An Interview with Craig Groeschel, Author of Weird

Let’s be honest. Normal is over-rated. And besides that, it isn’t working. It’s time to get weird. According to my friend, Craig Groeschel, it’s time we embraced this fact. In a minute, I’ll tell you how to get a copy of his new book FREE.

As you may know, Craig is the senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, the fastest growing church in the U.S. He is also the author of several great books, including It, which I reviewed some time ago. His new books is called Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working. (Don’t you just love that title?)

Recently, I had a chance to interview Craig about his new book. (By the way, I did this via Skype, but, due to a glitch, the software only recorded his side of the video.)

Craig starts in the book and in the interview with Jesus’ famous saying,

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13–14).

According to Craig, what most people call “normal” is the broad path. Most of us go out of our way to fit in with the crowd and appear normal. But Jesus calls us to the narrow path, which, to the world, appears “weird.”

Craig then takes that basic premise and applies it to five key areas:

  1. Time
  2. Money
  3. Relationships
  4. Sex
  5. Values

He covers each of these in three separate chapters.

In this video interview, I zeroed in on his application to time management, since I know that so many leaders struggle with this area. I asked him the following five questions:

  1. When it comes to how we use our time, what does normal look like to most people today?
  2. What is the role of courage in taking back control of our time?
  3. Technology can be a huge time suck for most families. How did you and your wife Amy address this in your own home?
  4. The biblical concept of the “Sabbath” is definitely weird by today’s standards. What assignment did your your counselor give to you and what did you discover?
  5. What does a Sabbath day look like at the Groeschel household?

I loved this book, and I think you will too. I found it inspiring and challenging. I’m ready for weird. Are you?

I gave away 100 copies of Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: If you read this book, what did you think? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Melissa bergstrom

    My husband and I recently took on the life saying that “if debt is normal, I want to be weird!” so we are all about learning how to escape “the normal life”

    Melissa Bergstrom

  • Renee

    I would love the book because I have heard Craig speak on several occasions at Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. I have always had a hard time saying”no” to everyone because I am a people pleaser. However, I have learned that I was committing to so much that I wasn’t doing anything well. Growing up, we honored the Sabbath by not going out to eat, washing our cars, or mowing the lawn on Sundays. I have noticed now that the Sabbath seems to be like any other day with stores open at the mall.

  • Brian Baute

    I want the book because I want a weird family and career, and I’m at an inflection point with both. The oldest of my 4 children is getting ready to enter middle school, and my youngest is getting ready to enter kindergarten. My career as a Business Analyst and IT Project Manager is starting to take off, and I need to make decisions that both allow me to provide for my family financially as well as relationally. I realize how I handle the next 10 years will have an enormous impact on the rest of my kids’ lives, and I want to go beyond normal for them and with them. I want us to all be Weird, and that’s why I want a copy of the book.

  • Chris Ritter

    Pastor Craig Groeschel always has a great word and this book I’m sure will be great like all the others and I can’t wait to dive in and learn more from what God has put on his heart. I attend Elevation Church and Pastor Craig fly out and spoke to us a year ago on our four year anniversary and it was POWERFUL. Can’t wait to read his latest book.

  • Seth Spencer

    I am 21 years old, and just became the young adults pastor at my church. I am always looking for new ways to develop myself and to help others develop themselves.

    This Book I feel will provide depth and insight into what it is that I really feel that I desire to get across to them. That this walk with Christ is not easy, and if what you do is normal to the world, then are you truly making an impact?

  • WeberEthan

    I would really like a copy of Craig Groeschel’s book “Weird” because I have dealt for a long time with sexual addiction. In order to overcome this habitual sin, I realized that I need to change my inputs and consecrate my life in ways that are odd to my peers. God has called Christians to live an extraordinary life even if we look weird in the process! On a side note, I am starting a book club this summer at my church and am interested in discussing this book.

