Click here to hear some of Chan's sermons.
I have never met Francis Chan but when I do, in this life or the next, I am going to give that guy a big bear hug and thank him for letting God use him to help me find my faith. Francis is one of God's mighty men.
My good friend Kolin Holladay handed me a copy of Chan's best-selling book Crazy Love at Panera Bread in Green Hills early one morning. I read it soon thereafter and quickly was buying dozens of copies for friends and family. I have led three different small group studies on the book since then and have been blessed each and every time. Soon thereafter I read his book Forgotten God about the Holy Spirit and for the first time in my life felt like I had a Biblical foundation for who the Spirit is, not what the Spirit is, and how I can and need to be in relationship with Him.
Chan's mother died giving birth to him. Chan's father remarried and his step-mother died in a car accident when he was 9-years-old. His father then died of cancer when Chan was 12-years-old. His only remaining close relatives were his aunt Sandra and uncle George. However, when he was just 16, his aunt and uncle got into a fight, resulting in his uncle shooting and killing his aunt and then himself.
Chan has a remarkable gift for getting you back into the scriptures. He has a way of bringing the words of Jesus back to today, to America, to me.
He has built his ministry on serving the poor, widows, orphans, giving in ways that seem just plain stupid to most people and exposing the American dream as unscriptural in many ways. Chan gives away almost everything he makes, over 90% of his income. His family downsized to a house half the size of their previous one.
Chan and his wife Lisa helped found Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California in 1994 with 30 people. Today it's one of California's largest congregations.
Right now, Chan is taking a break. He is listening to the Spirit for what his next move should be. He has announced he's leaving Cornerstone Church.
Click here to watch a two minute video where Francis challenges you to pray a prayer in the Bible.
The following is the most recent blog entry on his website:
Last week, I met some of the most beautiful people… Lisa and I flew to Nashville to film a television show that raised awareness for the 140 million orphans in the world (www.cryoftheorphan.org). There we met couples that had adopted several kids out of difficult situations. Some of the children had special needs, and some had medical issues that meant they probably did not have long to live. Their desire was to show these children as much love as possible during their time on earth. It was an amazing picture of the love of Christ. We were inspired.
During dinner, we were speaking to Emily Chapman. She was telling us about their orphanage in China. Lisa and I told her that we were going to be in China soon and would love to visit. We also expressed our desire to adopt any child that was in need. She proceeded to tell us about a beautiful little boy that she thought would fit perfectly into our family. We got pretty excited. Then she explained that the boy had a spinal injury, so his legs did not work…
After dinner, I asked Lisa, “Did you feel what I felt? Were you excited until she mentioned that he couldn’t walk?” We had a long talk that night, examining our lives. We saw that God was revealing to us our self-centeredness. God did not adopt us because we were perfect. He loved us because He is love. He rescued us because He saw our need. Having His Son die was not the convenient thing to do. It was painful, sacrificial, and an amazing display of love.
So we are starting the process of adoption. We don’t know how long it will take or everything it involves. If the Lord wills, it will work out for us to take in this little boy. We know it will mean a huge adjustment to our lifestyle, but we also believe that he will be a major blessing in our lives. While there is so much unknown, we are at peace.
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." - James 1:27
Thank you Francis Chan for helping make an eternal difference in my life and in the lives of thousands of others!