Monthly Archives: September 2008

Craig Groeschel’s “IT” Blog Tour, Stop 7

We had the opportunity to present Craig Groeschel with a question from his latest book “IT.” Craig is the lead pastor of, one of the most innovative and fastest growing churches in the world. This is a great book for leaders of any type and we strongly recommend picking up a copy. 

Here are the questions: In Chapter 9, you write about turning focus outward. Could you share some insight and ideas on this topic? How so you and your team stay accountable to some of the ideas you presented? Can you provide some specific examples? (The last time you had a lost person in your home, conversations with non-Christians, praying for non-believers, etc.) How do you keep a balance with work, family, and reaching out to non-believers?

Sean Lewis, Innovative Ministry Leader

Craig: Thank you for the great questions.

When we studied our different campuses, we found that the newer ones tended to reach more people for Christ than the older ones.

While we’re still not totally sure why this is, we have a theory. It seems that for many people, the longer they are Christians, they fewer non-Christian friends they have. This is sad, but often true.

As a church staff, we work with Christians, have small groups with Christians, and hang out with Christians. If we’re not intentional, we could lose most of our relationships with non-believers.

Here are a few things we do to keep the evangelistic passion alive:

The leaders must model personal evangelism. This week I told our staff and the core of the church about a guy I’ve shared my faith with off-and-on for over 20 years. My friend recently started coming to church with his family and is taking big steps toward Christ.

We preach on the importance of sharing our faith.

We celebrate and tell stories about those who found life in Christ.

One of our campuses fasted one day each week for a month for people to come to Christ. That month the salvations on their campus skyrocketed.

You asked how to keep a balance between work, family, and reaching out to non-believers. For me, the challenge of balance is between work and family, but reaching out to non-believers doesn’t strain the rest of my life. If I am living with the heart of Christ, hopefully I’ll be naturally (or intentionally) developing authentic relationships with non-Christians and sharing my faith through my lifestyle and words.

You can pick up the book “It” directly from or any local bookstore.

You can also visit Craig’s blog at

Team IML


Innovative Worship Leader: JLee

Jonathan Lee (JLee) is a twenty six year old passionate worship leader with a heart to lead people into the presence of a holy God. Jonathan Lee is the co-writer to the songs Jesus I surrender, Nothing less than all of me, Unveil and Revolution. Most of the songs he has co-written are featured on two of Jeff Deyo’s latest cd’s, including the title track for the latest release “Unveil.” Jonathan has also shared the stage with Paul Baloche, Jeff Deyo, Steve Fee, Brenton Brown, Mark Roach, Vicki Beeching, Holland Davis, and more. 

Jonathan has traveled around the country sharing his heart for worship with his amazing band Matt Underwood, Charlie Watson, Phil Snowden and Aaron Farmer. Together they share a vision to lead people to God’s heart so that we as Christians can truly come back to the heart of worship.

For the past 4 years Jonathan Lee has been mentored by Jeff Deyo. Deyo has invested time and energy in pouring into Jonathan’s life, believing deeply in the calling and vision God has placed in him. Jonathan is not only guided by Deyo in the business aspect of the music industry but more importantly in having a strong, vibrant walk with God. His God-given gifts and talents have been stretched and pulled on for the purpose of affecting countless lives for the Kingdom of God.

Jonathan Lee’s vision and goal is first and foremost to lift up the name of Jesus so that all people might be drawn to God, as stated in John 12:32. His desire is to worship the King of kings with all of his heart and his life with the hope of leading people to the true heart of God. He is completely consumed with a passionate love for God, and there is no doubt when you hear his music and experience his worship leading that this young worshiper is truly set apart.

This Winter Jonathan Lee (JLee) will release his first full length cd, which will feature “Beautiful King,” a new song which you can listen to the demo now at his site. This song has taken a strong movement at conferences, festivals and youth events this summer.

We at Innovative Ministry Leader have seen and heard samples of this new album and anticipate it to be one of the biggest releases for 2009. 

Team IML

Craig Groeschel’s NEW BOOK “IT”












“IT” How Churches and Leaders Can Get “it” and Keep “it” by Craig Groeschel

From the moment we picked up this book we could not put it down. This is one of the strongest leadership books we have ever read. We recommend “It” for leadership teams, business organizations, volunteers, or anyone that has ever had a dream. 

Craig Groeschel has such a humble attitude as he shares how began and the different struggles they have experienced a long the way. Craig starts out by saying he is not sure what “It” really is, but knows he has experienced it through the growth of his ministry and other ministries around him. 

“It,” is stated as being completely surrendered to Jesus with your ministry. It is more than beautiful buildings, popular programs, or the latest technology. An important point that Craig makes, is that “it” is not a model system, or result of programs. It can not be purchased, copied nor will everyone get it.

One of our favorite chapters goes into the importance of having a well defined Vision for your ministry or organization. Making sure that a vision is memorable (easy to state), portable (meaning people can take it with them and communicate it to others) and motivational (gets people excited). 

One of the biggest things we as an organization walked away from this book is the point Craig makes about keeping what we do simple and to the point. A lot of times Churches or Organizations will have hundreds of ministries, which most are not effective.  Craig shares that currently has five key things that they do. They are five things that they believe God has called them to do well. He expresses the importance of, “Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it.”

