America's Most Innovative Church Gives Away Thousands of Free Church Resources

Share Article celebrates two years of sharing free church resources

Just two years after launching its open-source site to share ministry materials with other churches, has given away close to 500,000 free church resources. The Edmond, Okla.-based launched in April 2006, and since then more than 11,000 churches in every state in the United States and more than 75 countries throughout the world have downloaded materials like sermon notes, church media, children's curriculum, and small group resources to use directly in their church.

Recently named as America's Most Innovative Church by Outreach Magazine, hosts more than 21,000 people each weekend during 53 experiences throughout 13 campuses, including a fully interactive internet campus. When the church's leaders looked at the time and energy poured into creating materials like sermons and videos for those services, they felt it was wasteful to let the resources expire on a dusty shelf or network drive.

Instead, they looked at the open source culture popularized by the web development community and saw biblical roots in the concept of sharing resources. "We wondered what could happen if we started thinking of The Church instead of our own individual churches and began to pool our resources and share what we can," said Innovation Leader and Pastor Bobby Gruenewald.

In use at conventional church settings as well as military bases, prisons, and youth organizations, supplies free church resources to ministries diverse in size, style and environment, but unified in purpose. "As an inner-city church plant, we could not even dream of creating the type of media they provide us. And now, three years later, we are drawing specialists in this field who enhance our outreach. Quality attracts quality," said Chilly Chilton, Lead Pastor of Real Church in Hamtramck, Mich.

At, pastors and church leaders can choose from more than 3,000 free downloads including sermon videos they can play directly in their services, as well as accompanying message notes, illustration videos, worship bulletin graphics, and small group resources. The site also offers children's curriculum, youth series, how-to tools and more. Although all resources are available at no cost to users and no attribution is required, does ask that materials be used non-commercially and for the purpose of leading people to Christ.

"Our mission, since the beginning of in 1996, has been 'to lead people to become fully devoted followers of Christ'," Gruenewald said; "and the concept of Open allows us another avenue through which to continue in that mission. We are absolutely passionate about it; and thrilled by the idea that the resources with which God has entrusted us can now be extended across more miles and into more lives through thousands of other great ministries."

In 1996, began with a handful of people meeting in a rented dance studio in Oklahoma City, Okla. under the leadership of Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel. It has since grown to be the fifth-largest church in the United States according to Outreach Magazine and currently has 13 total campuses located in Phoenix, Ariz., Fort Worth, Texas, Oklahoma City, Okla., Nashville, Tenn., West Palm Beach, Fla., Albany, N.Y., and Tulsa, Okla. metropolitan areas. has also leveraged the web in other ministry endeavors including, One Prayer, and

For more information about Open, visit For more information about, visit


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