CNLP 218: Francis Chan On Battling Pride and Fame, Why He Left His Megachurch, And His Airbnb Church Experiment

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In a moving and passionate conversation, Francis Chan talks about why he left his megachurch in Simi Valley, how he’s battled both pride and fame and why both can be so dangerous, what he learned while living in Asia, and how he (accidentally) planted a radically different church in San Francisco that feels like the Airbnb of church.

Welcome to Episode 218 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free. | FacebookTwitter

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3 Insights from this Episode

1. Pride surfaces when people forget what’s most important

Most pastors don’t start out wanting to become prideful leaders. But pride can surface overtime as a ministry grows. Being a well-received speaker often unintentionally draws the spotlight away from God and onto the pastor. It doesn’t start out that way, but sometimes the congregation, staff and even the pastor can forget what’s most important – the message, not the messenger. It’s hard to live in the tension of success and standing in the spotlight for God.

I’ve written a couple blog posts about pride. You can read about how to spot a prideful leader here and about my own personal struggles with pride here.

I don’t believe there’s anything God hates more than pride. If our aim is to become more like Jesus, we must keep seeking out humility. We have to remember He is the King and we are not.

2. Be fully prepared for the mission at hand

Sometimes in our culture, we assume the greatest need for missionary work is overseas. While there’s no doubt an enormous need in so many parts of the world for people to share the news of Jesus, the best way to meet those needs isn’t simply to pack your bags and hop on a plane.

That’s what Francis discovered while spending time in countries where he had sensed an urgency to minister. What began as what he thought may be a response to a call for mission work outside the US, quickly turned into the realization that he could do more back in the states. Language barriers proved to be a major stumbling block and he new he wasn’t fully prepared for the task.

Are you called to minister outside of your homeland? Perhaps God wants to use you right where you are, perhaps not. Either way, wherever you feel He is telling you to be, prepare yourself for the calling.

3. You can’t run from your calling

Francis compares a season of his ministry to when Jonah attempted to run from Nineveh – a time when he struggled with how best to serve God with the abilities given to him.  On the journey, the lessons learned moved Francis to start again with a new approach to church and, once again, it’s taking off.

God has placed something unique in each of us. We all struggle with seasons of wonder and doubt in our abilities, but as long as we continue to stay faithful in our relationship with Him, he can use even our seasons of running to show us the plan.

Quotes from This Episode

CNLP 218: Francis Chan On Battling Pride and Fame, Why He Left His Megachurch, And His Airbnb Church Experiment Click To Tweet CNLP 218: Francis Chan On Battling Pride and Fame, Why He Left His Megachurch, And His Airbnb Church Experiment Click To Tweet

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Next Episode: Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison founded Charity Water over a decade ago, after declaring himself morally and spiritually bankrupt while living his twenties as a NYC night club promoter. In this interview, filmed before a live audience at the Pushpay Summit One Day in Charlotte, NC, Scott talks about the meteoric rise (and near demise) of Charity Water, courting high capacity and high net worth donors, and why excellence is the new standard for not-for-profits.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 219.

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  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
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Carey Nieuwhof
Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is a best-selling leadership author, speaker, podcaster, former attorney, and church planter. He hosts one of today’s most influential leadership podcasts, and his online content is accessed by leaders over 1.5 million times a month. He speaks to leaders around the world about leadership, change, and personal growth.