What Does it Mean to Be a Pastor

Pastor Craig Groeschel started Life.Church more than 20 years ago, and in that time he’s learned a thing or two about what it means to be a pastor. Dr. Jon Chasteen talks to Pastor Craig about what he’s learned about being a pastor.

Craig Groeschel is a husband, father, grandfather, and the founding senior pastor of Life.Church in Oklahoma. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and a leadership expert who hosts the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast.

Dr. Jon Chasteen: Hey, welcome to all of our Church InTension listeners. We’re so excited that you’re with us today. I couldn’t be more excited about our guest today. He’s a man that really needs no introduction, but I’m going to do it anyways. Craig Groeschel.

Pastor Craig Groeschel. He pastors this small church. You might’ve heard of it. It’s called Life Church, largest church in America. Lead pastor, started that church back in 1996. He has a little podcast called the Craig Groeschel Leadership podcast that has over a million downloads a month. Under his leadership, YouVersion Bible app launched. They’re approaching 400 million downloads.

He’s recently become what they call the champion of the Global Leadership Network. So, really, I just want to say thank you for taking the time out of your day to be on the podcast today.

Pastor Craig Groeschel: Hey, I’m happy to. Yeah, I love what you’re doing. I mean, I’m a big, big, big believer in your mission and just you as a person. So, I’m really happy to come alongside and cheer you on and help breathe on all that you’re working on.

Jon: Well, that means the world to me. You’ve pastored me through a lot of difficult times over the past several years, and that means a lot. Hey, tell us about your book that’s launching in 2020. February, you are launching a book, writing a book, launching your book, Dangerous Prayers. Tell us about that.

Craig: Yeah, I’m really, really excited about this book, Dangerous Prayers. Really, it’s a reflection out of my growing prayer life. And years ago, looked at the way I prayed and there was real safe, sterile prayers of “Bless me today. Keep us safe,” that kind of stuff. And asking for things that are probably almost insulting to God with very little faith.

And so, what I’m trying to do is teach the reader just to really step out in faith and pray some daring prayers, search me and break me, those types of prayers. I believe it can really build our faith to believe in a God that is much more than God, that just blesses our day and our food.

Jon: What I want to talk to you for just a little bit about, even before Life Church, you were a pastor, so you’ve been at this for a few decades now, a little over a few decades. So, to kick this off, and I’m leading you to a place and I’ll get you there, but what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the local church just since you’ve become a pastor?

Craig: Seems to me, Jon, that in my lifetime of ministry, there’ve been more changes than in the few previous decades before. I started out in the beginning of what some would’ve called secret churches, basically. I think we can probably rename it but taking the gospel and making it more accessible in ways that maybe an unchurched person wouldn’t quite understand.

So, in the beginning of my season of ministry, to not wear a robe or a suit and tie-on stage, that was really on edge. And then everybody, what we see today, I always joke around about contemporary churches, and I say contemporary is the new traditional.

Jon: Right.

Craig: And I’m kind of joking, kind of not. Really, it’s almost as if all churches are trying to look, or most churches are trying to look alike today. So, to put drums on the stage was crazy, drama video was you were around on the edge, and now that kind of stuff is normal.

So, I think the style of churches have changed. I think because of technology, it’s almost like a different sport, meaning the idea of having a local church in more than one location 20 years ago wasn’t in our vocabulary in the American church. Social media is its own new and just online streaming ministries, YouTube, and such, the ability to take the gospel to where people are on their mobile devices is a gamechanger.

So, with those changes, the ability to go multi-site, I think how a pastor sees herself or himself in leadership has changed. What’s possible has changed. And I think there are a lot of positives with it and then maybe some unintended negative consequences that we’re discovering how to navigate. So, we’re a church in transition.

Jon: So, it’s almost like we’ve gone, Pastor Craig, from it’s unheard of to be seen on stage without a suit to it’s unheard of to be seen on stage without skinny jeans and pointing your toes to get through them. Right?

Craig: I think for me, I try to remember that our world is not every world and in the American church.

Jon: That’s so true.

Craig: So, there are still some denominationals that are traditional. But it does seem like the thrust of new church plants is much more contemporary in approach.

Jon: Okay, Pastor Craig, with the changes in the church, obviously anybody could look at the local church over the past couple of decades and see insurmountable change. And so, obviously, and this is kind of where I’ve led to this point, the role of a pastor is something that’s changed with it for the good or for the bad. I think some things are probably changed for the good, some things may have changed for the bad.

