Six years ago, the leadership at LifeChurch.tv took an intentional shift, beginning to provide its resources for free. Now, YouVersion is the fastest growing Bible app with more than 50 million users. Senior pastor Craig Groeschel told Christianity Today that once the church began giving away resources, it removed the competitive attitude he felt towards other church leaders. He uses that decision to illustrate a way to battle envy, one of the toxic attitudes he identifies in his new book, Soul Detox (Zondervan). He founded LifeChurch.tv, which now has 14 campuses, in 1996. CT Online Editor Sarah Pulliam Bailey sat down with Groeschel at his church in Edmond, Oklahoma, to talk about toxicities, what a cleanse looks like, and what made him shift in his ministry.
How did you decide which toxic behaviors to identify?
A lot of it came from my personal experience and leadership observations. For example, we believe lies about the world or we believe lies about ourselves and end up really being deceived on how we are being poisoned by the world. People can literally step into toxic behaviors or mindsets or allow even influences from the culture to poison the way they think or poison their souls without even really knowing it.
When you describe toxic behaviors, is it identifying sin? Or do you think it's less obvious than sin, per se?
Oftentimes it is sin. Sometimes it may be less obvious. I don't know if having a bad attitude is sin or not, but I think that's something that's obviously harmful.
How do these behaviors impact a church and its leadership? And where do you see that as you're trying to help people get detoxed?
Toxic mindsets, toxic influences, toxic attitudes can hit everybody at every level. They can impact marriages, through ...1