Pastors need to plant churches that are led by the Holy Spirit and not their personal preferences, says pastor and best-selling author Francis Chan.
Speaking before the Exponential Conference Tuesday, Chan spoke about the need for pastors to truly accept that Jesus Christ, not themselves, is the head of their churches, referencing Ephesians 5.
“He is our head right now. So in light of that truth, how should I act? We all believe that He’s our head, right? What if He wasn’t the head of the Church? How would you do things differently? Think about that,” said Chan.
“I realize that a lot of times I don’t act like He’s the head of the Church. I don’t act like I’m just like an arm. And I don’t really humble myself, ‘Lord, You’re the head of the Church. What do You want me to do?’ The arm doesn’t do anything unless the head tells him to do it.”
Chan declared that God being the head of the Church “is how things really happen” and stressed that he knows that the church would be harmed if he considered himself rather than God to be the head of his church.
“I want to stay attached to You. Otherwise, I am going to start believing I’m the head and I’m going to start thinking that what I think will work. I don’t want to do that,” continued Chan.
“If it was up to this mind to build a church, if it was up to this mind to keep a church together, Lord I’ll just create something that this mind wants. And what I like, what I enjoy. God, I need you as head over the church. We need You as head over the church.”
The noted church planter asked God to “please, kill my flesh, kill anything of Francis Chan,” adding that “I want Francis Chan crucified.”
“I do. And I want Christ to live through him. Every once in a while, I see little Francis. Kill him. There’s nothing to defend here,” Chan said.
“Say bad stuff about me. I don’t like Francis, either. OK? I want him crucified. I really want Christ to live through me.”
Chan then talked about a “wave pool” he saw while in Waco, Texas, recently. He noted that it was “so different from real surfing” due to how predictable it is. Chan argued that it “reminds me of the church.”
“I can create a wave. I can make a wave start at 9:20. And I can have a peak at 9:30. And then it will die out at 9:50 so we can get the kids out of child care. I can make a wave where everyone is having a blast and then we walk away and we go, ‘whoa God moved!’ Eh, I think it was man-made this week,” explained Chan.
“As long as we’re OK in the wave pool and create a little bit of excitement, we’re not going to get to see the things we see in [the Bible].”
Chan’s comments were part of the 2019 Exponential Conference, scheduled to take place March 4-7 at First Baptist Orlando in Orlando, Florida.
The theme for this conference was “Made for More: Mobilizing God’s People, God’s Way,” which Exponential describes as meaning a focus on “how each of us are called for more in our lives, churches, and networks.”
Albert Tate, founder of Fellowship Church in Monrovia, California, and another speaker at the conference, implored those gathered to “stop building churches that look like you and start building churches that look like Jesus.”
“If you want the fullness of God, you got to get the fullness of God’s children. That means the whole church shouldn’t look like you,” Tate declared.
“These churches … they dress alike, they all shop at the same place, they all wear the same stuff, they all around the same age. This whole thing. Let me tell you something, you’ve got a church that’s ready for Sunday, but it ain’t ready for Heaven.”