(Photo: Elevation Church)
“God specializes in using idiots,” LifeChurch.tv pastor Craig Groeschel told thousands of people as he kicked off a 12-night revival on Wednesday.
Speaking to a full house at Elevation Church in Charlotte, N.C., as well as a live Web and TV audience, Groeschel challenged Christians to go from “kind of believing in God” to becoming "idiots" for Christ.
“There are people … [who] are just too churchy. You just kind of believe in God and that’s it. You just always believed in God,” he said as the visiting speaker at the Code Orange Revival. “You need to … not just believe and live as if He doesn’t exist but … call on Him to be everything, not just an add-on to your life.”
Groeschel was the first speaker featured at the anticipated “old-school” revival. For 12 straight nights, Elevation Church is hosting hours of worship and “world-class” preaching to help believers in the city and around the world start the new year with changed lives.
Leading the 12-night revival is Elevation Pastor Steven Furtick, whom Groeschel considers an “idiot” with big faith that God is using greatly. Elevation is one of the fastest growing churches in the country.
Groeschel emphasized that “God specializes in using idiots with massive faith in Himself.”
He not only pointed to Furtick and himself (Groeschel was denied ordination in his first attempt), but also the disciples of Jesus to make his point.
“People took note that these unlikely idiots (Peter and John) had dynamic courage and power,” Groeschel said. He also noted that when Jesus was doing his ministry he called on “the uneducated, lowest of the low, the outcasts” and none of the religious people of the day.
Contrasting that with today’s standards in the church, Groeschel noted that “Jesus, the Son of God, would not qualify to be the pastor of a church.” The American church usually requires that a pastor be someone who went to seminary, is married and has been in the ministry for five years.
“People are looking for people with the world’s qualifications,” but the world’s standards shouldn’t matter, the LifeChurch.tv pastor said. “I’m here to tell you God is looking for some idiots, not just regular idiots, idiots that have been with Jesus.”
He defined an idiot for Christ as someone who “will obey irrationally, give extravagantly, and do what others believe cannot be done.”
“God specializes in using idiots anywhere,” he reiterated, reassuring believers that “all things are possible with God.”
Pastor Jentezen Franklin, senior pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, Ga., and Irvine, Calif., will speak to crowds Thursday night. He has also written a New York Times best-seller, Right People, Right Place, Right Plan.
Other speakers that will be featured at the Orange Code Revival include Matt Chandler of The Village Church, Ed Young of Fellowship Church, James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, worship leader Israel Houghton, Kevin Gerald of Champions Centre, Perry Noble of NewSpring Church, and Stovall Weems of Celebration Church.
The revival is open to the public in Charlotte for free. Events will start each weeknight at 7:00 p.m. with regular worship services on Sunday. The revival is also being broadcast online as well as on God TV and Trinity Broadcasting Network.