Question 3: How did your community respond when they learned about your child's diagnosis of autism?

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An Interview with Craig Johnson

The word surprise has different meanings to many of us. There is much fun in celebrating someone with a surprise party or gift. But what about those surprising, unforeseen, unexpected events that come along? For example:

  • A car accident
  • The loss of a job
  • The loss of a loved one or child
  • A life-changing diagnosis
  • Chronic pain or disability

Startling circumstances that suddenly change our lives often include pain, sorrow, loss; and these circumstances often force us to change our perspectives and direction in life. Learning how to move forward is tenuous and terribly difficult. In this powerful, life-giving interview, Craig Johnson shares how he and his family forged their way through several significant surprises—from the loss of his father and his family’s move and career adjustments, to the autism diagnosis of his son, Connor. But that’s just beginning of the story. Through it all, you will be inspired by hearing how Craig’s faithfulness to his family and to the Lord has led to a global revolution personally and professionally. Craig’s compassion for others and his commitment to Jesus are magnetic, revealing that God’s surprises can powerfully change us and provide an abundance of joy and hope.

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It’s one thing to hear a message of hope and healing; it’s another thing to trust God through our own hardships. As God promises to provide, His providential hand will be different for each of us.

  • Are you feeling forgotten or in despair?
  • Have you avoided church because of some past hurt?
  • Craig offered an excellent word picture using a cup of water. For some, it is ordinary; for someone else, it is extraordinary. Are you willing to step out, serve others, and listen and refocus as God leads you to see His extraordinary hand in and through you? What are you waiting for?

Let’s talk about these questions as we reflect on this interview with Craig Johnson.

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Connect with Craig Johnson

Craig has been in ministry for more than 20 years and currently serves as director of Ministries at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Craig speaks at churches and organizations globally, bringing help and hope to families with special needs as well as education and awareness about special needs programs. Recently, Craig launched the Circle of Hope Ministry, a new program at Lakewood Church that offers hope to at-risk kids—children who are medically fragile and with special needs—by providing support through mentorship and respite. He helped launch the Lakewood Internship and Lay Ministry programs, and he created Kidslife, the children’s ministry of Lakewood Church. Craig also launched the “Champions Club” and a new Web site called which focuses on supporting families with tremendous challenges. Champion’s Club recently connected with World Vision, and together they are taking the first special needs ministry programs around the world. He is the author of a leadership book titled Lead Vertically: Inspire People to Volunteer / Build Great Teams That Last. Craig and his wife of 23 years, Samantha, have three children: Cory, Courtney, and Connor. You can connect with Craig on his Web site,

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