And so, really I’m trying to lead up to this point where I talk about what does it mean to be a pastor, especially in the 21st century. It’s such a shift in culture. Obviously culture always impacts the church, good or bad.

Craig: Mm-hmm.

Jon: We have to adapt. I love what I’ve heard you say sometimes before: The mission never changes, but the way we do it might. I probably paraphrased that. I’m sure you said it better than that. But it’s kind of that same idea. So, I want to shift and look at that. How has culture seeming to try to shift what a pastor is, or even maybe how a pastor operates? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Craig: Well, I think, first of all, probably one of the best metaphors is a pastor would be a shepherd. So, what does a shepherd do? A shepherd feeds the sheep. So, we preach the Word and that should never, ever change. And then we care for the flock and protect the flock.

So, what does that mean of a church of 100 people, 40 people or 4,000 people? How we care for them might change, meaning we may not do all the one-on-one care, but we’ve got to make sure that the care is done and that the flock is protected from the wolves and our spiritual enemy try to pick them off.

I think no matter what culture does around us, those things should never change in the church. How’s it accomplished? What it looks like? Is it a pastor wearing a robe or skinny jeans? I don’t think that matters a whole lot, I’m guessing.

Jon: Yeah. Yeah.

Craig: But I do think … Let’s take a multi-site church, a church with maybe four sites. That pastor can start to see himself as more of a CEO than a pastor. And I think we need to be careful with that. I would just say it’s not going to be one or the other, meaning just because you lead with a leadership mindset and lead through other people doesn’t mean you don’t have a pastor’s heart and don’t do what a pastor does.

I think some people get critical and say, “You’re a CEO, not a pastor.” That could be true, and we have to watch out for that. I don’t ever come to the church with a CEO hat on first.

Jon: That’s good.

Craig: Meaning I always want to do is come with a pastor’s heart, and that’s really, really, really important. But just because you have a pastor’s heart, it doesn’t mean you don’t have other attributes that help you lead at whatever the scale is.

So, I think that’s really, really, really important to make sure we guard the integrity of here is what matters to God and what a pastor does, and keep that first and foremost. Then the style at which you lead and the scope is going to often determine the approach. But the key ingredients have to be in place.

Jon: Is it harder, in your opinion, to pastor today than it was, say, in 1992 or 1990 or whatever?

Craig: I don’t know. I think every generation has its opportunities and its challenges. I think some of the unique challenges or some of the challenges that come to bear today, I think there are new temptations people are dealing with. Meaning it just kind of dawned on me in the early years, you couldn’t wander into lust and adultery and such with technology because it just wasn’t accessible.

So, I think there might be … Let’s just use this as one example. People, they might be more vulnerable to affairs or lust today because of the accessibility than they were in the past. So, that would be a newer issue. They might be more vulnerable to being distracted by technology today, the good of it or the bad of it, because it’s available today.

Another thing is there’s like Sundays and Wednesdays were protected 20 years ago, meaning you just stores weren’t open and nobody plays soccer on Sunday morning. Now even the very committed Christian is very likely going to be at church far less often than in the past because they’re so busy on the weekends.

Jon: Yep.

Craig: And then even their accessibility to what they would consider church-ish content, meaning, “Well, I don’t have to be there on Sunday. I’ll just listen to the podcast later on,” can be a supplement to their faith or it could actually be a distraction from true community.

So, those are issues that can both be opportunities and can be challenges even at the same time that we’re facing today.

Jon: It’s really good. You know, my dad was a pastor. Obviously, he pastored back in the ’70s and ’80s and early mid-’90s. He would always talk to me about, even as a pastor back then, he was writing a sermon for Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.

I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.”

Craig: Yes. Yes.

Jon: “I’m writing one sermon a week, and I’m about to go crazy. How are you doing that?” Even when you get into the practicalities of being a pastor and talk about writing sermons and the pressure of that, Pastor Brady Boyd, I’ve heard him say it a lot of times that “Sundays come at an alarming rate,” and just the pressure of trying to write a sermon every single week.

And my dad, back … He would always tell me, “I used to listen to Jack Hayford’s sermons and get pointers off of it,” or whoever else in that time. And some of that hasn’t changed. We’re inspired by other pastors.

But there is this pressure now that I feel, and I think a lot of pastors feel it. That they can listen to podcasts all day. Your congregation are listening to the best of the best. Right?

Craig: Mm-hmm.

