Francis Chan Tag

Mission-Blues-Brothers

When it comes to “Fellowship”, I don’t need that to do American church. I don’t need fellowship to attend church on Sunday, to gather in a building with a bunch of people, face forward and hear some guy deliver a well-rehearsed message maybe or not about God, and go home, I can do that on my own.

I don’t need fellowship to just be a fan of Jesus, be a Sunday Christian, to live everyday just like the rest of the world, live for the same things as them, advance my career, make more money, get a bigger house, newer car, talk about politics, sports, and the kids soccer games. I can do that on my own, that’s easy.

But to stay on mission every day, I need people because I’m going to get distracted, I need co-labors in the mission to run the race with, I need prayer, encouragement in the work of the Lord. to run the race, preach the gospel to all the nations in the midst of persecution. To partake in the suffering of Christ, to die to self and life for Christ. For that, I need the fellowship of co-labors.

Fellowship does not begin with let’s have fellowship or let’s do community, where do you see that in the book of Acts, did Paul, Peter every say let’s get together and have fellowship? No, it begins with let’s follow Jesus, let go and make disciples. Let’s Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation, let’s partake in the sufferings of Christ, let’s run the race to win. That’s where you start.

If I just read the Scriptures, I wouldn’t even think so much about the gathering, Sunday church. You know – my first thought wouldn’t be, “Let’s have a gathering.” or “let’s get together and have fellowship”. Out of the Scriptures, I would think, “I’m on a mission” and I am to partner with others on that same mission.

When I read what Jesus has done for me, read His words, especially His last words to us in Matthew 28, how can my life response be anything other than I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and now I’ve got to go out and tell others about Jesus, and make disciples That’s what I would think, I need to go out there and just reach as many people as I can! I’m supposed to teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded

That’s what I would get out of scripture, that I need to go out and start making disciples and to gather with people who are doing the same thing, partners in the gospel. This is what I am after.

And that pressure to always stay on that mission, to keep following Jesus, because the world and everyone in it would be beating me down, trying to stop me, I would actually need these brothers and sisters, co-laborers in my life. And I would tell them, don’t let me stop or even slow down, and I won’t let you slow down, we’ve got to stay on this mission together, that’s what we are here for.

So you see I Don’t Need Fellowship (to quote my co-laborer in Christ Francis Chan), or a fellowship group, a community group, to do American Church, But I do need those who are following Christ, living for the mission. to help me live on mission, to join with me in fulfilling the great commission as we call it, to take on the world preaching the gospel and making disciples. I need to gather with those who have “partnered in the gospel from the first day until now”, who are “co-workers in the gospel of Christ”. I need fellowship with those “who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together”, so that I might “run with endurance the race that is set before me”, to fight the good fight, and finish the race set before me. That kind of fellowship I do need.

 

Company of Men I keep, Francis Chan, JD Greear

I believe one of the most important elements of our lives is the company of people we keep, hang out with, do life with. And this especially true for Christians, especially if you want to walk with Christ and be used by God.

I have been keeping the company of men whom I highly respect; men that I think are exemplary models of what our lives are to look like as followers of Christ. Frances Chan, and J.D. Greear. Each of the men are boldly living for Jesus in a way that I desire to, each have gifting that let them excel in their callings.

J.D. Greear went from college to the mission field, to pastor and church planter, pastors one of the fasting growing church in America and has so far sent out over 300 church planters to start churches across the globe. Raleigh, South Carolina

Frances Chan, my favorite pastor for the last several years, I have listened to him for many years while he pasted his church plant turned meg church, that he left two years ago to as he put it, do church right, the biblical way. After some time in Southeast Asia he returned to California and is embarking on planting churches across the bay area. San Francisco, CA

All are passionate lovers of God the Father and Jesus, purse them with all their heart and life. Passionate about preaching the gospel and salvation of the lost. Passionate about making disciples, equipping the body and sending them to Go into the world.  Passionate about God’s word, study and teach it diligently. They are Spending their lives Going and Doing, they don’t just sit on their theology, beliefs and talk about them, they are doers. “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.” Matthew 24:46, that is them.

They are the kind of men I want to do life with, imitate, keep company with, although I cannot hang out with these men, do life daily with them, they are spread out across the country. I have been connected to them as much as I can, listening to every sermon they give, attend every conference they speak at. Read every book they write, and blog post they write. Wishing all along I could sup with them, labor shoulder to shoulder with them for Jesus.