We admire that Craig makes a strong emphasis on the need to fail to be successful. What? Did he just say fail! YES! Failure is not an option, it is a necessity to be successful. Craig shares much insight on how has failed over the years, which has led to many of their successes. The book states that, “if your not failing, you’ve stop dreaming.” He goes on to explain that failure is a learning experience where you have to pick yourself back up, learn something and press forward. 

At the end of each Chapter, Craig presents questions to help define ideas, visions and other important aspects you should have for your ministry or organization. Throughout the book there are seven profiles of other Ministry Leaders and their churches with insight on how they began and achieved “IT” as well.

We just highlighted a few of the points that really stood out for us throughout this book. We are certain that after reading this book, you will walk away with so much. You will read ideas, on how to not only discover “It” but how to Enjoy “It” with others, do anything for “It,” want others to have “It,” share “It,” and how to keep “it.” 

This book is already on it second printing. You can purchase it directly at or

Team IML
“It” is published by Zondervan

NEW ALBUM Lincoln Brewster “Today is the Day”

Next week on September 23, you MUST pick up the latest release from Lincoln Brewster, “Today is the Day.” This album is a fresh sound that worship leaders have been waiting for. The talent of Lincoln Brewster alone is amazing, but more than just catchy guitar rifts, “Today is the Day,” offers some strong melodies and lyrical content that you will be sure to want to introduce to your congregations.

The first song and single, is “Today is the Day.” This song is already starting to be used in churches across the country. It has a powerful, easy to remember chorus that is easy to engage with your audience. You will even hear a familiar song “Salvation is Here,” with a new spin.  A lot of times it is tough to mess with an original version of a song but like “Everlasting God,” Lincoln has done it again. The production of this song has added a different sound with some new loops and guitar parts from the original version, making it unique stronger than ever. Another track we picked up on was “Let Your Glory Shine.” It sounds like Van Halen meets John Mayer meets worship. It starts out with an incredibly raw guitar solo, that leads into a blues/rock worship vibe. 

There are so many words that could be used to describe this album, but our best advice is to pick a copy for yourself. Whether you are a fan of rock, blues, or jazz, we promise you will not be disappointed. 

Team IML

What are the needs of the small church?

What are the needs of the small church? 

or any size church. 

WIth thousands of resources and tools it can be hard to distinguish what is helpful and what is just another piece of material that is ineffective. 

Once we get some response, we will break down some of the needs into certain categories for discussion. 

Team IML

What’s coming up…

We have had a few extremely busy weeks, with so many exciting things going on. We just got back from Oklahoma City where we got to visit a few of the campus. God is doing some amazing things with their platform. 

We wanted to provide everyone with an update. Many of you keep asking what is Innovative Ministry Leader? When will we see it? To answer everyones question it is coming soon (2009). Innovative Ministry Leader will be a COMPLETE Interactive Resource for Today’s Leader. It will cover information and insight from Leadership, Worship, Culture, Technology, and Church Awareness. 

Over the next few weeks we will be doing a few album and book reviews(Lincoln Brewster, Remedy Drive, Laura Story, and many more), and asking more questions.

One thing we are excited about is the Craig Groeschel Blog Tour that will be hitting our Site next Tuesday. This is for a promotion of his new book “It.” If you haven’t read it yet I suggest you pick up a copy immediately. 

Here is a complete list of where the blog tour is taking place. 

September 15-Swerve Blog

September 16 – Scott Hodge
September 17 – Catalyst blog and On the Journey (Brad Lomenick)
September 18 – Velocity (Dave Ferguson)
September 19 – Zondervan blog
September 22 – Monday Morning Insight (Todd Rhoades)
September 23 – Innovative Ministry Leader (Sean Lewis)
September 24 – Tony Morgan Live
September 25 – Leading Smart (Tim Stevens)

September 26 – FlowerDust (Anne Jackson) 

Talk to you all soon.

Team IML

Craig Groeschel to kick off Blog Tour September 15th

Craig Groeschel, author of IT, is going on a book blog tour this September!  The blog tour features 10 blogs over two weeks.

Craig will specifically answering a questions for us at Innovative Ministry Leader on September 23rd. 

Below is the schedule for this blog tour:

September 15 – Swerve (Craig Groeschel & Bobby Gruenewald)

September 16 – Scott Hodge

September 17 – Catalyst blog and On the Journey (Brad Lomenick)

September 18 – Velocity (Dave Ferguson)

September 19 –Zondervan blog

September 22 – Monday Morning Insight (Todd Rhoades)

September 23 – Innovative Ministry Leader (Sean Lewis)

September 24 – Tony Morgan Live

September 25 – Leading Smart (Tim Stevens)

September 26 – FlowerDust (Anne Jackson)

While the tour kicks off next week on the Swerve blog, you do not have to wait to find out more information about IT, interact with IT, and have a chance to win IT.

Each day this week on the Zondervan blog, they will be posting something about IT – videos about IT, messages about IT, ways to win IT, and ways to interact with others about IT.  

Visit for more information