4 years ago this month, LifeChurch.TV introduced itself to Mesa and Gilbert near Phoenix, Arizona.  My family attended the very first service at Mesquite High School. We loved the energy, we liked the casual dress and we loved Chris Spradlin. We had been looking for a place for our family to have community with other like-minded christians and find a place to grow.It all started out great!

There was a series last year about being “All In”. I never picked up the T-shirt for that one because Criag Groeschel , the founding head pastor, was very specific about what “all in” meant to him and I did not fit that. To him being all in meant serving the church by helping out in the childrens ministries, the youth ministries, serving with music or being part of the tech team. Although I was consistently asked to help out in the childrens area but that is not my personal area of focus for ministry. I have a passion for serving women in need or collaborating with other women for personal growth. LifeChurch.TV does not have an official ministry like that so… according to the LC.TV way, I was not all in. I did not let that deter me from creating a ministry to women, I went forward on my own.

Which leads me to a very crucial point that LC.TV missed. Phoenix is a very different collection of people. Phoenix is the sort of city that attracts people who are looking for something different than the status quo. Phoenixians want something that is similar to what is standard but not rigid. Most people who move to Phoenix were tired of the places they were, they are not people who want to commit lightly so they have to see your commitment first then they will give you all they have.

Perhaps that’s part of the reason, as well, that I could not commit to a weekly area of service. I didn’t feel that LC.TV was committed to me. Craig came to Phoenix (in front of the entire campus) 4 times in 4 years. LC.TV moved it’s service locations 4 times. We had 3 head campus pastors and 2 youth pastors and 2 childrens directors and 3 administrators and 2 music directors. A couple of these changes were due to personal desire of people to change position or location, the rest were changes instituted by LC.TV.

These staff changes made me feel like we were a testing ground for staff but the greatest disappointment for lack of commitment was that we never got a commitment for a building.  Our current campus pastor worked diligently to find us a permanent location to no avail. LC.TV would not approve a building purchase. Where was the commitment to Phoenix?

I understand that perhaps there wasn’t enough research done by LC.TV about the match up. Maybe they did not get the idea of the personality of the Phoenix person. A lesson learned yes, but couldn’t they have worked with us a bit more closely and shown us more commitment in order to make things work? Couldn’t LC.TV have sent a team out to interview the people who were attending this campus to see what they like and perhaps how they could tweak a couple of things? I know that LC.TV is a corporate model and their model should work the same in each place but when it doesn’t… what then? Now we have the answer to the question.

My greatest disappointment is that Craig did not come out to the Phoenix campus. He should have chosen a date for announcement when he could personally attend.

I am not trying to “diss” LC.TV here, I just want to express my disappointment with how everything here was handled from beginning to end. I know that LC.TV ministers to a lot of people and has made a lot of advances in many areas of ministry but I personally feel completely ditched.

LifeChurch.TV please learn the lesson before you continue and it’s not too late to come out Craig.. we would still like to hear from you personally.