I was saddened to learn on Monday as I listen to Francis Chan message from Sunday that he was leaving his church. But only saddened for selfish reasons, Francis is my favorite pastor today and look forward to his podcast every week. I was not surprised at his leaving, because I could tell it was coming, he had been restless in the Lord for about a year now. I was obvious the Lord was prepping him, calling him to move on to a new work.
He will finish out the next two months at his church, then he will leave to go to Asia to serve in ministry, then return to the US to start a new church, most likely he said LA, but still waiting for the Lord to confirm the ware. He is just simply steeping out in faith and take one step at a time as the Lord leads.
He said, “I’m not called to be an awesome mega church pastor, but am called to be a picture of Christ.” He takes inspiration from the story of Vaughan, a youth pastor whose trips to impoverished villages are described by youth as “the closest thing I’ve every experienced to walking with Jesus”. He realized, “my life does not look like Jesus. I can rationalize and justify it, but…”
Chan was a convicting speaker, not least because he was actively living out his message. He is sacrificing the fame, fortune and safety of suburban mega church ministry to follow Jesus. He “wants to go back” to a childlike faith. “If I read the Bible for the first time, I would never conclude I needed to pray some prayer, but I would conclude I need to follow Jesus. If I read the Bible on a desert island, I’d never decide I needed to start a Sunday service, my priority would be discipleship.
In his message to his church announcing his leaving he invited everyone there and hearing his message to join him. Not to come with him into his new calling, but to live a life of faith. To seek out what the Lord would have them do and join the Holy Spirit in the work He has from them. To go on the great adventure with the Holy Spirit, join Jesus in what He is doing.
Here is a video interview with him about it:
You can download his message to his church here:
It is message on 4-18-10 – Francis Chan – Surrender