"Everybody thinks you're Cuckoo for Coco Puffs. I mean you've got a good church going on and you hit the eject button and now you're the international man of Foo-man-choo mystery and what is going on? What are you thinking, and what's gonna happen to your church?"
Mark Driscoll (opening questions in video)
Who remembers this interview posted over on The Gospel Coalition website about four years ago?
Dee and I watched it, and at the time we compared notes on how Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris were challenging Francis Chan on his decision to step away from the pulpit and pursue a brand new ministry. It's incredible how much things have changed since then. Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris have also walked away from the churches they pastored for so long. We are wondering what God in His sovereignty has planned for these three men in the decades to come.
In case you haven't seen the interview or would like to watch it again, here it is…
What's Next for Francis Chan? A Conversation with Mark Driscoll and Joshua Harris
We decided to highlight some of the questions and comments that really stood out to us.
Mark Driscoll: "I don't care. I know that's what we're supposed to talk about. We're just gonna…"
Joshua Harris: "It's the whole king dynamic…."
Mark Driscoll: "Everybody thinks you're Cuckoo for Coco Puffs. I mean you've got a good church going on and you hit the eject button and now you're the international man of Foo-man-choo mystery and what is going on? What are you thinking, and what's gonna happen to your church?"
Francis Chan: " The church itself is gonna be fine…"
Mark Driscoll: "Who's gonna preach? Is he good?. . . What's the response of the people…backlash, anger betrayal? It's comin', you just wait…"
Francis Chan: "Let me just start something fresh with all of those convictions rather than constantly tweaking something that I may have possibly taken in the wrong direction for a little while."
Mark Driscoll: "How long do you think you'll be at the new work before discontentment or frustration sets in? … Is this you know a discontentment in your soul that won't ever be satisfied?"
Joshua Harris: "If everybody out there just said hey let me go start something new…we do need guys who are in an established church and go you know what maybe it's not all right, but here's how I can slowly over time you know build and redirect in certain ways and so on…"
Francis Chan: "By leaving I'm actually helping the process…It's almost like by staying there…I wasn't helping the issue."
Mark Driscoll: "Here would be my final question, and I'll just drop it and you can decide whether we ever talk again. As you become more successful and there's more money, real estate, and book sales…what if God wants to sanctify you through not poverty but generosity, not suffering but blessing and what if it's not through simplicity but complexity and that's part of the sanctifying process…"
Joshua Harris: "You're selling that many books… Praise God!"
Mark Driscoll (to Joshua Harris): "You should have him (Chan) endorse your next book."
Francis Chan: "So that's more of why I go to a third world country. It's like let me get away from these speaking engagements and everything else just for a while and just look from the outside cause I just don't wanna be deceived. I don't want to fool myself, and I've fooled myself in the past. I know I've gotten arrogant; I know that there's pride that has just really destroyed me in many ways. And I've seen signs of just uh grossness in my life and so I feel like if I pull away I'll see even more of that. I just want to purify it for the next season in my life."
Chan's remarks stated just above appear to have left Driscoll absolutely stunned. No doubt he is wondering why Chan would voluntarily walk away from his church to start a new ministry.
Chan was born in San Francisco to native Chinese parents…
Francis Chan's mother died giving birth to him. After Chan's father remarried, when Chan was about 7 years old, his stepmother died in a car accident when he was 9 years old. His father remarried again when he was 10. His father then died of cancer when Chan was 12 years old.
Francis Chan was then raised by his stepmother Josephine Chan along with his older sister Grace, older brother Paul and much younger half-sister, Gloria. He had family support from his father's younger sister and her husband, Marion and William Wong, along with a large extended family and church family.
He did not get along well with his father growing up, but says that his fear of his father has helped him understand a level of fear of God. He also stated he didn't understand the love of God well until he became a father himself.
Perhaps it was this bitter dose of reality (losing so many family members when he was young) that contributed to the passion Chan expresses in his message What Are You Living For? In it, Chan uses a very effective rope illustration. We hope you will take the time to listen to this important reminder from Francis Chan.
What are your thoughts about this interview featured by TGC four years ago?