Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

24 January 2010

Francis Chan: If Jesus Had a Church Here, Mine Would Be Bigger

Francis Chan is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley California. He wrote a very challenging article recently (read the whole thing here) that said:

Last summer I came to a shocking realization that I had to share with my wife: If Jesus had a church in Simi Valley, mine would be bigger. People would leave His church to attend mine because I call for an easier commitment. I know better how to cater to people’s desires so they stick around. Jesus was never really good at that. He was the one who said, “He who loves father or mother … son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matt. 10:37 NIV) I’m much more popular than Jesus...

Rarely is there a pastor whose character exceeds his reputation. If I were to ask those closest to you about your relationship with God, what would they say? If I were to ask God the same question, what would He say? If your family, friends, and congregation have better things to say about you than God, it’s because you give them that impression. We do this because we can. God gifted us with an ability to communicate. Too often we use this ability not to convey who we are, but who we want others to think we are.

This is why Christ crucified is THE MESSAGE. It's the toughest message of all, because it requires the most of us. All of us actually. Our life, gifts, ministries, successes and failures (our stories/races) DO matter to a God that encourages us to win... because Christ in us is the hope of glory.

"Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever"
1 Corinthians 9:25

But Jesus said in Mark 10:18, it's not because WE are good.

"No one is good—except God alone."

As Philippians 2: 12-13 says, it's all about us acknowledging that our purpose is to fulfill His good purpose... and working at dying more and more to ourselves to allow it to fully happen.

"...continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. "

And in that... we all find ourselves setting bars short of where Jesus did "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". Therein lies the challenge for communicators. But that's OK. I love a good challenge.

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