Craig Groeschel

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Craig Groeschel
Born (1967-12-02) December 2, 1967 (age 49)
Houston, Texas
Occupation Minister, author, speaker
Nationality American
Period weight: 190 height: 5'9"
Subject Leadership
Christian growth

Craig Groeschel (born December 2, 1967) is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church, the largest church in the United States[1] with twenty six locations in eight states. He is married to Amy and has six children. They live in Edmond, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where Life.Church is based.[2]

Personal life[edit]

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 a tennis 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.[3][4]

Pastoral career[edit]

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.[5] Groeschel’s non-traditional style was successful and attendance of Life Covenant grew rapidly, eventually evolving to become (as of September 2016) the largest church in the United States with twenty five Life.Church campuses.[6] Groeschel began using video to deliver some of his 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.[7][8] In 2006, he set up a website called as a place for people to confess anonymously on the Internet.[9][10] Groeschel also began delivering his services to the Second Life virtual world on Easter Sunday 2007.[11]

Life.Church was named America’s Most Innovative Church by Outreach Magazine in 2007[12][13] and 2008.[14] Life.Church innovations include its free resource library with sermons, transcripts, videos, artwork,[15] and a digerati team that develops free software like and YouVersion the Bible app, which has been downloaded over 200 million times by December 2015.[16]

According to Newsmax website, Life.Church is listed on the top 50 churches of America in 2015, being the largest church with approximately 100,000 people attending weekly.[17]


Craig Groeschel started a free podcast in 2016 about leadership;[18] he believes that a person does not have to know it all to become a great leader. In his podcast, he focuses on helping people reach their maximum leadership potential.


Groeschel serves on the Board of Directors of Gulfport Energy Corporation.[19] Groeschel's 2016 compensation was a grant of 3,824 equity shares on June 10, 2016 [20] with a value of $125006.56[21] at close of business that day.


Craig's books focus on Christians overcoming struggles in their everyday life to have a fully devoted relationship with Christ.

Book Title Description Publish Date
Divine Direction: 7 Decisions That Will Change Your Life Every day we make choices. And those choices accumulate and eventually become our life story. What would your life look like if you became an expert at making those choices?

In this inspiring guidebook, New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel shows how the choices that are in your power, if aligned with biblical principles, will lead to a life you’ve never imagined.

Divine Direction will help you seek wisdom through seven principles. You’ll consider one thing to stop that’s hindering you; how to start a new habit to re-direct your path; where you should stay committed; and when you should go even if it’s easier to stay. The book also includes criteria that will help you feel confident in the right choice, and encourages you with principles for trusting God with your decisions.

What story do you want to tell about yourself? God is dedicated to the wonderful plan he’s laid out for you. The achievable and powerful steps in Divine Direction take you there one step at a time, big, or small.

Feb. 7, 2017
#Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World We all love the benefits of technology and social media, but even with the incredible upsides, many of us suspect there are unintended negative consequences that are beyond our control. We’ve lost perspective, even perhaps ourselves.

Encourages readers who are hungry to regain control over their lives and put Christ first again. Walks them though biblical values that all Christ followers know are essential, but are even more important for the maxed out, selfie-centered world we live in.

The more you compare, the less satisfied you are. The more we interact online, the more we crave face to face intimacy, but the harder it is to have. The more filtered our lives become, the harder it is to be authentic. The more information about the pain in the world we’re exposed to the more difficult it is to care.

It’s time to refresh and rediscover our understanding for today’s world the biblical principles that life with Christ brings: contentment, intimacy, authenticity, compassion, rest and more. Groeschel taps some of the most up to date studies on the effects of social media on our emotions and our friendships, and shows us through real-life illustrations how we struggle and how we can overcome our struggles with Jesus’ life-changing gospel message.

With helpful appendices like the 10 Commandments of Using Social Media to Strengthen Your Faith, a challenge to go on Technology Fasts, and Creating Safeguards for Your #Struggles, you’ll find #Struggles to be just the guide to bring balance and real-life engagement to your everyday living.

