Craig Groeschel is the Pastor of what is widely considered to be the largest Protestant Church in the United States with over 30 campuses. He started the church in a two-car garage equipped with a borrowed overhead projector and two construction lights that he purchased at Lowes for the low, low price of $19.99. Today he and his wife are the proud parents of 6 kids and Life Church is known as being the creator of the most popular Bible application for mobile phones, known as the YouVersion Bible App which has been downloaded over 350 million times. And now he has just released his newest book called, Hope in the Dark: Believing God is Good When Life is Not.
The pastor of the largest Protestant Church in America, Pastor Craig Groeschel shares his daily success habits, how he spends the first 3 hours of the day, the importance of finding great people early on, developing strength through systems, the importance of saying “no”, how he deals with criticism on social media, why he has 2 phones and more.Read More »
Pastor Craig Groeschel, the pastor of the largest Protestant Church in America shares how he’s willing to do anything short of sin to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ, the importance of mixing emotion with truth to move people, why Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” was playing in the lobby of his church, how excellence honors God and brings value, how to hold people accountable, and so much more.Read More »
Craig Groeschel was born on December 2, 1967 and is the founding pastor of Life.Church. He is also currently the senior pastor of Life.Church. Life.Church is a multi site, evangelical church with locations in at least 10 states across the United States.
Craig Groeschel grew up in the southern Oklahoma area and attended a high school called Ardmore high school. Once he completed school he went on to Oklahoma City University. While at Oklahoma City University he was on the tennis team. In fact, Craig Groeschel was able to go to Oklahoma City University on a tennis scholarship. He was a part of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. When he graduated, he earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Craig Groeschel met his wife Amy after they were set up together on a date by mutual friends. One of the things that Craig Groeschel said was that he and Amy were set up on a date because both of them were sold out Christians and fully committed to a relationship with Jesus. Their friends thought that they would be a good fit together. Amy and Craig dated and got married in 1991. And three son-in-law’s. Their children include Catie and her husband Andrew. Then, there is Mandy with her husband James. Their next daughter is Anna and she is married to her husband Luke. Then they have a son named Sam and a son named Stephen. Finally their youngest is a daughter named Joy. Additionally, they have two grandkids, Cole and McKenna.
Also in 1991, Craig Groeschel became an associate pastor at the United Methodist Church that he attended. Because he had a passion to become a pastor or a minister, he then attended Phillips theological seminary. While attending this seminary he was able to get his Masters of Divinity degree. He remained an associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City for many years. In fact, he was working there back in 1995 when the Oklahoma City bombing occurred.
Craig Groeschel and his wife Amy were attending a conference when they heard a song called, just as you are that was sung by an artist named Crystal Lewis. They recounted that when they heard Krista Lewis singing the song come just as you are, that they both felt called to start a church with this similar message as one of the main themes. They wanted people to be able to come just as they were to church and begin a relationship with God. They both felt that this would be a big risk because they did not have the financial means to start a church. They began to pray about whether or not this would be a good decision. As they were driving around praying, that same song, come just as you are, came on the radio, and they both looked at each other and said let’s do this.
Craig Groeschel and Amy, along with several other people, started what was called life covenant Church. The church was first started in a two car garage.the goal of the church was not only to create an atmosphere where people could come as they were, but it was also designed intentionally to be a church that would reach non-churchgoers. As Craig Groeschel began to do research into the market, he designed the church in a nontraditional way and was able to find a lot of success in growing the attendance of the church.
Craig Groeschel and the team determined that the mission of life.church is to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Craig Groeschel and the team are always intentional to make sure that every decision that is made as a church is formed out of their mission. Their goal is that no matter where anyone is in life, they want everyone to understand that we have a purpose. The goal is to help people become all that God has designed us to be.
Craig Groeschel and the team designed the church to be a pipeline for leadership. They believe that leaders need to be developing leaders so that their influence is constantly expanding and they have the ability to push the mission to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ forward more and more.
Craig Groeschel’s heart is that when someone comes to the church for the first time, the goal is to give them the best possible guest experience. When you go on to a campus at life. Church, you will be greeted by waivers out in the parking lot, and receive a golf cart ride up to the front door from your parking spot. From there, you will experience lind and happy greeters at the front doors. As you go inside you will hear energetic music and typically be welcomed by that specific locations pastoral staff and additional volunteers. Life.church serves Starbucks coffee in their lobby along with other free snacks. Once you get your snacks, you will then head into the auditorium where an usher will help you find a seat.
