Troy Gramling: ‘A Culture in Desperate Need of God’

Each year, we speak with several Outreach 100 pastors in an effort to collect their honest observations about the church, their ministries and their experiences. This year, we collected their insights on everything from personal growth and stress management to staying humble in a high-profile position—as well as their thoughts on the future of the American church.

Potential Church in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Pride walks very closely to success, and what we describe as faith can sometimes just be spiritually disguised pride.

John Maxwell has had the biggest impact upon my ministry and life. He taught me that loving God meant growing as a leader and that discipleship was more than memorizing Scripture. After reading his book Developing the Leader Within, I realized if I commit myself to personal growth, I would accomplish all God had planned for me. It was an “aha” moment that has forever changed my life and set the direction for what God has called me to do.

I determined after only a few years in ministry that while I needed to listen to people, I couldn’t listen to all people. I came up with criteria to help determine the “who” I listened to: those who love me, those who believe in me and those how know more than me. While I can’t listen to all, I must listen to some, and this list has helped me determine the “some.”

I am most excited about what many are most concerned about: While I can’t change what has happened in recent years in American politics and morality, I can leverage it. The Scripture declares with great confidence that the lifestyle espoused by most Americans leads to emptiness and loneliness that only God can fill. While the present politically correct climate may lead to persecution of believers, it does create a culture that is in desperate need of exactly what God provides.

The question asked in 2020 will be “Why?” Why should I listen to God’s Word? Why is Christianity different from other world religions? Why does truth matter? Apologetics will have a much bigger role in our church experience in the future. Our worship and praise will contain the surety of his Word, the truth of his teaching, the trustworthiness of God and his Word as the foundation for truth in our lives.

Read more Candid Conversations with Outreach 100 pastors »

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Twitter: @TroyGramling
Founded: 1981
Affiliation: Southern Baptist
Locations: 6
Attendance: 10,598
Largest: 35