Item description for It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It by Craig Groeschel...
Overview Groeschel, founder of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma, has witnessed a powerful presence from God that he calls It at work in many churches. What is this transformational force? Combining in-your-face honesty with off-the-wall humor, this lively book tells how any believer can obtain It.
Publishers Description When Craig Groeschel founded LifeChurch.tv, the congregation met in a borrowed two-car garage, with ratty furnishings and faulty audiovisual equipment. But people were drawn there, sensing a powerful, life-changing force Groeschel calls It. What is It, and how can you and your ministry get---and keep---It? Combining in-your-face honesty with off-the-wall humor, this book tells how any believer can obtain It, get It back, and guard It. One of today s most innovative church leaders, Groeschel provides profile interviews with Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Tim Stevens, Mark Batterson, Jud Wilhite, and Dino Rizzo. This lively book will challenge churches and their leaders to maintain the spiritual balance that results in experiencing It in their lives."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Aug 5, 2008
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310286824 ISBN13 9780310286820 UPC 025986286828
Availability 0 units.
More About Craig Groeschel
Craig Groeschel (born December 2, 1967) is the founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv which is considered the largest church in the United States and has fifteen locations in five states. He is married with six children and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where LifeChurch.tv is based.
Groeschel was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in southern Oklahoma, attending Ardmore High School. After high school, he attended Oklahoma City University on an athletic scholarship and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and received a Bachelor's degree in Marketing. Shortly thereafter, he met his wife Amy and the two married in 1991. That same year, Groeschel entered the ministry as an associate pastor in the United Methodist Church. He attended Phillips Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City during the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.
In 1996, Groeschel and a handful of people started Life Covenant Church in a two-car garage. He later told Business Week that he started the process by performing market research of non-churchgoers and designed his church in response to what he learned. Groeschel’s non-traditional style was successful and attendance of Life Covenant grew rapidly, eventually evolving to become (as of April 2013) the second largest church in the United States with fifteen LifeChurch.tv campuses. Groeschel began using video to deliver some of sermons, when his fourth child was born in 2001 and he was unavailable for the Sunday service, discovering that the videos were popular with his churchgoers. In 2006 he set up a website called Mysecret.tv as a place for people to confess anonymously on the Internet. Groeschel also began delivering his services to the Second Life virtual world on Easter Sunday 2007.
LifeChurch.tv was named America’s Most Innovative Church by Outreach Magazine in 2007 and 2008. LifeChurch.tv innovations include its free resource library with sermons, transcripts, videos, artwork, and a digerati team that develops free software like ChurchOnlinePlatform.com and YouVersion the Bible app, which has been downloaded over 100 million times.
He is the author of several books including Soul Detox, Weird, The Christian Atheist and It. Craig, his wife, Amy, and their six children live in Edmond, Oklahoma.
SPANISH BIO: Craig Groeschel es pastor fundador y pastor principal de LifeChurch.tv. LifeChurch.tv es una de las principales iglesias del pais ubicada en varias localidades con mas de ocho cultos de adoracion semanales congregados en doce localidades, incluyendo un campus en linea. LifeChurch.tv reunio a mas de 2.000 iglesias para participar por espacio de un mes en una serie denominada Una Oracion.
Reviews - What do customers think about It: How Churches & Leaders Can Get It & Keep It?
Groeschel's Take is Candid, Intriguing and Curious Mar 27, 2010
Have you ever seen a church or a ministry that just seemed to have "it?" There's huge numerical growth, lots of people becoming Christians, crazy innovation... Whatever the reasons, there's something really special going on.
And you may not know what "it" is, but you know it when you see it.
Craig Groeschel doesn't try to tell the readers of his latest book, It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It, what "it" is--he readily admits that he doesn't know. But he does offers some practical insight into what it means to be a ministry with "it" primarily from his experience as the pastor of LifeChurch.tv.
There's a lot to like in this book, particularly Groeschel's candor. He's extremely open about his failures in ministry, particularly when it comes to getting distracted by the things that really don't matter.
"I believed we needed our own building and all the other things real churches have--like a sports ministry, concerts, conferences and our own church van. I thought those important elements would give us it. Then we'd be a real church. Little did I realize, we already had it. God was doing something very special. Lost people were being found. Found people were growing. The church was spiritually vibrant. All without any of the things I thought necessary" (pp. 61-62).
He goes on to say that eventually the church accumulated all those things he dreamed of--the building, the sports ministry, the conferences & concerts. Even the church van! "Then one day I realized that everything I'd always wanted was slowing killing everything we already had. Our church had it and we didn't know it," he writes on page 62. Programming that didn't align with the vision of the church nearly ended it.
Perhaps my favorite chapter in the book is all about a kingdom-mindset. Too often, there's a temptation to see other ministries and churches as competition, and rather than rejoice in their success, we make snarky comments (and sometimes accuse them of not being "real" Christians because they don't do things like we do). It's a divisive and heartbreaking attitude.
But ministries with it won't ultimately succumb to this. They're far more concerned with what God's doing everywhere than only what he's doing in their own ministry.
"Those who have it know it is not about them. It is not about their personal names. It is not about Willow Creek Community Church. It is not about North Point, Elevation Church, Newspring Church, Mars Hill, Vintage Faith, First Baptist, Wesley United Methodist, Lord of Life Lutheran, Holy Ghost Temple of Righteous Praise, or whatever your church is called. It is not about your student ministry, your children's ministry, your new logo or website. And it is certainly not about your name. It is about Jesus" (p. 144). Amen!