  • Deborah McDougall

    Wow! Thanks for this opportunity! I would love the gift if this book. I have all my life struggled trying to be normal. I thought this is what I needed to do. However aftet hearing about this book from Pastor Furtick I am wondering of I have been trying to so the wrong thing. Because it definitely has not been working. I accepted Christ as my savior in December and since then have been trying to make changes and improvements in my life that are Christ centered. Thia book sounda like a must read! I am a divorced single mom who works full-time as is finishing my masters degree. I never want to stop learning and improving. Thanks. Deborah McDougall

  • http://twitter.com/chapswoodard Greg Woodard

    Working as a Marine Chaplain, I would like to get a sense of Groeschel’s thoughts of how to live differently in the midst of the important culture that is the United States Marine Corps.

  • Pistolpd22

    I would love a copy for a few reasons.

    1. Craig Groeschel is one of my favorite speakers and authors . I have three of his books already and I listen his podcast every week.

    2. I love what the subject matter of this book is. All 5 areas he addresses are areas I myself want to work on .

    3. Leaders are readers and I love books.

  • http://faithhopecherrytea.blogspot.com/ Faith Hope & Cherrytea

    always have been,
    always will be, WEIRD !~
    i’m God’s
    W- ired
    E- xtra
    I- ntrospective
    R-eflective
    D-aughter

  • Jeniferrancour

    I am a newly churched person given a new life by God through addiction recovery and my church. for some crazy reason, the pastor has seen potential in me as a leader and I have accepted every task asked of me, catapulting me into an executive staff position within a year of being baptised. I have no idea what I’m doing but maybe that’s needed when it comes to trying new things to help my church grow and be a massive force in our rural community. I quit my job to accept this position in the church and obviously have much less income. Please choose me to send a free copy to! Thanks! Jeni R.

  • http://twitter.com/beticolson Bettie Colson

    I want a copy of this book because I would like to find out just how much of my weirdness is actually on the right track… and what areas need to get a bit weirder. Seriously, I appreciate Pastor Craig’s perspective; as a missionary in Guatemala where there is a lot of traditional religion I need this kind of input. I am especially interested in the concept of Sabbath.

  • http://twitter.com/beticolson Bettie Colson

    I want a copy of this book because I would like to find out just how much of my weirdness is actually on the right track… and what areas need to get a bit weirder. Seriously, I appreciate Pastor Craig’s perspective; as a missionary in Guatemala where there is a lot of traditional religion I need this kind of input. I am especially interested in the concept of Sabbath.

  • Jeff A

    Looks like an interesting read. I’ve heard of Craig Groeschel before, seems to be instrumental in making Christianity relevant in today’s culture. I would love a copy. This book will be an opportunity to get to know him more and possibly enhance my spiritual growth. Thanks.

  • http://faithhopecherrytea.blogspot.com/ Faith Hope & Cherrytea

    anything other than status quo,
    always have been,
    always will be, WEIRD !~

    i’m God’s
    W- onderfilled
    E- ternally
    I- ncarnational
    R-adical
    D-aughter

    :)) Thx for this opp…

  • Dorbel

    I would like a copy of this book because it sounds like it holds some great insights into topics that affect all of us. While not extremely complicated or controversial, we are all impacted by these topics as defined by our own uniqueness. On one hand we live in a society of conformity, when it works for society. On the other, differentiation is encouraged. Being weird, being different is confusing. If we had more guts to be ourselves, relating to key areas of our lives we would be happier. I just really want to hear the writer’s insights and would benefit from this book. My family would too.

  • http://profiles.google.com/joshua.ys.wong Joshua Wong

    Hi Michael – I would love to have “Weird” as a campus minister focusing on digital strategies, I think we need to be honest with ourselves as followers of Jesus and be “Weird”. We need to break through the threshold of awareness on campuses across Canada and around the world so that we can get the Good News of Jesus across to the future leaders of the world.

  • Anonymous

    I would like a copy of this book because I am weird, but not in the good way. I’m weird in the “I have a calculator collection” or “I am turtley enough for the Turtle Club” way, and I’d like to be weird in the “I’m following radically after Jesus” and the “I’m want my life to fit into Jesus as opposed to trying to fit Jesus into my life” way. I’m not saying the two forms of weirdness are mutually exclusive. I’m just saying the first one doesnt mean anything without the second one.