Oct. 27, 2015
From This Day Forward: Five Commitments to Fail-Proof Your Marriage The choices you make each and every day determine not only your relationship with God but also the quality of your marriage. The decisions you make today will determine the marriage you will have tomorrow.

In From This Day Forward, you will discover five commitments that will absolutely fail-proof your marriage:

  1. Seek God.
  2. Fight fair.
  3. Have fun.
  4. Stay pure, and
  5. Never give up.

If you and your spouse will earnestly commit to do all five of these things, you’ll discover a richer, deeper, more authentic relationship and a more rewarding, more passionate love life.

Don’t be a statistic. Don’t be average. Let’s get you the marriage you’ve always wanted.

Starting right now—from this day forward.

Oct 28, 2014
Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth.

Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.

By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God’s holiness.

Oct 26, 2013
Altar Ego: Becoming Who God Says You Are You are NOT who you think you are. In fact, according to bestselling author Craig Groeschel in Altar Ego, you need to take your idea of your own identity, lay it down on the altar, and sacrifice it. Give it to God. Offer it up.

Why? Because you are who GOD says you are. And until you’ve sacrificed your broken concept of your identity, you won’t become who you are meant to be.

When we place our false labels and self-deception on the altar of God’s truth, we discover who we really are as his sons and daughters. Instead of an outward-driven, approval-based ego, we learn to live with an “altar” ego, God’s vision of who we are becoming.

Discover how to trade in your broken ego and unleash your altar ego to become a living sacrifice. Once we know our true identity and are growing in our Christ-like character, then we can behave accordingly, with bold behavior, bold prayers, bold words, and bold obedience.

Altar Ego reveals who God says you are, and then calls you to live up to it.

Feb 20, 2013
Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most Author and pastor Craig Groeschel helps you uncover who you really are―a man created in the image of God with a warrior’s heart―and how to fight the good fight for what’s right. You will find the strength to fight the battles you know you need to fight―the ones that determine the state of your heart, the quality of your marriage, and the spiritual health of your family.

Craig will also look at examples from the Bible, including our good buddy Samson. Yep, the dude with the rippling biceps and hippie hair and a thing for Delilah. You may be surprised how much we have in common with this guy. By looking at his life, you’ll learn how to defeat the demons that make strong men weak. You’ll become who God made you to be:

A man who knows how to fight for what’s right.

And don’t you dare show up for this fight unarmed. Learn how to fight with faith, with prayer, and with the Word of God

It’s time to fight like a man. For God’s Sake, FIGHT.

Oct 22,2013
The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn't Exist “The more I looked, the more I found Christian Atheists everywhere.” Former Christian Atheist Craig Groeschel knows his subject all too well. After over a decade of successful ministry, he had to make a painful self admission: although he believed in God, he was leading his church like God didn’t exist. To Christians and non-Christians alike, to the churched and the unchurched, the journey leading up to Groeschel’s admission and the journey that follows—from his family and his upbringing to the lackluster and even diametrically opposed expressions of faith he encountered—will look and sound like the story of their own lives. Now the founding and senior pastor of the multicampus, pace-setting, Groeschel personal journey toward a more authentic God-honoring life is more relevant than ever. Christians and Christian Atheists everywhere will be nodding their heads as they are challenged to take their own honest moment and ask the question: am I putting my whole faith in God but still living as if everything was up to me? Apr 19,2011
It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It When Craig Groeschel founded Life.Church, 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, Groeschel—one of today’s most innovative church leaders—provides profile interviews with Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble, Tim Stevens, Mark Batterson, Jud Wilhite, and Dino Rizzo. This book tells how any believer can obtain It, get It back, and guard It. And, to dig deeper, the It Pack includes the softcover book and a DVD that will challenge churches and their leaders to maintain the spiritual balance that results in experiencing It in their lives. Jan 26, 2011
Chazown: Define Your Vision. Purpose Your Passion. Live Your Life on Purpose. You were born with your own Chazown. Do you know what it is?

You’re invited on a most unusual odyssey—to find, name, and live out your personal Chazown. It’s a journey you’ll never forget because it’s impossible to return unchanged.

Practical, fresh, and biblically sound, Chazown is a one-of-a-kind life planning experience. Perhaps for the first time, you’ll clearly understand what you’ve always suspected:

I have been created and put on earth for a unique and important purpose.

And God intends for me to know it and live it with passion and fulfillment for His glory.

Craig Groeschel will help you get under the surface of your life to discover your life purpose in three often overlooked areas: your core values, your spiritual gifts, and your past experiences. He’ll help you turn it into a highly motivating credo—complete with short-term goals, action steps, and a supportive network to make your big dream a reality.

And then Craig will show you how to apply your own chazown to five critical areas of your life: your relationship with God, your relationships with people, your finances, your health and fitness, and your work.

Are you living someone else’s dream for your life, or no dream at all? Get ready for Chazown.

For resources, visit The Chazown Experience at

Aug 10, 2010
WEIRD: Because Normal Isn't Working Normal people are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. Many of their relationships are, at best, strained and, in most cases, just surviving. Even though we live in one of the most prosperous places on earth, normal is still living paycheck to paycheck and never getting ahead. In our oversexed world, lust, premarital sex, guilt, and shame are far more common than purity, virginity, and a healthy married sex life. And when it comes to God, the majority believe in him, but the teachings of scripture rarely make it into their everyday lives. Simply put, normal isn’t working. Groeschel’s WEIRD views will help you break free from the norm to lead a radically abnormal (and endlessly more fulfilling) life. Apr 23, 2012
Dare to Drop the Pose: Ten Things Christians Think but Are Afraid to Say Is the REAL you getting lost because the FAKE you is just so annoyingly impressive?

“Stepping onto the platform to preach that morning, I admitted to myself that I was not a pastor first, but a regular, scared, insecure, everyday guy whose life had been changed by Jesus. And if Jesus really loved me as I was (I knew He did), then why should I go on trying to be someone I wasn’t?”

Why DO we fake it so much? Why do we spend so much time trying to please everyone else and make so little effort trying to please God? When Craig Groeschel asked himself those questions, he couldn’t come up with a good answer. So one day he decided to drop the act and start getting real. With that one choice, his life began to change in a big way. And yours can, too.

Craig’s passionate, funny, warts-and-all confessions and the lessons he learned will help you find you own path to authentic living and a deeper relationship with God.

Aug 10, 2010
Love, Sex and Happily Ever After: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance What do you do if you want a marriage that doesn’t just survive, but thrives? That doesn’t just begin romantically but ends magnificently?

Answer: You do something different.

You’ve seen marriages fail time and again. Even relationships you thought were bulletproof don’t last–or maybe worse—fade away to a cold, gray lovelessness. It’s no wonder that for today’s generation, “getting what you want” is often a substitute for love, and disillusionment about marriage is the new normal.

But you can have a long-term, love-blessed marriage. Whether you’re still considering it, are about to be wed, or have been married for a while and want to make changes, Love, Sex & Happily Ever After delivers an infusion of hope. Author Craig Groeschel clearly and honestly lays out the choices and commitments you can make now to change the way you think and act—to build the relationship you want for the rest of your life.

With an invigorating mix of personal story, practical guidance and biblical truth, Craig invites you into a candid conversation about first dates, sex, communication, integrity, forgiveness, and commitment. Along the way, he shows how you can build a soul-enriching, God-honoring relationship with the one you love…and believe together again in your very own “happily ever after.”

Previously released as Going All the Way

Aug 16, 2011
Confessions of a Pastor: Adventures in Dropping the Pose and Getting Real with God. The Dark Side of a Pastor's Life - A Breath of Fresh Air Are you tired of pretending? Living walled up? Going only skin deep? Craig Groeschel , pastor of the thriving, sure was. And in his refreshingly raw and real book, he comes clean. Not that he has anything other than typical, human stuff to confess. Check out a few of his musings: I have to work hard to stay sexually pure, I hate prayer meetings, sometimes I doubt God , and I can't stand a lot of Christians . Through his incredible honesty, he opens the door for you to follow suit. Are you ready to dig deep and let God shine through the genuine you? No more living just to please others. No more hiding. You can be who God called you to be. You can live for an audience of One. Sep 20, 2006
Going All the Way: Preparing for a Marriage That Goes the Distance “Going all the way” used to mean getting what you want from the opposite sex now…and paying for it later.

It’s time to redefine.

Smart advice for a new generation about love, sex, and happily ever after.

You’ve seen marriages fail time and again. Even relationships you thought were bullet proof don’t last. Once promising couples dissolve in the acid of selfishness, conflict, or unfaithfulness… or fade away to a cold, gray lovelessness. No wonder that for our generation, “getting what you want” is often a substitute for love, and disillusionment about marriage is the new normal.

So what do you do if you want a marriage that doesn’t just survive, but thrives? That doesn’t just begin romantically but ends magnificently? Answer: You do something different.

Whether you’re thinking ahead to marriage, are about to be wed, or have been married for a while and want to make changes, this book can help. Going All the Way will guide you through the choices and commitments you need to make nowin order to build a strong and vibrant relationship that will go the distance. In a world where going all the way means putting yourself first, author Craig Groeschel will show you how, by putting God first, you can build a soul-enriching, lifelong relationship.

With practical, candid discussions about sex, first dates, integrity, forgiveness, and communication, Craig will help you prepare for and experience a relationship that gives fresh, hope-filled meaning to “going all the way” with the one you love.

Oct 2,2007


  1. ^ "Top 50 America's Mega Churches", The wire, News max .
  2. ^ "Leadership Team", Life Church, retrieved February 20, 2010 .
  3. ^ Emily M. Bernstein, "Terror in Oklahoma: The Displaced; Its Building Is Shattered, But Church Survives", New York Times, April 24, 1995.
  4. ^ Julie DelCour, "Public Chapel to Open At Site of OC Church", Tulsa World, June 22, 1995.
  5. ^ William C. Symonds, "Earthly Empires: How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook, BusinessWeek, May 23, 2005.
  6. ^ Cathy Lynn Grossman, "Multi-site churches mean pastors reach thousands", USA Today, December 17, 2009.
  7. ^ Cathy Lynn Grossman, "Pastors debate video's pros, cons", USA Today, December 16, 2009.
  8. ^ Bill Sherman, "Message in the medium", Tulsa World, August 21, 2004.
  9. ^ Neela Bannerjee, "Intimate Confessions Pour Out on Church’s Web Site", New York Times, September 1, 2006.
  10. ^ "Thousands of evangelical Christians confessing on-line", Catholic News Agency, September 4, 2006.
  11. ^ Stephanie Simon, "It's Easter; shall we gather at the desktops?", Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2007.
  12. ^ Lillian Kwon, "Life.Church Named Most Innovative Church", The Christian Post, January 16, 2009.
  13. ^ Lillian Kwon, "Innovative Church Leaders Move Into the Neighborhood", The Christian Post
  14. ^ "America’s 25 Most Innovative Churches of 2008" at
  15. ^ Megachurch Spends Years on Innovations, Then Gives Them Away for Free (Christian Post, June 7, 2013)
  16. ^ YouVersion Bible App Tops 100 Million Downloads; Releases Series of Infographics (Christian Post, 7/9/13)
  17. ^ Newsmax's Top 50 Megachurches in America
  18. ^ "Leadership Podcast". Life Church. Retrieved 2016-06-21. 
  19. ^ "Gulfport Energy Board of Directors". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  20. ^ "MarketWatch". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 
  21. ^ "Nasdaq Gulfport Energy Corporation Common Stock Historical Stock Prices". Retrieved 2016-08-12. 


External links[edit]