About a month ago Michael Hyatt gave away 100 copies of It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It by Craig Groeschel, founding and senior pastor of Lifechurch.tv. I was able to get my hands on one and started right in after finishing Obstacles Welcome. Groeschel, like de la Vega, wrote a book to help leaders. While de la Vega definitely has the experience and education, Groeschel has what I found missing in Obstacles Welcome. Groeschel has ‘it.’
‘It’ was written to explain that unknown character that successful churches seem to have. This character, which Groeschel calls ‘it’, draws people in, gets them involved, and calls them to things they could never had done alone. Groeschel spells out seven factors that contribute to ‘it:’ They are:
- Willing to Fail
Groeshel explains each of the seven clearly and gives examples of what each has looked like in his life. At the end of each chapter, he has a profile of other pastors that exemplify that particular profile. The list of other pastors range from Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA to Perry Noble, pastor of NewSpring Church in Anderson, SC and others with churches in between them. While these simple approaches to effective ministry are clearly explained, I especially appreciated how he balances the principles with the need to keep God at the center of the tactics.
Finally, I highly recommend this book mainly for the last two chapters. In fact if the book was only these two chapters, I would still recommend it. It is in these chapters where Groeschel explains his own falling away from ‘it’ and how to get ‘it’ back. Groeschel’s falling away is a welcome and honest introspection of a period where a pastor lost focus. The chapter on how to get ‘it’ back really underlines Groeschel’s heart behind the book. The seven factors mentioned above are only gauges to help you determine where you are or how you can grow in the principles from this last chapter. In this chapter he looks at your relationship with God focusing on three requests to God: stretch me, ruin me, and heal me.
Ultimately God is more concern with you than any ministry you could ever do for him. Too often we think that God is pleased with us because of what we can do for Him—as if He needs our help. The truth is God is pleased with us because He loves us. Any ministry we do should be an outflow of the confidence that God is already pleased with us. Yes, He does call us into ministry (works for Him), but they are not to prove us as worthy of His esteem for us. He calls us into these works because we were created for them, and He knows that we will be ultimately satisfied as we are trusting Him to work through us. God would much rather let our ministries fail to get us to grow in Him then allow our ministries to succeed while hearts slowly turn away from Him.
The examples in ‘It’ are for church or ministry leaders, but the principles can easily be applied to the secular work force. You do not have to be in ministry for God to want you to be successful. He wants you to succeed at whatever He has called you to. If you pray through these principles and the factors at the end of the book, you can find ‘it’ for your own.