Author and one-time megachurch pastor Francis Chan shocked students at Asuza Pacific University by announcing that he and his family would be leaving the U.S. and moving to Asia to become full-time missionaries.
“My family and I are going to move to Asia in February,” Chan said Wednesday during a chapel sermon. “A few months ago, we were in Myanmar and my wife and I and kids, we were just with a translator going from hut to hut in these slums, trying to explain to people who Jesus is. These people had never even heard of Him. And the eagerness, the way they listened, seeing people get baptized — it was just like, wow, what do we do on a normal day that even compares to this?”
For many pastors of Chan’s caliber, such a move would be all but unthinkable. But the Crazy Love author has always had an uncomfortable relationship with attention, famously leaving his position as senior pastor of Cornerstone Church, which he founded. In September of last year, Chan spoke with the RELEVANT Podcast about getting “tired of hearing my own voice.”
Chan used an extended fishing metaphor in his address to the Asuza students explaining his decision to move. “I feel like I’ve been fishing in the same pond my whole life,” he said. “And now there’s like thousands of other fishermen at the same pond, and our lines are getting tangled and everyone’s fighting over stupid things, and one guy tries some new lure and we go, ‘Oh, he caught a fish, let’s all try his method!’ And it just feels like, what are we all doing here?”
Chan says he and his family will move in February.