All of these men have an understanding, grasp of the gospel that is beyond the vast majority of churches in the US, and teaching it like no others. Francis Chan, JD Greear all understand the great commission, the call to preach the gospel and make disciples, and live it out, they are doers, everyday doers. they  have planted and are planting church across the globe, Frances Chan understands what the church is to be better than anyone else today, my heart has been burden for the same church his burns for, what we read of in the book of Acts.

I am now on the quest to find a group of men such as them to keep company with, do life with, gather with daily and labor shoulder to shoulder with them for Jesus. Passionate lovers of Jesus.

Men whose bibles are falling apart because they are so well used, pages worn out, highlighting, underlining on every page and notes written in every available white space on the page. They never go anywhere with out their bible in hand. That’s to say they study diligently the bible daily.

Men who have camel’s knees for spending hours a day in prayer, the can think of no better place to be that before the face of the Living God. That is men of prayer, deep, intimate prayer.

Men who worship with great passion, men who cannot sit in a pew and watch a “worship service”, but must worship in Spirit, with their whole being. They must dance before their God in celebration.

Men, who burn for lost souls to be saved, burn to preach the gospel to every living person. There passion is to take, preach the gospel in every corner of the earth with apology. Men who see the world as their backyard, they don’t just talk about the great commission, they are fulfilling the great commission.

Men who are disciple makers, they are about making disciples that go and make disciples. They know this is our first calling by Christ, the priority of our life. They don’t just talk about it, they are doing it.

They are church planters, they preach the gospel, souls get saved, then disciple them and there by plant churches.

So in prayer I am asking for such a group of men, even one man who is like the group above, lives as I described above, who lives near by that I can keep company with, break bread with, study the bible with, preach the gospel with, make disciples with, and plant churches with.

Four minutes of awe-inspiring illustration of eternity by Francis Chan my favorite pastor. If you really get his message it will change your perspective about life and what it is really about, what matters most.

Does making lost of money really matter? No. Does having a successfully career really matter? No. Big houses, expensive cars, fine clothes, lots of material things? No. Which political parties your in, who’s president? No.  In light of eternity none of those things matters one bit, has any effect on the next billion years.

We should ask ourselves is what I am doing right now, spending my time, my life for, matter in regards to my eternity, and the eternity of those around me?

4-20-10I 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:

Francis Chan is stepping out in faith… from Catalyst on Vimeo.

You can download his message to his church here:

It is message on 4-18-10 – Francis Chan – Surrender

I blogged back in December about churches not giving the money they take from their members to God, giving only on average less than 3% to God,that they instead spend 97% of it on buildings, salaries and other worldly things. They do not use it for what God said, how we are to give to Him, by giving to the needy, poor, orphans, widows and starving, and as we read in the book of Acts, that no one in the church was in need because they took care of each other.

I just read about two churches that have it right, are doing it the way God said to. One of them is Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California.

Around nine months ago Cornerstone Community Church when the church was set to spend $20 million on a new facility the pastor Francis Chan said, “No” He said he could not in good conscience be the pastor of a church that spent $20 million on a building. Instead He suggested that they build a much, much cheaper facility, an outdoor amphitheater and community park. And the multi-millions left over? He said they should give it away. His board agreed. Apparently several hundred people left the church, because they where so outraged by this decision. Which I think goes to show that a lot of people give only to reap the benefits to themselves, amenities they can enjoy, you know a Starbuck in the lobby and cushy pews with cup holders and elaborate sound systems, the biggest building in the city. But Chan and his fellow ministers committed to giving away millions and millions of dollars. Chan said that one great benefit of the outdoor space is that whenever it was too hot/cold/rainy/windy, it would remind those gathered that there were many people around the world who never have a roof over their head.

So Cornerstone Church amended their budget to now give 50% to missions. Half of everything they receive goes right back out the door to the hurting, poor, starving, and dying. They even made an additional pledge to give $1 million to the Children’s Hunger Fund over the next year and they made that mark in April, in less than a year. And have committed to give as much every year.

Amen and praise God, a church that has it right, that has read the bible and is doing what Jesus said to, how God said to give to Him.

I applaud pastor Chan and his staff and the people of that gathering of the church, and there is so much more to this church, more to talk about later. Take note pastors, take note body of Christ, behold a real church that is doing it right. Tomorrow on the other church that has followed Chan lead after hearing his story. Read part two.