Home Podcast Steven Furtick: How to Handle Growth and Criticism

Steven Furtick: How to Handle Growth and Criticism

Steven Furtick is the lead pastor of Elevation Church. He and his wife, Holly, founded Elevation in 2006 with seven other families. Pastor Steven holds a Master of Divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also the author of several books, including Unqualified. Pastor Steven and Holly live in the Charlotte area with their two sons, Elijah and Graham, and daughter, Abbey.

Key Questions:

Your church has been recognized as one of the fastest growing churches in America. What are some things you have done to facilitate such growth?

Can you give some advice to leaders who are in the process of building a ministry team?

What tools have you found helpful as you’re preparing a sermon?

Was there a time you received criticism? How did you handle it?

How do you create a positive staff culture and why is that important?

Key Quotes:

“I’ve always felt unqualified, and I discovered it puts me in pretty good company.”

“Having an expectation of needing to invest in the team that you want to build will serve you well, rather than waiting for a pre-fabricated super-team of avengers to drop down out of the heavenly-ministerial-team supply store.”

“The criticisms of others are only about as devastating as my internal insecurities allow them to be.”

“When I first started preaching, my first question in coming to the sermon was ‘How will this preach?’…It was more of a reaction-based approach…Instead I’m asking myself ‘what kind of person will this preaching produce?'”

“I’m learning that it’s not those external voices, but it’s really the relationship that I’m in with myself, my anointing, my assignment, and my God that determines how I process [criticism].”

Mentioned in the Show:


Elevation Church

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala


How to Respond When You Feel Like Giving Up

How to Lead Leaders

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Andrew Hess is the director of content at the White Horse Inn and editor of corechristianity.com. He formerly served as the editor of churchleaders.com. His writing has been featured on The Gospel Coalition and Focus on the Family. He lives in San Diego with his wife Jen and they recently welcomed their first child. Connect with Andrew on Twitter @AndrewWHess.