Culture and the Church: Thought Shapers- Part 2: Craig Groeschel (Redefining Pastoral Image and Church Membership)

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Craig Groeschel, the pastor of LifeChurch.tv, has been revolutionizing the way that people think of church.  He has been a pioneer in the multi-campus church strategy and the online church model.   My first exposure to Craig Groeschel was when he spoke at the Catalyst conference in 2007 in Atlanta.  I was really impressed with his openness and passion for God.  I have also enjoyed keeping up with what God is doing in Craig’s life through his blog.  Craig is an established author of three books.  One of his books which really caused a stir in the Christian community was called The Confessions of a Pastorin which Craig talked about the struggles that he has had in life and ministry in order to show that despite the face and image that many pastors portray that pastors struggle to follow after Jesus just like the rest of us.  This is I think is the first issue the Craig is bringing to light.  We need pastors and people in spiritual leadership to pursue holiness and being in pursuit of God, but we do not need the pastor to stand up from week to week and act like he is perfect.  The Christian life is a walk in pursuit of God and some weeks that walk ends up looking more like a crawl.  Christians, especially pastors, need to be the first to admit this.  This keeps people in spiritual leadership from portraying an image that is not who they really are.  Pastors need to be seeking after holiness yet have the humility to admit that they have not fully obtained it yet.  Another interesting thing that Craig is doing at LifeChurch.tv is that in January of 2008 he stopped the whole concept of church membership at LifeChurch.  He cancelled the idea of membership due to the Bible presenting every believer as a member of the body of Christ.  Craig wants to encourage his church to be the church by living out the gospel to the world around them.  He is pushing his congregation to seek out living as the church in the midst of a culture that does not know Jesus Christ over going to do church on Sundays.