Francis Chan has released a new documentary under his "Letters to the Church" series on YouTube.
Chan, 51, is the former teaching pastor of Cornerstone Community Church in Simi Valley, California, a church he and his wife started in 1994. He is also the founder and chancellor of Eternity Bible College, also located in Simi Valley, and is the author of several books, including the New York Times Best Seller Crazy Love.
The documentary asks two questions. Have you ever wondered if there was more to church than what you're currently experiencing? Have you ever asked yourself what it really looks like to be the Church as God intended?
Chan wrestled with the same questions, according to the documentary. Those questions drove him to begin a journey to examine church in the light of Scripture while rejecting the trend of church-goers treating church like a consumer product where they look only at what they can get out of it, not what they can give to it.
"One of our elders called it pastoral malpractice… we are actually ruining people by making them consumers. Because you're supposed to be turning them into servants," Chan says in the documentary. "We don't come to be served. We serve and give our lives as a ransom for many. It's at the core of what we understand it means to follow Jesus Christ. And we've twisted it and it's evil."
Chan's documentary challenges Christians to be inspired to do more than sit in a chair on Sunday.
Watch Chan's documentary below:
Why Is The Chinese Church So Unstoppable?
The Crazy Love author has also identified why the Chinese church is unstoppable despite persecution from the government.
The Gospel Herald reports it's because Chinese Christians are willing to suffer for the gospel, according to Chan who was speaking at the Rethink Church/Rethink Mission event at the McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Va., earlier this month.
Chan told the audience about a pastor that told him the idea of being forced underground was so refreshing and it was the greatest thing that ever happened to his church.
"We got our DNA back because the underground church was built upon these five pillars," the pastor told Chan. "One, we were devoted to the word of God. Two, we were deeply devoted to prayer. Three, we expected every single believer to be out sharing the Gospel. Four, there was a regular expectation of miracles. Five, we embraced suffering for the glory of Christ."
Chan says the idea of embracing suffering and finding joy in hardship is in "every book in the New Testament."
The underground Chinese church, he told the attendees, has grown so large because Chinese Christians "actually believed they could make disciples and start these gatherings because Jesus was enough."
"I started to think, 'This is what made the underground church in China unstoppable. If you have a group of people that actually embrace suffering, how are you ever going to stop them?'" he asked.
Despite continued persecution, underground house churches in China are growing in all regions and demographics. Fenggang Yang, of Purdue University's Center on Religion and Chinese Society, estimates that there are between 93 million and 115 million Protestants in China, with fewer than 30 million attending officially registered churches, according to The Gospel Herald.
Chan told the audience at the Virginia event that the problem with churches in the West is that they are "so stoppable the moment it gets too difficult."