5 Ways the Best Leaders Think Master Class



Find the five master class teaching videos from Craig Groeschel on YouTube.

To walk through this workbook with your team, download the PDF.

Our minds are elastic. Over time, they grow, change, and evolve. Neuroscience shows us that the more we think a thought, the more we create neural pathways. So if you don’t like where your thoughts are taking you, you can change the way you think. And for pastors and leaders, growing, evolving, and changing is mandatory.

You are a leader in your church. You have influence. You have God-given strengths, burning passions, innovative ideas, and the ability and responsibility to impact a world desperate for hope and healing! Like never before, our world needs humble, confident, bold, and integrity-infused leaders.

In the Winning the War in Your Mind master class videos and this workbook, you’ll get practical advice on how to change your thinking to improve your leadership. You’ll also get some questions and prompts to help you identify concrete ways you can reshape how you think about the problems you face, the resources you have, and the people you empower and inspire. You can find the videos anytime on YouTube.

As pastors and leaders, we will grow and get better.
Why? Because everyone wins when the leader gets better.


Watch the video, 3 Ways to Change How You Think. Let’s start with a quick summary of this session. Your leadership is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. How you think will determine how you lead.

The problem is what you believe about leadership may be wrong.

Most people want to know “What do other leaders do?” While that’s not a bad place to start, the better question is “How do other leaders think?” Try these three steps:

  1. Find a leader several steps ahead of you.
  2. Watch for where you push back the most.
  3. Be willing to be wrong.

The best leaders think differently from the rest, and we’ll cover why in the next four sessions:

The best leaders don’t control, they empower.
The best leaders don’t spend, they invest.
The best leaders don’t think problems, they think possibilities. The best leaders don’t motivate, they inspire.


Here are exercises you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  1. Are you willing to be wrong? What’s one area where you might need to challenge your thinking in order to grow, succeed, or see a perspective you might have missed? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________
  2. We all have a leader we admire and would love to learn from. Write down three questions you’d like to ask them about the way they think about leadership. _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________


Watch the video, Think Empowerment. Let’s start with a quick summary of this session.
If you feel overworked, overwhelmed, and overstretched, chances are you are overestimating your own importance. When

you overestimate your own importance, you unintentionally undervalue the pastors, volunteers, and leaders around you.

Many leaders are obsessed with finding the right strategy, the right product, or the right opportunity. The best leaders are obsessed about empowering the right people.

The Two Currencies of Empowerment:

  1. Clear Communication
  2. Genuine Trust

The strength of your church or organization is not a reflection of what you control. The strength of your organization is a reflection of who you empower.

"You can have control or you can have growth, but you can't have both" - Craig Groeschel

NOW, LET’S START THINKING: Here are exercises you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  1. Most leaders delegate tasks. The best leaders delegate authority. When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders. If you lead others, who’s one person you lead who shows leadership potential, but you haven’t trusted with authority yet? How can you give them the two currencies of empowerment?
  2. Or if you’re not in a leadership position, what’s a task you can proactively take off your leader’s plate so they feel less overworked, overwhelmed, or overstretched? Write it down.
_________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________


Watch the video, Think Investment. Let’s start with a quick summary of this session.

A resource is what you have that you can leverage to accomplish your goal. Your resources include staff or volunteers, money, time, energy, buildings, and supplies. Resource allocation is investing your available resources in the present to accomplish your goals in the future.

As leaders, when we think about resources, we have to think investing, not spending. Spending is a trade. It’s something fair in return for what you give. But an investment is expecting an exponential return on what you put in.


Here are exercises you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  1. How do you personally invest your time? As much as possible, direct your time toward whatever brings your highest return. What parts of your personal ministry or leadership bring the highest return? Is it your leadership of volunteers? Is it your innovation? Your knowledge of scripture, love for kids ministry, or creativity? Take a minute or two to brainstorm a few below. If you can’t think of anything, ask the people who work closely with you about what you bring when you’re at your best. _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Who should you be investing in? Your most valuable resource is always people! The potential of your church rests on the strength of its people. So—who are the people you haven’t invested in enough yet? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________


Watch the video, Think Possibilities. Let’s start with a quick summary of this session.

Most people obsess about the problems, rather than the possibilities. So train your mind to remember: Problems are opportunities in disguise. You cannot control what happens in the world, but you can control how you frame it. No one can stop you from reframing problems as potential ministry opportunities.

Every crisis creates unexpected problems. Every crisis also creates unprecedented opportunities. Most people just see the problems, but the best leaders address the problems and seize the opportunities!

"Apathy finds an excuse, but passion finds a way." - Craig Groeschel


Here are exercises you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  1. You might be facing a difficult choice, or you might see a problem with only two solutions. Take Option A and Option B off the table. Is there a third solution you haven’t considered yet? What’s your Option C? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Anyone can point out a problem. A leader does something about it! If you want to make a bigger difference, solve bigger problems. Do you know of a problem you can solve for your leader or ministry area before it ever becomes an issue? How could proactively solving it reflect positively on your own leadership? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________


Watch the video, Think Inspiration. Let’s start with a quick summary of this session.
The best leaders don’t just think about motivating their teams. The best leaders work to inspire. What’s the difference?

Motivation is an external force moving someone forward. Inspiration comes from within.

Our goal isn’t to motivate leaders. Our goal isn’t just to find self-motivated leaders. Our goal is to inspire self-motivated leaders toward a world-changing mission.

All you need is one or two well-developed strengths to inspire the people you lead. And the best way to inspire others is to be inspired yourself.


Here are exercises you can do to grow as a leader—ask yourself and your team these questions:

  1. In the video, we discussed a study that listed 33 attributes that regularly inspire others to action. In Session 3, you asked yourself and others to identify your strengths. How can you use those strengths to inspire others? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Take a look back on everything you’ve learned during the last five video sessions. Pay close attention to what you’ve written down personally. Take a few minutes to put together a plan to keep growing, and make sure to answer these two questions: What steps will I take to commit to change my thinking? With my new mindset, how will I take action? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________


  1. Find more leadership and ministry trainings and coaching videos on Life.Church Open Network...check the “training” tab at the top
  2. Subscribe to the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast—leadership for pastors and business leaders—and get new episodes on the first Thursday of every month: www.life.church/leadershippodcast
  3. Read more of Craig’s New York Times Best-Selling books: www.craiggroeschel.com/books


Some of this content is expanded on in Pastor Craig’s latest book, Winning the War in Your Mind. It’s available now everywhere books are sold—find it in hardcover, audio, or digital formats.


  1. More from Craig: www.craiggroeschel.com
  2. Download Leader Guides: www.life.church/leadershippodcast
  3. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: www.go2.lc/cglpitunes
  4. Subscribe on YouTube: www.go2.lc/cglpyoutube


Twitter: @craiggroeschel

Instagram: @craiggroeschel


Craig hand-picked three episodes designed to help you build a strong leadership foundation. You'll learn practical ways to influence your leaders, manage your time wisely, and improve how you communicate. Head to www.go2.lc/threekeys to get the episodes and leader guides sent right to your inbox.

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