Jon: So, my congregation and the listeners out there, your congregation, they’re listening to the Craig Groeschel’s and the Steven Furticks, and they’re listening to all these phenomenal preachers. And so, there almost seems like there’s this different pressure on pastors that can maybe, again, maybe there’s some good to it, maybe there’s some bad. Maybe it pushes us to be better communicators, it pushes us to be better studiers.

But it also pushes us into this comparison mindset where we always have this bar that we feel like we have to reach. And even on a Sunday that we do preach a good sermon, it only lasts about 30 seconds. You walk off the stage and you’re like, “Oh my gosh. How do I do that again next week?”

And so, do you think there’s a difference in pastoring in that realm where there’s this constant pressure of unlimited resources and the strain of upping last week. And the book, The World is Flat. Everybody has access to every sermon that’s ever been written. Do you think there’s some pressures there that are maybe new?

Craig: Well, I think, like you said with your dad and my pastor, Nick Harris, he wrote three messages a week. And I would typically do maybe one weekend message for the whole church and then a couple of other smaller things. But that was real pressure, two or three a week. My gosh.

Jon: No doubt. No doubt.

Craig: That’s a different category of tough. I think today, I think you’re right, that messages, many pastors may feel more performance pressure, meaning if someone’s listening to a Pastor Steven Furtick podcast or watching them on YouTube, he has unusual gifts.

Jon: Right.

Craig: Most every other pastor, including myself, I don’t have those gifts. So, there may be a little bit more pressure to, “Hey, I’ve got to really perform.” And in some ways that’s good because it really means, “Hey, we got to take this seriously.”

On the other side, I think we just really, really have to be careful to not diminish the power of the gospel.

Jon: That’s good.

Craig: Meaning we don’t have to have people standing, cheering. We don’t have to have …

Jon: So, good.

Craig: Depending on your style, an organ behind you or a great LED wall behind you or the best orchestra, whatever your preference is, that that stuff doesn’t carry it. And the simple power of the gospel is what we’ve got to trust.

So, do we feel the pressure: “Oh, this needs to be funny” or “This need to be powerful”? Yes. And I would say to pastors, let it drive you toward excellence, but not at the expense of overlooking the power of the message.

Jon: That’s so good.

Craig: We want to understand the text, and we want to present it accurately. And we want to make sure we’ve got a gospel-centered message in all that we do. The creativity, as much as people want it. And is it a tool? Yes. But the creativity doesn’t change lives. You can go to Vegas and get creativity.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: And so, we just have to be careful we don’t let the tail wag the dog. I think there was some, in my opinion, in, let’s say, the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, churches started to become just the same: stale. And people weren’t paying attention.

So, there came the contemporary movement or the secret sense of movement. I think that’s kind of good. But let’s recontextualize the gospel into whatever people understand. Then to me, the pendulum swung, which has now in some places, and we did a little bit of this, it now has got to be louder and bigger and more videos and more circus-like.

Jon: Yep.

Craig: I hope the pendulum swings back a little bit, which is we don’t have to have all the bells and whistles. If the bells and whistles add to the power of the gospel, then great, but don’t let them distract, and don’t let that become the driving force of what we do.

Jon: That’s really good. What about, you talk about the pastors of today, and I think that social media has such a huge, again, benefit and burden.

Craig: Absolutely.

Jon: Benefit being the reach is greater; burden being the pressure of comparison and all the things that it does. What do you see in some pastors that you know? Or first, why don’t you talk about the benefits of it? Because there are some good in it.

Craig: Well, yeah. There’s tons of people that maybe wouldn’t come to church that’ll see a clip, see a verse, and that ministers to them in the moment, that kind of whets their appetite for the gospel. They’re very likely people that get saved from it.

The YouVersion Bible app is on almost 400 million devices. What better use of technology than to give God’s word away for so … All that kind of stuff, watch a message on YouTube. There’s good, good, good, good, good, good, good.

The downsides would be, there very few pastors that I talk to intimately that don’t confess feeling really burdened by the weight of comparison. And others have said it. This isn’t my quote, but basically “We’re comparing others. Highlight real star behind the scenes.” And that’s just so true.

Very few pastors show the agonizing part of the office, trying to come up with a sermon. You rarely see the grieving with the family who their son just took his life.

Jon: Yep.

Craig: So, there’s hours and hours and hours and hours of the everyday normal pastoral stuff that goes on. And when you see the guy walk up on stage at the big platform, you think that’s what ministry is. No, that’s really rare. Even at the level of which those who do it biggest, that’s still a very small percentage of what they do if they’re truly pastoring their church. And so, we can’t let that redefine us.