If you have kids, as Craig Groeschel does, then you will have the opportunity to take those kids to a Sunday school type class. The younger kids area is called life kids. It is a high-energy area where your kids are safe and cared for. Older students for six through 12th grade are going to the auditorium for the main message. No matter what age you are or that your kids are, you will quickly find a comfortable environment designed to put you at ease and allow you to focus on your purpose at that location.
Craig Groeschel typically speaks from a location in the Oklahoma City area, and his message is broadcast to all of the different locations across the country and actually all over the world. If you are at a Tulsa Oklahoma location, then you will go into a physical building, have a live worship experience, and then watch the message on a giant screen in the auditorium. It is truly remarkable.
Craig Groeschel and the life.church team were actually the ones that created the multisite satellite campus concept churches. Years ago, Craig Groeschel was driving back and forth between campuses. He would preach at one campus for the first service, then drive to the other campus to preach live there as well. It was a very strenuous and taxing process for him, however he was driven by the mission to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. In 2001, Sam, Craig Groeschel’s oldest son, was born. He was born on a Saturday night, and thus, Craig Groeschel was not available to preach on Sunday morning. It was at that moment that one of the other pastors had the idea to just play the recorded video from the Saturday night services. What they discovered changed the trajectory of churches and the ability of the church to have an impact on the geographical location, forever.
Satellite campuses were born, and the concept of the pastor not physically being at a location where he was preaching, began to unfold. Craig Groeschel and the team began to test this system and process, and found that it worked incredibly well. They realized that when people were coming for a service where he was actually speaking live, they still were looking up at the screens, and that him being physically absent, did not take anything away from the overall experience. In fact, it let people focus more intentionally on his message. Today, churches all over the world utilize the technology that Craig Groeschel and the team of life.church have created.
Another incredible thing that Craig Groeschel did was to start a website that he called mysecret.tv. This was a place where people could go online, in anonymous environments, and confess things that they were ashamed of. They found this to be a very successful tool for helping people deal with the concessions. It was actually on my confession booth similar to what you might find in a Catholic Church.
In 2007, Craig Groeschel and life.Church was named as America’s most innovative church by a magazine called outreach magazine. They were also named this in 2008. Innovation is a key component of the culture of Craig Groeschel in the life.church culture. The church has developed many free resources actually gives only a majority of their technology, sermons, videos, artwork, transcripts and so many other valuable resources for churches and organizations all over the world. They developed a software called churchonlineplatform.com where churches can utilize the technology and create a satellite campus model for free.
One of Craig Groeschel’s greatest desires was to give away Bibles. He recognized years ago that because of technology, there were opportunities to do this through online platforms. The you version Bible app was formed. It is a free Bible app that was featured by Apple when they first launched their app store. This app has been downloaded for free all over the world and at this time, 2020, has been downloaded over 400 million times. Craig Groeschel’s goal by giving this free Bible app away is to and what they called Bible poverty. Craig Groeschel wants to make sure that every person on the planet has the opportunity to have access to the Bible. Currently they are investing millions of dollars into the development of translating the Bible into languages that have not yet had a translation of the Bible created.
Craig Groeschel and his team of leaders have become a church that has been featured in Newsweek’s top 50 mega churches in America. Life.church has over 100,000 people that attend a service in a physical location weekly. This number does not represent the amount of people who watch what is called church online. They also have an online platform where you can watch the service live and even interact with online volunteers similar to what you might experience if you came to a physical location. While you contract the IP addresses of how many computers are watching online, there is no way to be able to determine how many people are actually watching at each computer.
Craig Groeschel and his family currently live in Edmond, Oklahoma. This is a suburb of Oklahoma City. This is where Life.Church is based. This is where their central offices are located. They have a huge team of staff that works at the central offices. You can watch Craig Groeschel live if you go to the Edmond life.church campus. You will need to get there early though so that you can get a good seat. It tends to fill up very fast. Even though you are alive, you will likely find yourself watching the big screen, especially if you are used to going to a campus where he is not preaching live.
