According to Francis Chan family is good, but we need to be careful not to make it an idol. Chan has a challenge for the church that is guaranteed to hit close to home. In the following video, Chan explains a phenomenon he sees in the American church where married couples and parents choose to protect and focus on their own families and forsake the mission of God.
Francis Chan on the Idol of the Family
Chan recalls a particular problem he saw with the believers of his generation: When they were single they were on fire and willing to be radical for the mission of God. However, when they married they became more interested in building up their own family than they were with the taking risks necessary to fulfill the mission of God. Chan refers to 1 Corinthians 7, where Paul is making the case for singleness as being more advantageous to a believer who is determined to answer his or her calling.
The temptation we face when we marry and have children is to be so inwardly focused that our families become like idols to us. The mentality usually goes: Focus on your children when they are young, and then when they’re old enough, you can go back to ministry. But the example parents give when they do that is “let’s protect our family now. 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.” This is in contrast to what Scripture tells us to do: “going out in the harvest and being a worker.”
This non-Scriptural mindset parents adopt is why a lot of kids ditch God when they are adults, Chan claims. As they grow, they don’t see anything real in the life of faith of their parents.
“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 they see in Scripture and they are not experiencing the Holy Spirit.” What they are experiencing instead is what Chan calls “a Christian version of the American dream.” This is why, says Francis Chan family, while good, must not take God’s place.