The other side of social media, I think, that is incredibly complicated is to do it well in many ways almost means not follow the values of Christ.

Jon: So, true, man.

Craig: Meaning like you got to promote yourself.

Jon: You’ve got to promote yourself.

Craig: Yeah. And so, those who do it well, they repost: “Here’s a great thing somebody said about me.”

Jon: Wow.

Craig: I kind of want to do that. I saw a couple of people post really flattering things about my podcast, so I kind of want to repost that because that’s what you do.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: And there’s a part of me that says, “But that’s not what we do.” We’re not about promoting ourselves, and so there’s this tension to be really good at it.

Jon: It’s so true.

Craig: Almost means … And even the way everything is shot. We do this now because it’s kind of what you do: Here’s the behind-the-scenes video, whatever. And people really like that because they like to see it.

But at the same time, I don’t want it to create a “Here’s the celebrity pastor,” because that’s just not what we represent. And to do it well, then culture kind of makes you that. So, we really have to guard our hearts and be really, really careful that we use it as a tool, but don’t let it poison us, don’t let it distract us. Our goal is not to become celebrity pastors. Dear God, please don’t let that be our goal.

Jon: That really is the tension. I think you hit the nail on the head. The tension is: I kind of need to, but if I do, it’s such a fine line, right? Like it’s how do I do that in a healthy way? And that’s the tension, is trying to figure out where the balance is. If I swing too far to the right, I’m not presenting the gospel on a platform at all, where everyone is. But if I swing too far to the left, I’m promoting myself.

Craig: True. But the other thing to realize is too, both you and me, especially me, I was matured in ministry when social media came out. I’m 40 years old or whatever. And so, my identity wasn’t shaped by it. It wasn’t a constant part of my diet. So, I’ve got a real, real biases that a 24-year-old doesn’t.

So, to them, self-promotion might be very consistent with Jesus promotion, meaning if I build my platform, then I can spread Jesus. And so, I think the mindset of the emerging generation that’s only known social media is different. And they could probably argue with me back and forth.

Jon: So, true.

Craig: So, just to acknowledge, my perspective is very different. I see some of the younger pastors unapologetically, boldly, without shame doing what feels like self-promotion to me. But I think if we sat down and talked, in their mind it would be totally pure: “Why not build your platform to spread Jesus?”

So, I think we need to have those conversations. We need to talk. And I don’t want to throw all that under the bus because I don’t think that’s wise. I want to be a student. I want to learn. “I want to be a student, not a critic,” to quote Andy Stanley.

Jon: That’s good.

Craig: But at the same time, I don’t want to just accept the general way of doing it without bringing to question: Is this still God honoring? Does this still represent the values of Christ? I think because it’s so new and because it’s so big, we’re all learning how do we do it well.

Jon: One of the things that’s always meant the most to me about our friendship is the moments where you’ve become incredibly transparent with me in that. For example, you may not remember this moment, but when I first became a pastor, I remember I was talking to you one time, and I was crying. I used to put my phone on mute when I talked to you, because I’d be crying. I didn’t want you to know. So, confessions of a pastor.

But I remember this one time I called you. And I said, “Craig, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea what I’m doing.” You didn’t come and say, “Well, let me tell you, Jon. Let me tell you.” You said, “You know, Jon, I’m not sure any of us really do. We’re just doing what God’s calling us to do by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.”

So, some of those moments for me have been the most healing and comforting for me. And so, I think even to what you’re willing to share on this whole social media comparison thing. Okay, here’s the guy who’s pastoring the largest church in America, 34 campuses. They launch 4,000 campuses a week. I’m kidding. And do you struggle with this comparison, social media? Are there moments where you even have this tension within yourself?

Craig: Yeah, absolutely, I do. Here’s the thing. You never have enough outward success to create inward security.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: Because inward security doesn’t come from the outward success. So, I can compare to someone that’s got way more followers or a bigger platform or more people go for their books or whatever it is. And that’s just dangerous.

Jon: Yeah.

Craig: So, what I really try to do is whenever I feel that creeping up, I try to be benevolent and generous toward whoever I might feel jealous of. So, instead of being jealous or critical, I’ll send them a text, I’ll get them a gift, I’ll send an offering to their church, I’ll comment more on their social media. It’s a way of saying I’m going to have a big heart, not a small heart.

Jon: That’s really good.

Craig: Then the other thing is, I just really, really, really, really try to embrace my lane, which is special. Yours is special. Every pastor listening, it is special and a fight to focus on that. Which is, I won’t have 400,000 YouTube views of my sermon like a lot of my friends.

