My friend Craig Groeschel, the senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, has authored another book that was just released by Zondervan. The book is titled It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It. I recently caught up with Craig, and he agreed to participate in a little game of “5 Questions.” Here’s what he had to share:
TONY: For those who aren’t familiar with your story, please tell us a little bit about LifeChurch.tv.
CRAIG: We started Life Church in 1996 in a two-car garage that had been converted into a small dance studio. We were incredibly passionate about reaching people who didn’t have life in Christ. In the first nine months, we met in four different locations. In 2000 we had outgrown our facility and started meeting in two locations. Over the years, with a continued passion for evangelism, developing leaders, and leveraging technology to spread the gospel, we’ve expanded to 13 locations in six states, including an Internet Campus.
TONY: It sounds like you hit a home run at the Leadership Summit last month talking about “IT.” What’s IT?
CRAIG: You asked what IT is. I wish I could confidently answer that question. I can describe IT, but I can’t really define IT specifically. IT is something special that God does in some ministries. I know we can’t create IT. We can’t reproduce IT. One person rarely brings IT. But the “wrong” person can kill IT. Just because you have IT doesn’t mean you’ll keep IT. And if you don’t have IT, by seeking God wholeheartedly, you can get IT.
TONY: If that’s “IT,” why is your church still so committed to technology and media?
CRAIG: Many people misunderstand IT. (And for the record, I am only using IT as a generally descriptive term.) Although I can’t tell you specifically what IT is, I can tell you what IT is not. IT is not haze machines, great videos, cool buildings, or creative sermon titles. IT is something born in the heart of passionate people. The reason we continue to use technology and media is because we believe those things can be used to spread the gospel. They are not a requirement for IT. They are simply useful tools for getting IT out.
TONY: Lots of ministry leaders look to you for wisdom and encouragement. What leaders do you look to for inspiration and to challenge your thinking?
CRAIG: I look to a ton of leaders. I learn from you and your church. I’m a big blog reader. (Some of my favorite ministry blogs include yours, Tim Stevens, Monday Morning Insight, Perry Noble, Dave Ferguson and Steven Furtick. Bill Hybels, Andy Stanely, Rick Warren, and Ed Young have all spoken directly into my life as friends and as mentors. I also enjoy learning from business leaders in our church.
TONY: Folks may not know this, but you and your wife have six kids. Do you think sex is the key to church growth?
CRAIG: Not only is sex one key to church growth, but to a lot of other good things in life! :)
You can follow Craig daily at Swerve where he blogs with Bobby Gruenewald, one of the other pastors at LifeChurch.tv.