  • http://twitter.com/mattschaffner Matt Schaffner

    I would really love a copy of Weird because as a youth pastor, weird doesn’t even begin to describe it. In fact, getting Weird might bring me closer to the sanity I left more than 10 years ago when I became a youth pastor…

  • http://twitter.com/mattschaffner Matt Schaffner

    I would like a copy of Weird to help me regain my sanity. As a youth pastor for more than a decade, I’ve come to understand that either being clinically insane or having something seriously wrong with me must be to to blame for my vocation, therefore, I go so far beyond Weird I need to know what Weird looks like so I can find my way back…

  • http://twitter.com/mattschaffner Matt Schaffner

    Sorry! I didn’t see the first post and went at it again…

  • cmhandler

    I want to be weird! I did not grow up in the church and I spent the next 10 years trying to fit Christianity into some moral version of the American Dream. In the past five years my wife and I have been relearning what it needs to be Christian and follow Christ completely.

  • Sahammonds

    i think being normal is sometimes weird but being weird is never normal. So how can i be normal without being weird when i should be weird and not worry about normal? Whew does craig’s book answer this?

  • http://www.freddieisince.com Freddie

    Wow, this sounds awesome, my husband and I became parents three months ago! Since then I’ve really been asking God..how in the world do we do this right!? what if we mess it up?! stuff like that. A friend told me this book, along with the bible is a great resource for parenting. Based on this article and interview, i think it would be phenomenal. thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

      Freddie, I just finished reading this book, and Craig gives some GREAT advice about how to be “weird” as parents. I have three kids (soon to be four), and I have the same apprehensions as you do. Congratulations on becoming a parent!

  • Jonathan Danner

    I’d like to better my knowledge of the gospel with the help of this book so I can help better the knowledge of other peoples idea of the gospel. I’m confident in sharing Craig’s work because from reading his other books and watching his sermons he has only a heart for Jesus. God is alive and working through him. Even if I don’t win, I’m going to buy this book. Support it!

  • http://twitter.com/Jo_of_TSN Jo

    I’ll be honest: I listened to the video at 1am while reading for my 8:45am class. I’m also coming off a 20-hour day yesterday. As a law student, I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and good stewardship over my time. Clearly, I’m failing at that.

    I really resonated with the statement that the most common answer to “How are you doing?” is “I’m busy.” Law school has turned me into that person and this environment has shifted what is “normal” for me.

    But I should not be swayed by the world and by circumstances; I should remain steadfast on Christ.

    I feel this book would not only be a real benefit to me, but also help me minister to other law students in my situation.

  • Davidrobinson

    I would like a copy as i have read Cristian Atheist and it is a great read. Book is knowlege which i could use in order to reach the needy. I need to be equip to help

  • Mattdsnow

    Thanks for posting this!

    I’d love to read this book because I don’t think I’m wierd enough! :)

  • Aikenb

    Let’s be honest here if you don’t give me this book I will probably go out and buy it. However it is better when you get free stuff.

  • Sehocott

    After falling in love with the way Groeschel communicates in his book The Christian Athiest, I’m dying to read this one, anticipating the change that will soon come from experiencing such a good book. I crave his wisdom & knowledge. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that this one will become on my all-time favorite books. I’m pretty weird myself, so I can’t wait to dive into this amazing pool of complete and utter WEIRDNESS!

  • SleepyC

    I can’t wait to read “Weird”! Craig’s style and honest writing is so encouraging to me a fellow minister. Thank for the opportunity!!

  • http://tonychung.ca tonychung

    BTW Michael, I’ve never had much success recording both sides of a Skype call. I found a way to route either my mic or the Skype caller using Soundflower, but couldn’t record both. I’m contemplating using my Zoom H4N to record the audio portion of my call externally, then merge them in a video editor. Please post a workable setup when you find one!

