James Grogan

James Grogan on What Sparks Momentum

About The Episode


Navigating change in churches requires courage, vision, and a willingness to adapt. By fostering a culture of adaptability, celebrating wins, and grounding decisions in biblical principles, churches can embrace momentum for growth and impact. As leaders prioritize clarity, focus, and inclusivity, they pave the way for a thriving future rooted in faith and resilience.

Welcome to episode 106 of the Leaders in Living Rooms podcast, with Sean Morgan.   


Creating a Culture of Adaptability

Grogan, a seasoned pastor, shared insights into his church’s journey of revitalization, emphasizing the importance of fostering a culture where change is not only accepted but embraced. He highlighted the need to prioritize the mission over traditional methods, encouraging leaders to be fast, fluid, and flexible. Grogan stressed the significance of challenging sacred cows—be it programs, processes, or people—to drive innovation and effectiveness in ministry.

Practical Shifts in Church Dynamics

The conversation delved into practical shifts in church dynamics, ranging from reimagining prayer moments during services to restructuring youth ministries. Grogan emphasized the importance of creating inclusive spaces for congregational participation and providing avenues for personal prayer and spiritual support. The adaptability of church staffing and resource allocation was also highlighted, showcasing the need to optimize resources for maximum impact, especially in challenging contexts like California.

Embracing Change for Growth

Sean underscored the correlation between embracing change and experiencing exponential growth in churches. Drawing from personal experiences and church case studies, he emphasized the need for leaders to prioritize a culture of transparency and adaptability. By being willing to change everything—methods, processes, and even personnel—churches can position themselves for sustainable growth and impact.

Celebrating Wins Along the Journey

A critical aspect of navigating change is celebrating wins along the journey. Grogan highlighted the importance of acknowledging milestones, big or small, and intentionally creating spaces for celebration and reflection. By recognizing and sharing success stories, churches reinforce positive momentum and cultivate a culture of gratitude and resilience.

Biblical Foundations for Change

Throughout the conversation, biblical principles were interwoven with practical insights. Grogan referenced passages like Isaiah 43:19, emphasizing God’s continuous work of renewal and restoration. The story of Nehemiah served as a masterclass in strategic leadership, highlighting the importance of vision, timing, inclusivity, and perseverance in driving change and momentum.

Prioritizing Clarity and Focus

In a world filled with endless possibilities, leaders often grapple with decision paralysis. Grogan advocated for prioritizing clarity and focus, urging leaders to identify core strengths and strategic priorities. By discerning where they can make the most significant impact and concentrating their efforts, churches can navigate change with confidence and purpose.

Episode Links

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Who is James Grogan?

James is the Lead Pastor at Eastlake Church, a growing movement of churches founded in Chula Vista, CA, which includes several. Locations in Southern California and Tijuana, Mexico, James is also a catalyst leader of the San Diego Church Plant Movement. He has worked in full-time local church ministry for over 25 years, with the last 19 spent on staff at Eastlake Church. James has served in many roles and ministries during his time at Eastlake, including kids & students, spiritual formation and group life, executive leadership, teaching, and now Lead Pastor. James grew up in Illinois (which is a great place to be from but not live) and is fanatical about University of Illinois sports. He attended Evangel University where he played football and majored in biblical studies. He was much better at the Bible than he was football, so do not be impressed with his athleticism. James also completed a degree in Organizational Leadership from Azusa Pacific University; they did not ask him to play football because he was too old and slow by then. James and his wife Rebecca have been married for 25 years and have 3 children of their own and have also served as foster parents for a few amazing children.


Thanks to our sponsor: OneHope: OneHope’s mission is to reach every child and youth in the world with God’s Word through the global church. In 35 years of ministry OneHope has reached more than 2 billion young people with the Gospel. Learn how you and your church can get involved by visiting onehope.net/learnmore/.

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About the Host

Sean Morgan is a coach and speaker with a national reputation as a catalyst of fresh vision. His passion is to help ministries navigate obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

Throughout his career, Sean has pioneered initiatives impacting thousands of leaders across the country. He started out serving as Executive Pastor and CFO at New Life Church in northern California.

As host, Sean gives you access to amazing conversations, hard-won wisdom, and poignant insights from world-class leaders in intimate “living room” settings.

Your Host

Sean Morgan

Leaders in Living Rooms
Craft & Character

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