CNLP 228: Craig Groeschel on Handling the Pain That Comes With Life and Leadership, How God Can Redeem Self-inflicted Pain and Bring Hope in the Dark of Personal Suffering

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Craig Groeschel leads one of the largest churches in America, but that doesn’t mean the journey has been easy.

In this interview, Craig talks about the hard side of life and leadership – How the early mistakes of a rookie leader can almost sink you, where to find God in the midst of it, and how Craig has experienced God in the midst of personal disappointment and suffering. This interview is a powerful and personal conversation.

Welcome to Episode 228 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Craig Groeschel | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 Hope In The Dark | Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

 CNLP 052: How Craig Groeschel Stays Healthy, Relevant and Passionate in Ministry

CNLP 173: Craig Groeschel Deconstructs His Approach to Preaching, Leadership, Success, the Future and More

Q&A: Chris Voss, Negotiation Expert – Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

Episode Links

Thank you for all the encouraging words about my latest book Didn’t See It Coming. I’m grateful for all the feedback. If you don’t have your copy yet, check out the reviews and grab one for you and a friend today!

Leadership Growth by Samuel Chand

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

A Praying Life by Paul Miller

CNLP 213: Levi and Jennie Lusko on Losing Their Daughter and How to Fight Through Grief to Keep Living and Leading

3 Insights from Craig

1.  Pain is a catalyst in leadership

Early in his ministry, a wise mentor advised Craig that as a leader “when you do more, you’re going to hurt more”. Leaders experience different levels of challenges – whether brought on by outside sources, the brokenness in the world, or self-inflicted pain. All are difficult to work through, but it seems the hardest to process can be self-inflicted wounds because they bring so much personal regret and shame.

Those difficult times are often the catalysts that mold incredible leaders and shape them to become who God wants them to be. God doesn’t cause pain, but he absolutely can use the hurt to create a more effective leader.

2. Self-awareness and honest friendships matter

Many leaders struggle with self-awareness. It is a continuous fight. Lying to yourself can be so easy and often the more people you have around you, the harder it is to be sure you’re hearing honest feedback about who you are and what you’re doing.

Surround yourself with people who can speak openly into your life. Honest friends will make all the difference to keep you on track as long as you remain open to listening to them.

3. Transparency in hard times still ministers to others

Leaders must remember that they are children of God first and leaders of people second. When that order gets mixed up, healthy leadership deteriorates.

That order is crucial when it comes to dealing with personal hurt. Grieving publicly isn’t easy for leaders, especially in ministry. Most people don’t take into consideration that a pastor has to process hurt, doubt and pain just like everyone else.

Being transparent in those vulnerable times not only allows people to minister to you, but it also ministers to them. They gain a better understanding of the fact that a pastor experiences hardships in life just like everybody else. They get to see someone they respect wrestle with the same questions they have while still clinging to God when times are hard.

Quotes from Episode 228

Those God uses greatly he breaks deeply. @craiggroeschel Click To Tweet If you're not hurting, you're not leading, because the more responsibility you have, the more complications tend to come with it. @CraigGroeschel Click To Tweet Self-inflicted pain, mistakes, failures—those are often the catalysts that shape us into the leaders God wants us to become. Click To Tweet We have to fight for self-awareness. We have to fight to tell the truth. Because it's so easy to lie to ourselves. @CraigGroeschel Click To Tweet We enjoy God on the mountaintops, but we get to know him intimately in the valleys. @CraigGroeschel Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 228

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Larry Osborne 

Larry Osborne has been in ministry for over 4 decades and at his current church for 38 years…and he loves it.

Larry talks about how to thrive, why he’s never had to take a sabbatical, why he never uses an alarm clock (unless he’s travelling), shepherd leadership, and why raising up gifted, talented young leaders is so wonderful but still personally hard.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 229.

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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.