Jon: Right.

Craig: I’ll have 7,000. That could make me feel like a failure, but I do have an audience that trusts my leadership content. So, by all means, I’m going to add value there. I’m not going to feel bad about what I don’t have. I’m going to look to what I can do. And so, that’s really my advice to pastors.

My heart is heavy for the 28-year-old pastor who is coming up in this age where comparison’s so much easier than it was because we didn’t have access to what was going on everywhere else.

Jon: Yeah, you didn’t know.

Craig: We didn’t know, and it was probably kind of nice not to. So, I would just say learn what you can from others, but for everything and embrace who you’re called to be.

And at the end of the day, here’s what we really have to keep our minds around. Is that if you get all that outward stuff, whatever it is, you’re speaking at the conference, you have the book deal, you have now multiple campuses, you got the blue check mark, whatever it is that you feel like you want, and you don’t have peace in your heart that you did what Jesus called you to do that day.

If your marriage suffers because you’re off doing the conferences. If your kids aren’t following Jesus, if you’re financially strapped because you’re trying to wear the latest whatever the hottest brand of shoes is, then you didn’t win. You did not win. You did not win.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: The guy who wins, the girl who wins, is the one that lives faithfully, quietly behind the scenes in their lane, loving their spouse, raising their kids, being planted in a God-loving community of people. That person wins every time, every time, every time.

And what you see out there visibly of the best of the best of the best, they go home and hurt too. I promise you.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: There’s jealousy, there’s struggles, there’s marriages. So, I want to keep the big rocks in place, meaning I want my marriage centered around Jesus. That’s a win.

This sounds worldly and it kind of is, but I want financial margin, meaning I want to be able to be a blessing to people. And I don’t want financial weight on top of our church and on top of me distracting me from a real calling.

 want to be actively involved in my kids’ lives up in their room at the end of the day, spending time with them and not looking at my latest post on social media, how to perform, you know?

Jon: This so good.

Craig: So, man, for the sake of everything that matters, you remember those are the real wins. And those aren’t quantified in how many people come to your church, how many people follow you, where you’re invited to go or not invited to go. No one measures that. You can’t see that, but that’s what matters. You have to keep that front and center.

Jon: I’m so glad you said all those things, and I hope every pastor in the world hears that. It’s just so good. Pastor Craig, I know you love the church. I’ve seen you turn down stuff. I’ve seen you walk away from stuff, opportunities, because of your love for the local church. So, there’s no question about that.

And the Bible’s pretty clear that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church and that Jesus is building His church. But for the sake of this one question: If you had one concern for the local church, what would be one of those big concerns for the future?

That obviously we’re not saying that the church is in jeopardy. The gates of hell will not prevail. Jesus will build His church. But if there’s one thing that has you a little bit concerned about the next generation of pastor or the next generation of church, what would that one thing be, you think?

Craig: I don’t know. I don’t have a big thing. I’d have multiple small things.

Jon: Small’s good.

Craig: No, I say multiple real issues and not necessarily small. But I think how we navigate the sexual and gender issues of today, that’s pretty important.

Jon: That’s good.

Craig: And it’s incredibly complicated.

Jon: Mm-hmm.

Craig: So, I think we have to really, really work hard to get that right.

Jon: Yeah.

Craig: I think that what we view as success internally as pastors, I think really, really matters. I think it was you that told me that, because you’ve got lots of seminary students, lots of pastors kind of in training, that what they see on social media often maybe skews what really happens in the day of a life of the pastor.

Jon: Right.

Craig: So, I think keeping at the forefront of what it really does mean to pastor, I think that matters. I think navigating the opportunities that technology allows us, even like multi-site and doing it well, we have to understand multi-site is kind of an untested model. Meaning we’re just now starting to transition from one leader to another leader. How do we do that well, can we do that well? So, that’s pretty important.

I think the mindset, like America feels like a pre-Europe, meaning we’re becoming post-Christian in our mindset and not just generally favorable toward Christians or neutral, but hostile.

Jon: Yeah.

Craig: So, navigating that, I think more than ever before, we’ve got to be not cool, not current, not hip. We’ve got to be, I mean, just basic. This almost sounds insulting, but we have to be loving. We have to have integrity toward God’s word. We have to be humble. We can’t be about ourselves. I think we need to serve first rather than finish first sometimes.

A lost person doesn’t want to hear my sermon. But if we come in bearing gifts and caring for people and really creating this community that people long to be a part of, then they might say, “Okay, now, why do you have it?” and they’ll listen to the message. So, we’ve got to be wise and innocent, and ultimately that just never changes.

