A couple of years back Francis Chan came to speak at a Passion gathering. When I heard that he was pastor of a large church out in Simi Valley, California, my first reaction was “Great. Who needs another evangelical megachurch out there in Rick Warren country?” But as I have heard more about what Francis Chan is doing with his church, my perception has changed radically. Specifically this:
Francis Chan’s church wanted to expand, and so the board of directors came up with a plan for a lavish $20 million facility. But Francis Chan said no, and instead they built an outdoor amphitheater and a community park and gave away the several millions that were left over. And then they wrote it into their budget that 50 percent of all the money that they took in would go to missions.
That’s right, people. 50 percent of the church budget is being devoted to missions. In other words, for every dollar that comes in, 50 cents is going right back out the door to the poor, the hurting, the starving, and the dying.
Now Jared Wilson’s church, Element, in Nashville, Tennessee, has launched a new initiative in which they will give 50 percent of everything that comes in to missions, while giving 10 percent to church planting and other gospel-related ministries. Jared Wilson says that the inspiration for this decision came largely from what Francis Chan’s church is doing.
Just think. If more churches were to latch on to a similar vision, there is nothing that we would not be able to accomplish in terms of meeting the needs of the sick, the hurting, and the dying in our world. And isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? Wasn’t Jesus all about the sick and the suffering and the outcasts in his world? And shouldn’t we be too? Didn’t Jesus say that whatever we did for people such as these we did for Him?
So why can’t more churches do this?
Read what Michael Spencer has to say about this. Bill Kinnon at Achievable Ends makes essentially the same points, but does so in a much more humorous, backhanded way.