Leadership Summit 2008 | CRAIG GROESCHEL: IT – How Leaders Can Get IT and Keep IT

Posted on August 8, 2008


SESSION 5. Summit Page.


How many of you have walked into a church experience and it was … “dead?”

In the beginning of LifeChurch.tv, we didn’t have what most people thought was necessary to have church (technology, etc.), but we had “IT.”

13 years later, though every campus has the exact same “outside” stuff, the campuses are very different. Some are growing, but others are declining.

And we all can name churches that have “IT,” churches that had “IT” and lost “IT,” and many churches that don’t have “IT.”

So what is “IT?” I don’t know.

I believe that God makes “IT” happen. It is by Him and for Him, and we can’t create it, manufacture it, put it in the bottle and study it. Someone can bring it, and another could kill it. It’s not a system or a model. It’s not a “seeker-sensitive” deal or a “purpose-driven” deal.

“IT” attracts critics. If you have “IT”, people will shoot at “IT”. You could say “IT” happens…but often “IT” doesn’t. Bad news is, if you have “IT,” that doesn’t mean that you can’t lose “IT.” If you don’t have “IT,” that doesn’t mean that you can’t get “IT.”

The early church had “IT.” Cf. Acts 2:42-47

How do we get “IT?” I don’t know.

There are certain qualities that are most often there when “IT” is there.

1. LASER FOCUSED. What can you be the very best at? [VIA: Cf. Collins and the Hedgehog Concept.] In order to reach people that no one is reaching, you’ll have to do things that no one is doing. But in order to do things that no one else is doing, we can’t do what everyone else is doing. We need a uniquely focused set of ministries. Because of this, we (LifeChurch.tv) have the margin to do these 5 things well,

a. Weekend Services
b. Small Groups
c. Children’s Ministries
d. Student Ministries
e. Missions

What are you doing that you need to stop doing? You have everything you need to accomplish what God wants you to.


3. THEY’RE WILLING TO FAIL. Those without “IT” play it safe. Some may say that “failure is not an option.” I agree. Failure is a necessity.

What has God called you to do that you’re afraid to attempt? When are you going to do “IT?”

4. YOU NEED TO HAVE IT FOR YOUR MINISTRY TO GET IT. Ministry can kill “IT.” Soon it becomes about building the church rather than building the Kingdom. Soon it becomes about preaching messages that will bring people in, rather than bringing glory to God.

There was a time in my life when I became a full-time pastor and a part-time follower of Christ…and I lost “IT.”

Here’s the question. If you don’t have “IT,” what are you going to do to get “IT?”


May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.


Excellent! Bless God for Craig’s focus and dedication to the Kingdom.

Regarding the Holy Spirit, not only is it not true and insulting that the Holy Spirit is present in some places and absent in others, but it’s also a misrepresentation of the Holy Spirit’s role and objective as a comforter, helper, healer, and guide. The Holy Spirit is not a producer, a manipulator, or preferential mystic.

My main question is with the 5 things that you do do, What are the guiding principles that each of the 5 areas of ministry use to have laser focus? It is easy for even those ministries to get complicated and distracted with much.