December 5, 2017

Francis Chan – On Hope

By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director

Francis Chan is a preacher, writer and motivational speaker who we’re privileged to have as our plenary speaker for Mission ConneXion Northwest 2018. His surname, Chan, in Mandarin Chinese means, “to produce, to give birth to, or to yield.” He has “produced” five books on love, faith and spiritual awareness, and two of children’s fiction.  He and his wife, Lisa, have seven children. He started Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California in 1994, but resigned as pastor in 2010 to follow a new path chosen by God.

We recently posed seven questions based on our “There is Hope” theme for 2018…and allowed Francis (FC) to answer them in his characteristic authenticity, through what he has already written in his books…

Why is true Christian hope NOT dependent upon us or our good efforts?
FC: “But I know that if God’s mercy didn’t exist, there would be no hope. No matter how good we tried to be, we would be punished because of our sins.” (From his book: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)

In Titus 1:2, Paul says he is “an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect in the hope of eternal life” – how should that fact affect the living out of our faith?
FC: “True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity.” (From his book: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)  

How can believers today reflect the hope that Jesus spoke of in Luke 14:13: “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind…”?FC: “When Christians sacrifice and give wildly to the poor, that is truly a light that glimmers. The Bible teaches that the church is to be that light, that sign of hope, in an increasingly dark and hopeless world.” (From his book: Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)

There is a place for strategy and planning, but where may it be limiting in doing evangelism?
FC: “Let’s not place our hope in clever sales tactics. Let’s not give up on Jesus’ strategy of reaching people simply because it feels impossible at times.” (From his book: Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples)

If my church is not pursuing God’s mission, how are we missing out?
FC: “If your church does not pursue God’s mission, then your community misses out on being exposed to the hope that God offers them in the Bible.” (From his book: Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples)

What would you say to those who question the mission of Mission ConneXion: “To connect local churches and individuals to mission, so that increasing numbers of believers are actively serving in areas of the world’s greatest [spiritual] need and opportunity”?
FC: “There are people around the world who desperately need hope, healing and salvation but who don’t have access to the message of redemption.” (From his book: Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples)

What advice would you give to the believer who wants to be used of the Lord, in missions, but who is overwhelmed by doubts, and feelings of insignificance?
FC: “You may think that you are weak. You may think there is no hope. You may think that you should always feel like obeying God, but you shouldn’t believe everything you think.” (From his book: You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity)