CNLP 313: Francis Chan Clarifies What’s Next For Him, Talks About the Impact of Social Media on Real People, Apologizes for the Confusion, and Talks About the Future of the US Church

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Francis Chan caused quite a stir when, in late 2019, he announced he was going back to Asia. Francis clarifies what he’s actually doing, talks about the impact social media controversy has on real people, apologizes for the confusion and talks transparently about the tension of living a public life where your words get misconstrued again and again.

Plus, Francis gives advice on how to use social media, what young leaders should think about, and talks about his hope for the US church.

Welcome to Episode 313 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.

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Ministry Grid

Back in August, I shared with you that I was working on a few exclusive courses with my friends over at Ministry Grid. Well, those courses are finally here.

For the month of January, you can go to and access these brand new courses for FREE. These courses cover common leadership challenges and how you can overcome these leadership obstacles in your church, ministry, or organization. And, if you complete any of the courses on Ministry Grid, their team will send you a copy of my latest book, Didn’t See It Coming, for FREE. There are no strings attached.

So, check out the free courses and get my book for free at

3 Insights from Francis

1. We should be weary of “heresy hunters”

We have a million heresy hunters out there that want to say, “Hey, all these guys are heretics, except for me and these four pastors I like.” These people incorrectly use Scripture like 2 John to say that people need to be divided from those who disagree with them. Francis would argue that those individuals are wrong.

Francis would argue that those passages are not just a blanket statement of anyone who disagrees with your theology. But what Scripture does say is to warn the divisive person once. Warn them again, then have nothing to do with them. The Scripture talks about people who bring about division, and how those are the people we need to stay away from.

2. Unity is not a little side note

So many leaders prioritize other things over unity. Theological differences, strategy differences, and many other things take priority when they probably shouldn’t. Francis would argue that unity is the most divine word we have. Unity is the primary thing that Christ wanted for his Church.

And so, when we flippantly and casually bash another member of the body of Christ and cause division, we’re destroying the temple of God. We have to take one of the primary commands and prayers of Christ more seriously than just a recommendation.

3.We’ve got to be able to see our own failures

Throughout the entirety of the interview, Francis kept pointing to his past failures, explaining what happened, and apologized for them. It happened multiple times just in this interview. We, as Christians, need to be able to do the same.

Carey thinks that anyone who listens to this interview, and isn’t willing to look in the mirror, missed the point. We’ve got to take ourselves a little less seriously. We’ve got to be able to say, “You know what? That was a mistake. I need to change that.”

Quotes from Episode 313

When we flippantly and casually bash another guy and cause division, we're destroying the temple of God. @crazylove Click To Tweet We have a million heresy hunters out there that want to say, 'Hey, all these guys are heretics, except for me and my four pastors I like.' @crazylove Click To Tweet Pay more attention to the Scriptures than what I say. @crazylove Click To Tweet There are times in my life when I'm called to do something that scares me, and many times I chicken out. And it kills me. @crazylove Click To Tweet Let your theology dictate your practice. @crazylove Click To Tweet I feel like Jesus, the first time he met with people, he didn't ease them into anything. @crazylove Click To Tweet People grow so much when they have responsibility. @crazylove Click To Tweet I'm not sure the world needs my take on everything that happens. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet I'm not sure the world needs my take on everything that happens. @cnieuwhof Click To Tweet

Read or Download the Transcript for Episode 313

Looking for a key quote? More of a reader?

Read or download a free PDF transcript of this episode here.

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Next Episode: Louie Giglio

In an era where it’s getting harder and harder to draw a crowd to a live event, Louie Giglio talks about why Passion just hosted its largest event in history, and why people still gather for some events while skipping others. Louie also opens up about how he’s battled with a relentless pressure he’s put on himself as a leader, and how to be easier on yourself without letting your standards slip. Plus, he talks about how the next generation is struggling with fatherlessness and anxiety.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 314.

Lead With Confidence and Clarity. Grow Your Church.

As leaders, we tend to see the challenges and roadblocks before other people do.

We've all been there before...

  • You need to refresh your vision for the future but know that change will be an issue for that person.
  • You're overstaffed (or missing a key role) and can't find the right person to fill the role.
  • You aren't reaching enough new people even though you've tried everything that's working for other churches.
  • You can see the issue but aren't confident in what to do about it.

And with another Sunday morning coming up, it'll just have to wait until next week when you have a few minutes to figure it out.

Now ask yourself this:

What would it feel like to have those answers at your fingertips 24/7?

Whether it's reaching new people, improving your preaching, increasing volunteers, refreshing your vision, engaging your staff, or any of the countless challenges we face as church leaders, The Art of Leadership Academy will equip you to lead your church with confidence and clarity.

Between comprehensive church leadership courses, live coaching calls, staff and volunteer training resources, and direct access to a private online community of senior-level church leaders, you'll get the exact insights and answers that fuel your church for growth.

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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.