Saturday, August 08, 2020

Francis Chan's Two Lists for Church Leaders

Francis Chan's Letters to the Church is challenging, in an A.W. Tozer kind of way. In a Eugene Peterson way (See, e.g., The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way.) 

Feels like Kierkegaard. Smells like Luther. Sounds like Os Guinness. Memories of Francis Schaeffer. Michael Brown fits here. And Dallas Willard. All Jesus-inspired, Spirit-led, church-loving Reformers and Revolutionaries.

Provocative, in a Jesus way (if you have read the four Gospels).

When Chan has an opportunity to meet with church leaders he walks them through a simple exercise. (Pp. 46 ff.)

"First, I have them list all the things that people expect from their church... Then I have them list the commands God gave the Church in Scripture."

Usually, the list looks something like this.

"I then ask them what would upset their people more—if the church didn’t provide the things from the first list or if the church didn’t obey the commands in the second list."

What do you think?

Chan writes:

"Jesus is returning soon, and He expects to find His Church taking His commands seriously. Yet far too often we are more concerned with how well the sermon was communicated, whether the youth group is relevant enough, or how to make the music better. Honestly, what is it that gets people in your church stirred up for change? Is it disobedience toward commands from God? Or is it falling short of expectations that we have made up? The answer to these questions might just show us whether our church exists to please God or please people—whether God is leading our church or we are." (47; emphasis mine)