Troy Gramling: Do Ministry With Open Arms

TROY GRAMLING is lead pastor of Potential Church, Cooper City, Fla., a 2011 Outreach 100 church (No. 27 Largest).

CONNECTION TO OUTREACH: Troy Gramling is one of the featured pastors in the article “The Transparent Leader” in the 2011 Outreach 100.


People are going to hurt you, but … you must do ministry with open arms. It’s the single most important ministry lesson I’ve learned. Galatians 2:20 says that, “I have been crucified with Christ.” Jesus didn’t do life with a pointed finger, but rather with open arms. Every day we must climb up on that cross even with the knowledge that there are those who will shoot at us.

Biggest Disappointment:
Without a doubt, my biggest disappointment in ministry is to have those closest to me walk away.

A Personal Investment:
To kick off one of our Christmas series called “The Gift Revolution,” my wife and I took $10,000 out of our retirement to give everyone in the church a $1 bill. The impact that had upon the congregation was overwhelming. That dollar represented our belief in our people; we believe with all of our hearts that we as a people are going to change and inspire the world.

Most Challenging Sermon:
The most challenging, and yet rewarding, sermons are when I speak about commitment, knowing that I’m looking into the faces of some (like the disciples in John 6) who will walk away, and others who will step up to the challenge. Either way, both groups of lives will be forever changed depending on how they respond.

HOW TO LINK: Connect with Troy at Potential Church  or on Twitter @TroyGramling.

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James P. Long
James P. Long

James P. Long is the editor of Outreach magazine and is the author of a number of books, including Why Is God Silent When We Need Him the Most?