Posts Tagged ‘Francis Chan’
Book Review: Sifted
Author: Wayne Cordeiro
I found Sifted to be an engaging and solid read. I appreciated the content, finding it vulnerable, valuable, and viable. Wayne Cordeiro is the primary author of Sifted, but has contributing assistance from Francis Chan and Larry Osborne. Each of these men has wisdom and experience to offer in the area of being “sifted.” Each of them has planted churches and worked through the development stages therein and they have all faced various challenges along the way. This, I believe, is one of the strengths of this book. Not only is the content tried and true, but it is measured and retold from multiple experiences and perspectives… very valuable and insightful sharing.
The book follows a three-part outline. My interpretation and alliteration tool for understanding the movement through the outline was assessment, awareness, and action plan. The assessment piece of part one is taking a personal inventory of self, understanding the nature of sifting and getting a good look at where you are and how you got there. I believe this is the proverbial thirty-thousand foot view. Part two is the logical progression to awareness and nurture of our basic needs… those things that help to anchor us (marriage, family, rest, recreation, etc.). Part three was, to me, about action and purpose. As I was reading the chapters of part three, I was reminded of the words of the apostle Paul to the young pastor Timothy; “So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain” (2 Timothy 2:1-7 MSG). Although the words and context are different, I think the intent is the same; as a leader-minister moves forward, they do so with character, integrity, diligence, and an attitude of purposeful perseverance.
Pros: I enjoyed the perspective shifts and the insight from the various contributors (Cordeiro, Chan, and Osborne). I think this is one of the primary strengths of the book. I also like that action steps and interactive sections were included at the end of the chapters…it helps to engage the reading introspectively even if they do not pursue the steps literally. The book was written in an easy-to-read format; there were numerous side-bars, short quotes, anecdotes, and sub-headings. This style of writing or format makes for shorter reading sessions with easy start and stop points providing a break to consider what the author was trying to convey.
Cons: I think the material is as valuable for the “everyday Joe” as it is for the stressed ministry leader and/or church planter. I think many people might miss the value of the wisdom and experience in this book because it might be perceived as being a bit narrow in focus for its audience. I believe with a minor bit of effort and editing, this book might appeal to an even larger audience.
I recommend it for anyone, not only ministry leaders.
I love the heart of Francis Chan. I connect to it…I think it must be a “God-Spirit” thing. I believe in what he is sharing here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this video. It is well worth the seven minutes.
I determined (going on ten years now) when I chose to follow Jesus, that I would do so the way He commanded: with complete abandonment of self…loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus said the expectation is to love Him more than anything in this world; more than even our own families. Radical. Intense. I get it….and I am ridiculed, criticized, misunderstood, alienated, and not taken seriously because of it. Don’t mistake my words for sympathy fishing; I’m not…fishing for sympathy…or understanding. Jesus said this would happen to those who follow Him. It’s all good. In fact, it’s great.
Middle Road, Broad Road, or Narrow Road? Which one do you follow?
Jesus, all or nothing…half-hearted is idolatry.
I get what Francis Chan is talking about… (check the video below).
Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan
I just finished the latest book by Francis Chan, Forgotten God. I definitely connected and agreed with his heart in this follow up to Crazy Love. There was a continuing theme throughout this book formed in questions, comments, stories, and testimony that never changed: Your life should be led by and filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit of God. There is not a lot to be said by me that can further illustrate or explain what Francis Chan has already done in the book. You can preview the book here with this link from publisher David C. Cook. Also, you can find Q/A with Francis here concerning Forgotten God. Finally, an audio version is available for purchase as well at this link.
Forgotten God is well documented with (perhaps arguably; although I would not be one to argue) scriptural references. I really am at a loss as to what to say or write about this particular book. As I have said, I am tracking perfectly in sync with Francis’ words and discernment and I just find it difficult to add or share…more than what has already been, so clearly, illustrated.
I suppose the sum of the book is this; Jesus Christ calls his followers to abundant life, both here (in the present) and eternal. Abundant life should not be confused with material and physical prosperity, although sometimes this occurs in the context of abundant life. Abundant life is, at the core, walking in unity with the Triune God; Jesus said, “I am in the Father and the Father is in me…and I am in you.” Christ Jesus has empowered us with gift and blessing of the indwelling Spirit of God in order that our lives on earth might give testimony to, and glorification of, God Almighty.
Sadly, one of the greatest attacks against the Church has been perpetrated by misinformation, extenuation, and exploitation of the ministry and indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. In one camp we have people that minimize and limit the power and work of the Holy Spirit, and in the other camp we have people who want to grandstand and (attempt to) exploit God’s Holy Spirit. Both camps are in error and propagate mockery of the Holy Spirit before an already cynical and watching world. If this is not outright blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, it is dangerously close (in my opinion).
Perhaps you have misunderstood the purpose and ministry of the Holy Spirit. If so, you might find this book enlightening, challenging, and inspiring…or perhaps your own desire and conviction needs encouragement and affirmation. Personally, I have found some ways of explaining this wonderful gift of God to others and hope to see more people walking in joyful, and victorious, fellowship with God. My recommendations are to purchase and read the book.
