Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Francis Chan - my appreciation.

Francis Chan is probably best known as the author of 'Crazy Love' and his involvement with Passion each year. He leads and pastors a church in San Francisco and was one of the speakers at Oxygen Christian Leaders' Convention a few weeks back. 

I'll admit to him being a big motivator for me to go to the conference, as I have enjoyed hearing many of his sermons, used the Crazy Love book, along with the study DVD, in our young adults home group and appreciated the story of his ministry and heart for God.  

There are many people who fall into the realm of 'Christian Famous', being known for their books or preaching or music, and generally I am wary of following someone, or over indulging in just one person's effort into Gospel presentation, because I want to follow Jesus, and not just the ideas of a well known Christian leader; but something has always drawn me to the work of Francis Chan time and time again.

At Oxygen I realised why. Francis Chan is not Christian Famous - as soon as he realises people are following him instead of Jesus he does something about it. Chan serves to honour Jesus, and he is completely open, honest, humble and direct about that. Even speaking to a group of Christian Leaders (with the majority being pastors) at Oxygen Chan just spilt his heart for worshiping and serving Jesus.  He spoke of needing to be a sheep instead of always being a shepherd, because as pastors we find ourselves in that shepherd role naturally, but we are still sheep with a Good Shepherd.  He confessed his urge and attempts to be academically recognised - wanting others to think he was well versed in all areas of Christian theology and academia. 

Listening to him confess made me realise I struggle with the same thing. I constantly strive to make my sermons, or even just discussions sound like I really know it all, or can discuss things at that deep theological level - in truth I am just like Francis, I care passionately about Jesus and serving and loving Him, but I'm not the person to have those deep theological discussions with.  [For all those times I have sat and nodded and added generalised comments to sound like I know what we're talking about I am sorry.]

And so I realise why I am so moved by Francis Chan and his ministry - his sole focus is to follow Jesus - if people follow him, he points them to Jesus. I resonate with Francis and all he does because he is a shining example of Jesus and he makes me want to be more like Jesus.

I don't ever expect for Francis Chan to read my blog.  But if he ever does I would love him to know that I deeply appreciate him and all he has done for the work of the Gospel.  By Francis shining the light of Jesus so brightly it has helped illuminate my light to the world as well. I want to live like Francis Chan because I want to live how Jesus wants me to, and Francis gives me an exceptional example of that.

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