There's one thing that really drives me up the wall about Groeschel's writing. It's that it is very... cute. He tries really hard to be funny, frequently inserting parenthetical statements for humorous effect. Sometimes I got a good laugh, but more often than not the humor fell flat and wound up being distracting. There was honestly just too much.
Curiously, Groeschel's book seems to give the impression that a church or ministry with "it" will always be experiencing astounding numerical growth. Every example in the book of a church with "it" is a church that's exploding numerically. They're places where (as far as I can tell) Jesus' name is made great, and their success is worthy of praise.
But what does it mean for churches and leaders that are faithful to their calling, who point people to Jesus, love & serve their community as best they can... but their ministries are full of toil and difficulty?
I can't help but be reminded of Hebrews 11. The author writes of the Old Testament saints, men like Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets "who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight" (Heb 11:32-34).
That's a powerful testimony to their faith, to be sure.
But then the tone shifts:
"Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated--of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. 11:35b-38, emphasis mine).
The world was not worthy of these unnamed saints who gave their lives as a testimony to Christ. They were faithful up until death.
Maybe that's what "it" truly is.
It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It is a very helpful and practical book on leadership. While not everything may be applicable and some content might be debatable, it's a book that's worth your time reading.
Why you shouldn't read It Jan 17, 2010
This review was first posted at my blog: [...]
Today I finally managed (after struggling for months to find the motivation) to finish It (by Edmond, Oklahoma pastor Craig Groeschel).
I was put off from the very beginning by this book, not so much because of the content as by its presentation. I actually held some respect for Craig Groeschel before reading this book. But the constant juvenile humor and bordering-on-blasphemous wisecracks did not sit very well with me. I will spare you the examples. It is really pathetic, actually. Grow up, Craig.
In regards to the content, there are a few (I emphasize few) things to be learned, but not much that you wouldn't get from any number of books on leadership (Christian or secular). In fact, Groeschel quotes from these "leadership gems" incessantly.
One of my biggest frustrations with It is the author's constant effort to insist that it must be given to a church by the Holy Spirit, when it is painfully obvious that any number of organizations in the world (Christian, secular, Islamic, Buddhist, atheist, heretical) have the emotions, ethos, and passion described in as it in It. In fact, Groeschel even mentions at least one well-known heretic pastor (one who openly denies the God revealed in Scripture) in his frequent listings of churches or ministries that have it. In the end, his definition of it has very little to do with true, biblical Christianity or the real convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of men.
In spite of all the problems, I do want to share one short section where I found some helpful questions. In Chapter 9, which talks about "wanting others to have it" (whatever it is), Groeschel lists three things that we should ask ourselves to see if we truly care about the unsaved:
- When is the last time you've had a lost person in your home? - How many meaningful conversations did you have with non-Christians this week? - Who are the nonbelievers you prayed for today?
I hope the above questions do stir your heart to share the Gospel more with the lost. However, even these questions had to be ripped out of context to be of any use. Much of that chapter is full of bad (read: unbiblical) advice.
I also pray that the Gospel you share with non-Christians has more content than the one found in this book. Besides a few passing references to "our need for a savior" (what's with not capitalizing Savior?!), there is little encouragement by the author for his readers to make sure all their striving to find it is based upon the only true Gospel of Jesus Christ found in the Bible. An unregenerated person could easily read this book and remain unconverted. That is disappointing and worrisome to say the least.
Pass on It unless you want to feel as frustrated as I do right now.
You might be wondering why I even read this book in the first place. Well, I initially bought It to try and get a glimpse of where Craig Groeschel stands theologically and biblically. Craig Groeschel is immensely popular in certain Christian circles, especially in Oklahoma where I am from (and where he founded Lifechurch.tv). Pastor Groeschel even preached my aunt's (Patricia Ann Nelson) funeral back in the summer of 1994 (when he was on staff at the church that once had it but is now "dead" - see the first page of his book). So its kind of personal for me. I wish he was more grounded in the Bible and I wish I could recommend his church and ministry unequivocally. Unfortunately, this book didn't relieve any of my worries. On the contrary, It actually added quite a few more to my list.
How to get it and keep it Dec 5, 2009
Some ministries have it. Some don't. Most churches want it. Few have it. When a church has it, everyone can tell, according to Craig Groeschel in this book. The author says that he doesn't really know what it is, but his book goes on to talk about where it comes from, what contributes to it, and, if you have lost it, how to get it back and guard it.
A church which has it has a contagiously exciting atmosphere, with many people coming to Jesus and lives being changed. One of the things which contributes to it is an effective vision. Another contributing factor is divine focus, where a church concentrates on doing a few things well, rather than a lot of things poorly. Other contributing factors include unmistakeable cameraderie, innovative minds, willingness to fall short, hearts focused outwards, and kingdom-mindedness.
The book is written in an engaging anecdotal manner, filled with the author's quirky humour. It is fairly short, but addresses a serious issue in an insightful manner. God's special favour is something that can't be controlled or predicted, but there are various things which we can do and other things which we can avoid doing in order to make it more likely. I highly recommend the book.
It - thin on style Jul 11, 2009
I found the writing style to be rather juvenile, though the author has some valid points. If he hopes to reach an audience outside the mainstream churches of the USA, he's going to have to write in a more scholarly fashion in the future. References to contemporary personalities are wasted - how many of us in ministry have time to watch endless movies or TV series?
IT is what you need May 30, 2009
IT is what you need in your leadership. It is choc full of good advise and good examples plus it is written in such a way that it is a very entertaining to read. Filled with funny stories and good examples that should keep the reader glued to the pages.