Francis Chan Asks, “Is This Really Church?”

Francis Chan

It’s no secret that I greatly appreciate the ministry of Francis Chan. While I don’t like putting people up on pedestals, there are few biblical teachers today who have had as much impact on my life as he has.

When I recently reviewed Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, I mentioned that the updated edition included a section talking about some changes that occurred in his ministry since writing the book. With that as a preface, I’d like to share a video with you.

If I’ve pieced together the history correctly, I believe this sermon coincides with that shift in his ministry. I watched this video around the same time I first read Crazy Love, and it had just about as great an impact on me.

Francis starts by giving a primer on how we interpret the Bible. He talks about exegesis vs. eisegesis. That is, do we seek to understand the Bible’s intended meaning, or do we seek to read our own meaning into the Bible? Obviously, we should be doing the former.

With that backdrop, Francis gets to the big question. Is this thing we call “church” really the church we read about it the Bible? Or could it be that we have taken a preconceived notion of “church” and read that meaning into the Bible?

Could it be that we’ve actually left out the essentials of what makes the church a church? What exactly does the Bible say we should do when we assemble together?

Watch it prayerfully, and think through these things for yourself.

[I set the video to start near the middle, because the first 22 minutes or so are mainly updates for that local church. The sermon itself lasts about 36 minutes.]

By the way, Francis Chan stepped down from his position as lead pastor at Cornerstone to follow God’s leading toward this biblical model of church.