“Mom, where were you? You didn’t come to my concert!”
At Life.Church, we will do anything short of sin to reach people who don’t know Christ. One of our favorite ways to do this is through series like 30-Second Theology, which uses popular commercials from to find spiritual truths.
Last year I started experiencing a health issue. At first I tried to ignore it, thinking it was temporary and nothing serious. As time went on, it became clear that this was not going away, at least not on its own.
Sarah is intelligent, soft-spoken, and kind. She has a gentle laugh and a way about her that makes you feel at ease in a moment. But honestly, I was nervous to talk to her. She lives in a part of the world where it’s illegal to share her faith. As I was preparing for our conversation, I thought, “What persecution have I faced for following Jesus? Nothing that comes close to losing my life or family. I wonder what this conversation will be like?”
“How can you still not spell this word? We’ve practiced every night for the last three days!” I say to my six-year-old daughter as I recall winning—or maybe losing—my elementary spelling bee. We’ve all been there. Maybe it was hitting a ball, working an equation, fitting into a dress, making a grade, getting into a college, or starting the right profession. At some point, we’ve found our hope firmly seated on a one-way train steaming ahead off the steep cliff of living vicariously through the very people who were intended to “spring off” of us. Yet we know our offspring should be motivated by our momentum, not halted by our hang-ups.
Dangerous prayers? Who wants to pray dangerous prayers like “Break me”? I know I didn’t, but four years ago I did—and it’s a time in my life and marriage I will never forget.
On an otherwise innocent Sunday afternoon, an otherwise innocent four-year-old boy climbed to the top of a mountain and chucked a stolen necklace as far as he could. That morning, I came across the necklace in my Sunday School class at our North Hollywood church where my dad happened to be the new pastor. I loved seashells, and the necklace had no shortage of them. When it was time to eat animal crackers and juice, I must’ve put it in my pocket. You know, so some other heathen kid who didn’t appreciate seashells wouldn’t try to play with it. Fast forward, and I’m at home later that day. I reached into my pocket and my little fingers discovered my inadvertent plunder. My post-toddler logic decided that chucking it off the hill was the best way to avoid being found out.
Having a good marriage takes work, but it’s worth the effort. Being intentional about spending time together is a vital part of having a strong and healthy relationship with your spouse. One great way to get that time is to plan regular date nights.
It’s hard to believe I’ll be celebrating 20 years of being on staff at Life.Church this coming May. Am I really that old? No—I just started before puberty is all! I’m now the Campus Pastor at our location in Rio Rancho, NM, and I’ve really grown up at this church in more ways than one. I have grown so much over the past two decades in my relationship with God, in how I lead, how I parent, and how I am a husband.
Our story began in a two-car garage. Fast forward to today and you’ll find communities meeting in multiple locations around the world at Life.Church Online. Yet through all the changes and growth, we have remained true to our calling to be a church where people can come just as they are, but leave forever changed.
This is the story of the first 20 years of Life.Church, as told by our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel and the leadership team of Life.Church.