Pastor at Hillsong Conference: 'Don't Try to be Ready to Accept God's Calling'
By Grace Oshiro - Crossmap On July 4, 2012
At a Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Steven Furtick, Pastor of Elevation Church, spoke towards thousands of people, declaring, "God doesn't need anyone to feel ready to answer their calling."
"Abraham wasn't ready. Moses wasn't ready … The disciples were never ready and they never got it. Even when they got it they still didn't get it … each time they were ready they started to doubt because their faith was in their readiness," said Furtick.
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"I certainly wasn't ready when I was 16 years old and God saved me."
Furtick's speech was made on the second day of the five-day conference that kicked off on July 2. Hillsong Conference is promoting to reach out "all ages who are passionate about the local church and the call of the Kingdom of God."
The website introduces its goal as to be "refreshed and inspired and finding great strength and unity amongst the diversity of the local church worldwide."
The mega-church pastor, 32, addressed the audience how he started a church that has now grown to 10,000 members. It was one sentence from the book "Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire," which set a fire of passion in his heart.
"I despaired at the thought that my life might slip by without God moving greatly on our behalf," goes the sentence.
"The Lord used that one sentence because when the word of the Lord comes to you like it came to Jeremiah, it doesn't have to say much to do a lot. In one sentence God put a desire in my heart – 'one day you're going to start a big church to reach a lot of people who are far from God in a big city somewhere in the United States of America,'" Furtick explained.
"I've never been ready. I wasn't ready when we started the church. I didn't feel ready when the church started to grow, thousands of people were coming to Christ, but the church got bigger than the town I grew up in. I wasn't ready for that," He continued.
Furtick emphasized that he believes God isn't concerned about our readiness.
"Since God doesn't need you to feel ready – news flash – He just wants you to obey and follow Him. God doesn't need you to feel ready for what He's calling you to do," said the pastor.
Furtick asked the audience not to hold back just because of self-judgment upon their lack of readiness.
"I know you got that one sin you can't get over," he further exhorted.
"You'll be ready when you conquer that. No. I know you got that debt that you're going to pay down that will take you about four years, then you will be ready for generosity. You'll be able to speak into someone else's life when you know more of the Bible. You'll be ready to make a difference in your community when your church has more resources, more instruments, and more musicians… and [then] you'll be ready."
"But God doesn't call me to feel ready. He calls me to follow Him. Step out. Have faith. Move forward."
Furtick encouraged everyone to move forward with what God has in store for them by not living to 'be impressive.'
Referring to those who are waiting for an 'audition', he said, "Cancel the audition, you've already got the part. A lot of people spend their whole lives waiting on somebody to hit a button, turn around, and choose them."
"A lot of believers spend their whole walk with God performing, trying out, feeling bad, waiting on God to hit a button and turn around and say now He loves you. God said before you were born 'I chose you,'" the pastor affirmed.
Other guest speakers at the conference include Joyce Meyer, Louie Giglio, and Joseph Prince. Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman performed as guest worship leaders. The Hillsong team was composed of Brian Houston, Bobbie Houston, Joel Houston, Reuben Morgan, Joel A'Bell, and Julia A'Bell.
Hillsong's conferences of 2012 will continue in Netherlands and Sweden in Europe, which will start on October 3. Sydney's conference is currently live-streamed online on backstage.hillsongconference.com.