In 1995, a young Pastor named Craig Groeschel held services in a two-car garage in Oklahoma City. One Sunday, Pastor Craig was forced to show the videotaped sermon from the service the night before because of the birth of one of his children. The response was anomalous.  Expecting criticism, his improvisation was instead greeted with enthusiasm.  It appeared to be a very popular idea. Soon, he expanded that idea to telecast the messages to other Life.Church locations allowing the church to become a multi-site church, which was then followed by the addition of an online campus where the messages could be seen via the internet. The church grew exponentially.  Today, Life.Church has 26 campuses in eight states, plus Church Online where attenders can watch the message from anywhere in the world.  It is one of the largest attended churches in the United States.  In addition, Craig has added technological innovations which have exploded his message’s popularity and audience participation.

Guess what folks!  Life.Church is RIGHT HERE in River City. Though it has been a part of the community for 10 years, Life.Church has now constructed a beautiful new building located off exit 5 of the Northway in Latham that boldly invites Northway traffic to look upon this beautiful edifice with its large impressive “Sign” causing them to “Wonder”.  Yes I said it. Life.Church, in my humble opinion, is a “Sign and a Wonder” following a modern day apostle, in the person of Craig Groeschel (Acts 5:12; Romans 15:19).

Since the days of Charles Finney in 1868, Upstate New York has been patiently and sometimes impatiently awaiting the next great move of God.  Finney taught us about prayer, holiness and the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Today, anyone sensitive to the heart of God understands that His kairos word right now is:  UNITY, UNITY, UNITY!

Well, guess what again. UNITY is what Life.Church is all about.  Senior Pastor Ryan Dowdy spent some time to fill me in on the vision and mission statement of Life.Church.  Aside from their Mathew 28:19, 20 mandate to “Go ye  therefore and make disciples of all nations,” which was evidenced that very day as a large number of people, upon invitation, came forward to make decisions for Christ, there is an undeniable mandate that permeates everything they do.  Create UNITY in the Christian community.  They have a vision for the success of Christ’s Church with a capital “C”.  God’s next move is beginning to manifest.

Christian Leaders; please pay close attention and find out what God wants you to do. Let’s pave the road for revival with UNITY.  God has a plan, and He’s afoot in Upstate New York.

I’ve spent considerable time in many churches looking, questioning, as to what was the thrust of their ministries?  You don’t have to search hard or query long to see the attributes and strengths of Life.Church.  They smack you right between the eyes. This church is user-friendly, technologically cutting edge and determined to allow any other church to freely access and make their own the incredible arsenal of accumulation, identification, dissemination and implementation systems necessary for a modern day church to succeed.  All this information, programs, software, and digital expertise is available to every Christian church in the Capital District and beyond through Open Network.  By visiting and registering with, church leaders can find many free Life.Church resources, trainings, apps, and community facilitation to further equip pastors and build community within the global Church.  They generously and cheerfully give to expand the kingdom of God, and have for more than 10 years. This is an avant-garde, cutting-edge move of God operating right here, right now.

The big screen TV suddenly popped on and lit up the fully darkened sanctuary.  Pastor Craig came on the jumbo screens to deliver his weekly word.  The topic was “Divine Direction” which is coincidently the title of the book he authored.  Making references to the predicament of Zerubbabel in the days of Zechariah 4:10, he explained that the impossible becomes possible when we faithfully begin and begin again.  It’s not by might nor by power, but by God’s Spirit.  Just be faithful to use what is available to your hands. Start doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, then suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Saint Francis of Assisi

His message was inspiring and encouraging, however, I couldn’t get over the fact that his vision is my vision, UNITY.  Bringing UNITY is the mandate, the vision and the burden of the Upstate NY Ministry Network.  Here it was, staring me right in the face.  So what now? I decided I’m going back. This church is certainly worth a second look.

So stay tuned to:  There’s going to be more info about Life.Church.  With Life.Church it isn’t all about them; it’s all about us, Christ’s body.  You must give them a serious first look.  I’m going to give them a second look, seriously.

Church Website –

By Donna Hansen Munafo and Michael Frati