Craig Groeschel has his incredible leadership team that works with him directly. The team that reports directly to him is called the directional leadership team. They consistently work together to shape the vision and the direction of the church. This team includes Bobby Grunwald who is the pastor of innovation. Bobby is a genius when it comes to technology and is the leader over the technology aspects of life. Church. He oversees the departments of the YouVersion Bible app along with church online and information technology along with many other departments. Bobby has worked with Craig Groeschel for a very long time. He is married to a lady named Melissa and also lives in Edmond Oklahoma with their four kids. The second member of Craig Groeschel’s directional leadership team includes Jerry Hurley. He is the pastor and leader of team development. He is the individual who Craig Groeschel has put in charge of cultural developments. The departments that he is over include the training and development departments, logistics, finance, weakened experience, human resources, and many more. He also lives in Edmond Oklahoma and has three children and two grandkids. He is married to his wife Annette. The final member of Craig Groeschel’s directional leadership team is Sam Roberts. He is a pastor and is over campus leadership. Every campus location has a staff member called the campus pastor. These staff teams and their staff report directly to Sam Roberts. He oversees the departments including the host team, the operations team, the worship team, and many more. The goal of his teams is to create the environment on the campus that Craig Groeschel is wanting to accomplish. He has a wife named Jayme and they live in Guthrie Oklahoma with their five kids.
Craig Groeschel has built a church that is a biblically-based church. If you go to their website, life. Church, you can find their core beliefs. Whether you are considering their belief that God is the creator and ruler of the universe, that Jesus is the son of God, or that the Holy Spirit lives in each Christian from salvation, you will find that everything that they believe in their core beliefs as a Scripture reference attached for why they believe these things. Additionally, life.church is a part of the Evangelical covenant Church known as ECC.
Craig Groeschel has become a New York Times best-selling author. He has written at least 15 different books. Craig Groeschel’s books include his latest book, dangerous prayers. Craig Groeschel writes on many different topics including dating and marriage, church leadership, dealing with social media, and so much more. His book called hope in the dark, is about what to do in the midst of great pain and tragedy. How do we respond when we feel like God is not good. It has had a lot of reach out in the world and is well known.
Craig Groeschel is considered to be one of the foremost innovators and influencers when it comes to leadership. In 2016, Craig Groeschel started hosting his podcast called the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. A typical podcast lasts 30 minutes or less. Craig Groeschel is very intentional to make sure that every single episode leads you with easy to understand takeaways that you can practically apply and use to lead yourself and your team. You can find his podcast anywhere that you get your podcasts. Additionally, Craig Groeschel’s podcast gets over 1 million downloads per month.
Craig Groeschel has also become one of the most influential speakers around the world. In addition to over 100,000 people that attend his church locations each and every week, Craig Groeschel travels all over the world and speaks their countries and at leadership events and conferences. Some of his upcoming leadership events include places like Dallas Texas, Springfield Missouri, Orlando Florida and many more.
Craig Groeschel believes that technology should be utilized to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. Because of this, he has a very intentional system for making sure that he stays active on social media platforms. You can actually find him by going to Instagram and searching for @CraigGroeschel. He has a team of people that is intentional about what they post each and every day. His posts are designed to uplift you and help you experience positivity.
All of Craig Groeschel’s messages can be found on their website, life.church, or you can go to YouTube and find them there as well. Generosity is a key component of Craig Groeschel. He has given away every single dime to his name multiple times. Craig Groeschel believes and lives out the idea that everything that he has belongs to God, and he is a steward of those resources. His goal is to obey God and be incredibly disciplined with how he follows God.
Discipline is definitely a core component to how Craig Groeschel lived his life. He is incredibly diligent when it comes to his schedule as well as his exercise and eating routine. If he is in town, you will find him consistently in the gym. Pastors that have traveled with him have made the remarks that he does not cheat on his diet. They said that he is very humble and has worked very hard to grow in his discipline and ability to live a disciplined lifestyle.
If you take the time to search for Craig Groeschel’s name online, you will quickly see that he has some incredible quotes. One of his quotes includes, “The decisions you make today will determine the stories you tell tomorrow.” additionally, some more quotes that he has said, “Being consumed by what people think of you is the fastest way to forget what God thinks of you.” He also has been quoted saying. “Successful people do consistently what other people do occasionally.” This last quote is definitely something that he lives out in his life everyday. He determined years ago that he was going to be successful in his mission of leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. He knew that this would require consistent action. This is how he lives his life.