastor saw just how many friends Groeschel had brought with him he turned to another pastor and said, "See that guy? Find him and hire him." So began a ministry that would grow to be one of the most influential in the US.
Groeschel became Associate Pastor at United Methodist Church and went on to attend Phillips Theological Seminary before setting up Life Covenant Church in 1996, which later became LifeChurch.
LifeChurch has harnessed technology like no other church. Groeschel's video messages impact thousands, but the interactive experience doesn't end with the message. The aim is to provide a full church community experience online - they have a live chat so that online churchgoers can interact with each other, notes to help follow the message and resources to download for small group discussions. All this sits alongside a really engaged group of followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Craig has spoken at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit and Catalyst events encouraging leaders to be authentic to what God has called them to do - he continues to be a mentor to other leaders and a role model for young people considering leadership.
When it comes to books Groeschel's are as unusual as his ministry but just as impactful. My recommendations would be:
It - How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It
This is a quick book to read and alongside having some biographical elements has some amazing chapters that could have massive impact for any church, it's a book that all church leaders should read. The chapters on risk and focus really standout for both their originality and practicality.
The Christian Atheist - Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn't Exist
This book tackles one of the biggest criticisms levelled at Christians by non-Christians - not living out their faith in everyday life. It's a brave, honest book in which Groeschel lays out many of his own failures.
Weird - Because Normal Isn't Working
Tackling subjects like money, time or the lack off it, and relationships - Weird looks at what the world sees as normal and asks if this is the road we should follow as Christians.
March 27th, 2013 - Posted & Written by Jo Pountney