Francis Chan Challenges Christians: Stop Idolizing Family, Put Christ's Mission First

Francis Chan speaks to students at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta during the Passion 2012 conference on Jan. 4, 2012.
Francis Chan speaks to students at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta during the Passion 2012 conference on Jan. 4, 2012. | (Photo: Andrew Shepherd)

Many Christians have lost their edge — their radical, burning fire for Christ, says preacher and author Francis Chan, a firm believer that while family is important, the mission of the Kingdom of God should come first.

In a video message recently shared by, Chan says that after many Christians get married they place Christ's mission on the back burner, spending their days in the bubble of relationships, children and the comfort of security. The preacher challenges married Christians to stoke the flames of their passion for Christ and his work, and to step out of their comfort zones to take more risks to further His Kingdom.

Chan, who's been married to his wife, Lisa, for over 20 years and has seven children, asks, "Could I be an example of someone who's married and has kids and is still thinking 'Kingdom first?'" He adds, "Your mission with the Lord doesn't end when you get married," giving examples of how when people date, or get married, or have children their focus tends to shift from standing on the frontlines for Christ to pouring the majority of their time and energy into nurturing and protecting their relationship, family and security.

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"... It's not about going out in the harvest and being a worker [anymore]. It's about 'let's protect our family now ... let's keep us safe. Let's find some gated community and keep them all in our house — away from all the bad people.' There's no excuse for that."

The preacher says that the mentality of only worrying about oneself and one's family causes believers, and even their children, to miss out on life.

"That's why so many of the kids, when they turn 18, they just ditch God altogether," says Chan. "Because they didn't see anything real in your life. They didn't see that [sense of] adventure, and you didn't put yourself in positions where God had to come through — and then [when] He comes through and your whole family is going, 'Wow, that was amazing! I am never going to leave that God.' No, you just create a little bubble for yourself ... how is God even going to operate in that?"

Chan wants Christians to "surrender our lives" to take risks for Christ and to be examples of living by faith.

He knows a thing or two about stepping out on faith and taking risks. The Christian Post reported in 2010 how Chan and his wife left the security of leading their California megachurch to surrender to God and allow Him to send them anywhere and have them do anything.

The preacher is saddened by how some Christians often choose security over the uncertainties that may come with furthering Christ's mission. "Not only are you missing out on life, but we are turning away our children by the droves because our lives are not the adventure that they see in Scripture, and they are not experiencing the Holy Spirit," says Chan. "They're experiencing like a Christian version of the American dream that's watered down and we're just making excuses for, really, idolizing our families rather than really putting Christ and the mission first."

Follow me on Twitter: @kevindonporter

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