  • Angie Aiken

    Hi my name is Angie and I would love to have this book because I have recently just gotten into reading and I want to widen my horizons in the reading area of my life. Another reason I would like this book is because I am a pastors wife and I know that if I won this book my husband would love to read it. He loves to read, but I think it would be cool if I won the book and started reading it because I know that he wants it too, hahaha. Thanks Angie.

  • Randy

    Holy weird Craig man! I want to be one of the few. And I want my 2 teenage children to want that to. I think if I accidentally leave this book on my coffee table they may pick it up and read it. They do that sometimes. There is such peer pressure on them to be normal.
    Thanks for doing this.

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonRobbins_ B. Robbins Ministry

    I have been keeping track of the news regarding Pastor Craig’s book “Weird.” It appears to have some great solid concepts. It is great to see how, as Christ followers, we are called to be different than the world around us, and how that’s okay. I heard a message online by Pastor Craig the other day and he mentioned “I am blessed when people think I’m weird. I am blessed when people take cheap shots at something they know nothing about.” God has called us to be set apart from the world, and even to hold fast to our personal convictions, even when Christian friends and others may tell us that particular things are okay. It is great to see how it is okay to be different, because that is what God has called us to. I am anxious to read the book to learn how to better function in the unique person has called me to be and to help others do the same as I am preparing to go into pastoral ministry.

  • Brandon R.

    I have been keeping track of the news regarding Pastor Craig’s book “Weird.” It appears to have great applicable concepts from what I’ve been hearing. It is great to see how, as Christians, we are called to live differently, to be set apart. I was watching a teaching by Pastor Craig the other day online and he mentioned, “I am blessed when people think I’m weird. I am blessed when people take cheap shots at something they know nothing about.” From the message, I gathered that not only are we supposed to live set apart from the world, but that it is okay to stand firm and uphold our convictions and personal values when other Christian friends and others tell us that particular things are okay. I know God has called us to live set apart. I am learning that because of that, it is okay when people think it’s weird when we do or don’t do certain things because we do not want to compromise our values and because we desire to honor God the best that we know how. I am learning that we should feel blessed by the fact that others see that we are doing what we do in an effort to honor the Lord. I would love a copy of the book, as I am anxious to learn how to better function in the unique person God has called me to be and I desire to help others do the same as I prepare for pastoral ministry.

  • Maria

    His toxic series brought me to Jesus. I can’t wait to read this. My Pastor started a movement in Miami called Rebel Church with same underlying theme. This is a way for the non believer to feel the embrace of Jesus!

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  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    Michael, thanks for sending me a copy of this book; I just finished the first few chapters, and I’m HOOKED. This is exactly what I need to read. My life, and my family’s life, is so fraught with busyness… I’m ready to be wierd.

  • kalena frost

    i watched his serman and i really enjoyed it. I really admire him as a pastor because he will speak the truth. I have noticed how pastor water down the word because they dont want to offend.. This is wrong. I love listening and i am feed better through him then through most churches. Thank you

  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    I just finished this book. I love Craig’s didactic manner throughout the book. I got some very good ideas on how to tend to the garden of my marriage. I’m going to try to implement a couple of the ideas to start setting up walls around my marriage.

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  • Pastorfred

    I plan to use this awesome book with my church to challenge us to do life Gods way – which is the sane way to live. It’s a helpful way to access how you live your life.

  • Jakie Carmicle

     What an enlightening interview.  Bro. Craig challenges us to be better servants of the Lord by becoming what God wants us to be.  He challenges us to useour time wisely and prioritize our tasks.  Too many of us do a lot of “good” things, even for the sake of “ministry”, and lose our focus of what the “best” things are.  Bro. Craig is truly a man who seeks God, loves others, is committed to His Lord and family, is a great pastor,  and is just an all around great guy.  Thanks.

  • Eaglepop1

    After all the video’s I have tuned into w/ Craig. I look forward to not only reading but doing the small group study as well.

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