Francis Chan says the model for building a church in America is 1) find a pastor who’s a good speaker 2) bring in a band 3) find a building.
The only problem is, that’s not God’s plan.
God’s plan is to love one another and to be united. After all, Chan says, that was Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23.
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Chan admits God’s plan was not on his radar when he started a church in his home that grew to 4000 people. He said he’s accountable to God for letting people keep coming every week with hopes of being fed, but never maturing to the point of feeding others.
He left that church and is now meeting in a home with around 100 people. The plan is for that church to split in six months to a year creating a new church. The founding and splitting continues every year building an association of small house churches that have no staff, building or overhead but where communion, the Bible and prayer are central.
Chan says God’s way forces his people to become leaders. It prevents Christians from attending church only to be fed while taking no responsibility for presenting the gospel or shepherding others.
While some might argue that’s not their gift, Chan says those goals are part of the DNA of every believer.
Others will say they haven’t been trained to lead or shepherd. Chan’s answer; neither are parents when they bring home their first baby. But he says, “Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out.”
Doing church God’s way is not an option according to Chan. He says we can’t keep having gatherings where people don’t love each other deeply. And he says there are plenty of examples from the Bible where God rejected that kind of religion.