Wow, you don't often hear a pastor saying this. In a powerfully honest talk to Facebook employees on last Thursday, best-selling author and former pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA, Francis Chan shared why he really left the megachurch.
"I got frustrated at a point, just biblically," Chan told the group at Facebook, as the Christian Post reports. "I'm going wait a second. According to the Bible, every single one of these people has a supernatural gift that's meant to be used for the body. And I'm like 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That's a lot of waste. Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars!"
"I was like, 'God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts. … We're a body. I'm one member, maybe I'm the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that's working and … I'm trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet …"
Chan got really vulnerable about the pride that came with the success of his book, Crazy Love, and how he desperately wanted to return to the person he once was. "I freaked out during that time in my life," Chan recalled. "The pride … [going to] a conference and seeing my face on a magazine … and hearing whispers … and walking in the room and actually liking it."
"Everything you (God) said you hated, that's me right now," he realized. "I gotta get out of here. I'm losing my soul."
Now Chan is doing something completely different from his former megachurch venture. Called "We Are Church," Chan is leading a group of 30 unpaid pastors who are pastoring about 15 different house churches in the San Francisco area. Each church is set up to be small, to build real community and prompt people to use their gifts.
"We've got a few hundred people now and it costs nothing," Chan explained. "And everyone's growing and everyone's having to read this book (Bible) for themselves and people actually caring for one another. I don't even preach. They just meet in their homes, they study, they pray, they care for one another. They're becoming the church and I'm just loving it and realizing that these 30 guys [are] leading this and the women as well."
Wow, what a big move and a powerfully honest talk from Chan! How do you feel about his latest venture and why he left his megachurch? Share your thoughts in the Comments! Thank you so much!