Jon: Yeah.

Craig: And 30 years from now, we’re going to have some nuances of these issues and more. 30 years ago we did as well.

Jon: So, true.

Craig: So, our strategy just doesn’t change a whole lot. But I do think we have to contextualize the conversation. What are the issues we’re facing and how do we take the gospel, which has changed lives for thousands of years? How do we contextualize that into today’s current culture without compromising who we’re called to be? That’s the issue we will face as a church until our savior returns for us.

Jon: Hey, I know you’re a busy man. I was going to ask you two more questions, but you kind of already answered one of them, and then we’ll get out of here. I like to end every pad podcast by letting the guest kind of lean into the mic and speak to the listener.

My first question you kind of already answered. You can add to it if you want. My first question was going to be: What would you say to the young pastor out there listening to keep their eye on the prize? I mean, what would you say to them?

Craig: Oh, I would just say, first of all, with everything in you, embrace the fact this is a calling. And you’re going to have to because no matter what it becomes to you, the places when you actually do what you think you’re going to do, or more often, when you don’t end up accomplishing what you thought you’d accomplish, you’ve got to go to bed every day saying “I’m called to this.”

Jon: Wow.

Craig: I love the Pauline epistles. He starts off and says, “I’m apostle called.” So, it was as much of his identity. I know if you go to a Christian counselor now, they’re going to tell you, “Don’t let your job be your identity.” I think as pastors, I would almost argue the opposite of it, which is it is our identity. We are Christians and I am a pastor, and in my mind that just does not go away.

Jon: That’s so good.

Craig: So, I would just embrace that calling with everything in you, and you’re not called to do what anyone else is called to do. And so, the language is: We preach it, but we have to live it; keep your eyes focused on the prize; keep your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

And if that means that you have to go off social media, then by all means, stop looking. Silence everybody. You don’t have to unfollow them. Just silence them. And don’t look. Wake up every day looking before you: What’s my assignment today? And do it with joy.

At the end of the day, there are going to be some days that feel productive, other days that didn’t. But if you did everything you knew that was right to honor God that day, no matter what the results were, that’s a good day.

Jon: Awesome. We always talk to the young pastors, but the last question I want to have you answer is what would you say to the seasoned pastor? What would you say to the booming pastor, the pastor who’s been doing it for 30 years and they’ve got a following and they’ve got a … What would you say to them about how they … Whatever you want to say to them, about their social media page, about their …

Craig: Well, number one, I would say, man, wake up and realize this is an amazing season. I’ve been in now for almost 24 years here, and the joy of doing something I’m called to do, with people that I love, with a wife that I’m as close to as ever and kids that all love Jesus, and the local church, I want to enjoy every single moment of that.

I want to just sit there and say, “Now we’re living in the harvest of the labor time.” Then the next thing is the greatest thrill. I thought the greatest thrill was going to be building something that was special. What I’ve figured out now at this stage of life is the greatest thrill is giving it away to the next generation.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: That it’s the Elijah, Elisha, Paul, Timothy. “Hey, I believe in you, and I want to see you do more for the glory of God than I did.” And so, for that person is you embrace the fruit of your labor, meaning you’ve served with integrity for generations. God’s used you to build something special, a community of people that are being transformed by Jesus and transforming others.

But then this isn’t ours. This is something that we give away and it’s way more of a blessing to do that than I projected in my thirties.

Jon: Wow.

Craig: And so, do that and do that well.

Jon: I love that. Pastor Craig, you’re amazing. I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you so much for being on the podcast with us today.

If you want to follow Pastor Craig, obviously you can go to his Instagram page, @CraigGroeschel. You can go to Life.Church and find him. You need to, you need to, you need to check out the Craig Rochelle Leadership podcast. It’s unbelievable. You can go to Global Leadership Summit. Get involved with the Global Leadership Network and follow him.

Pastor Craig, thank you so much, man. We appreciate you very, very, very much.

Craig: Hey, thank you for your heart for pastors. Thank you for providing a great place for a very rich education, preparing them for ministry. And then thank you for doing what you do well, loving the church. You’re a great husband to your wife and dad to your kids. And so, I’m cheering you on, man. Keep it up.

Jon: I appreciate that.

Church InTension
Church InTensionhttps://church-intension.simplecast.com
The Church InTension podcast is a place to have healthy conversations about areas of tension and the intentions of the Church. Hosted by Dr. Jon Chasteen and powered by The King's University and Gateway Church.