Francis shares a little about Forgotten God in this video:
This includes the last day of Catalyst and our travel day (Sat. April 25)
It’s now Saturday…almost Sunday…
It’s been a looooooonnnnng day. As I write and post this blog we’ve been traveling since 6:15am this morning. Truth is we should have been home around 5-6 hours ago. Unfortunately, a rain and thunderstorm in Chicago brought with it lightening and consequently, significant delays. So, here we sit…no biggie; I have a chance to upload my thoughts and update on the last day of our SoCal/Catalystwest experience.
My thoughts in one word: Magnifulous! Really.
Friday was killer awesome; starting out with both Rick Warren and Andy Stanley on the same stage. Andy was interviewing Rick, but it was so much more than that…It was one of the most memorable talks I have heard to date at this point of my life and this is not an exaggeration. I would be willing to bet if you asked any one of the 3200 people at this conference, they’d echo a similar response. This was just the beginning; Craig Groeschel followed Andy and Rick with Francis Chan following Craig. Interspersed between these talks we shared worship and praise together led by the beautiful spirit in Aaron Keyes.
We visited Tony Morgan for lunch and enjoyed hearing from his heart some of core beliefs that he shares for teaching and discipleship ministries within the church. He also gave us a peek inside his latest book Killing Cockroaches.
The afternoon session was a treat as we got to hear from Perry Noble (Teaching and Lead Pastor at the Newspring Church in South Carolina). He was a joy to hear from! Overall, this was one of the most inspirational, affirming, challenging, and convicting sessions I have ever been to in my life.
We were dismissed with time to spare, so we went to the beach. I suggested we return to the place I had visited with my friend Nate earlier in the week, Huntington Beach. It was beautiful and cool. I was able to catch a few nice photos as the sun was gently setting and surfers were catching some of the last waves of the day. I’ve included a few shots in my slideshow below.
Yesterday was our “day 3″ out here on the west coast. Technically, this was our only free day. We got up early to plan our agenda which was to include a trip north to Simi Valley and the Cornerstone Church (teaching pastor = Francis Chan). Following our visit to Cornerstone, we planned a tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library overlooking the Reagan Ranch. The end of our day would take us to the Mariner’s Church who is this year’s sponsor of the CatalystWest Conference for a “pre-conference party and mixer.” I took pictures throughout our day and have included a slideshow at the end of this post for your viewing.
Today, we start our conference schedule with a number of inspiring speakers, teachers, and pastors. Our worship music is being led by Hillsong United. The day promises to be a memorable one and I’ll clue you in tomorrow with another update and more pictures. Blessings!
I’m resurrecting a post from a few months ago because I think the message is congruent with what has been on my own heart the past couple of weeks. I’ve been thinking, meditating, reading, and posting what it means to “believe with your heart.” In keeping with that teaching, I want to remind my readers of the book by Francis Chan, Crazy Love. I reviewed and recommended this book as a must read back in September (you can read that post here).
Also, I think I remember posting an embedded link to a teaching from Francis dating back a couple of years ago titled, Lukewarm and Loving it… I encourage you in the strongest way to cut out 30-40 minutes of your day to view this video. It’s well worth the time; I promise.
I’ve been blogging and maintaining my church website for the last two plus weeks and it’s causing me to feel like my own site is reeling from “Cinderella syndrome,” so I’m going to give it a little love today by throwing down a few posts.
First up, I thought I’d let you in on what’s in my bookbag. I’ve got a scheduled reading list, but occasionally I have the odd book or two (or three) bump the lineup. You can see from the “Current Book List” in the left-hand frame of my blog what is on my current “scheduled” list. Looking into my bookbag reveals a somewhat different story…sorta. So, is the suspense killing you? Let’s look inside (sound of bookbag unzipping):
I’ve read a lot of books over the past year and I’ve recommended quite a few of them on this blog…even took the time to review a number of them here, but I think I have not read a book in a long time that I have “connected” with feeling affirmation (and some degree of challenge-conviction) in a very long time.
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God written by Francis Chan is, in my opinion, a must read. One of the things I appreciate most from this book is that Francis shares a belief that I have concerning the teachings of Jesus; he really meant what He (Jesus) said. The call to discipleship (aka following Jesus) is radical, counter-cultural, single-minded, and very often…lonely. It is about being Kingdom minded and completely sold out to the purposes and glory of God Almighty and nothing less.
In an age and society that idolizes moderation and balance, this book may be a very difficult read for some people. Francis talks about what it looks like to be a “lukewarm Christian” the kind that Jesus says; “because you are lukewarm I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” He (Francis) also talks about what it means to be completely in love with Jesus…magnificently obsessed with living for God.
If you are tired of marginal Christianity (which is not Christianity at all), you will be encouraged and challenged by this book. I put it at the top of my must read list and cannot recommend it highly enough. If you get it now, it will not be soon enough. Read it, be challenged by it, and then begin to live it…Crazy Love.