Rooted in Christ, Not Just Faking It

2015 RightNow Conference

There are times when we minister out of a deep enjoyment of Christ's love. Then there's the norm: when we go through the motions to get through another week. How can we renew our passion for Christ—not just for our own sake, but also for His? In this 40-minute session from the 2015 RightNow Conference, Francis Chan challenges pastors to be rooted and grounded in Christ's love.

Francis Chan is the bestselling author of Crazy Love, Forgotten God, and Erasing Hell, founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, and founder of Eternity Bible College. Currently he is planting churches in the San Francisco Bay area and working on a countrywide discipleship movement called Multiply.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your ministry. 

Can’t you sense Francis’s passion? He is so in love with God’s Word, and he’s desperate for pastors to absorb it, be rooted in it, and share it with their churches. Francis said that pastors, including himself, are often tempted to pursue notoriety, fame, validation, and even quick solutions for church ministry, but God’s glory is so much greater than that. What would happen if the Church was full of God’s glory, and all Christians were rooted and grounded in the all-surpassing love of Christ? 

Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)

Prayer for Spiritual Strength

14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Francis referenced verse 14 and said that Paul kneeled before the Father in prayer for his church in Ephesus. Then he himself spent time on his knees for the pastors at the RightNow Conference. When was the last time you spent time on your knees for your congregation?
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It’s likely you don’t spend hours on your knees praying. (You’re not the only one.) What things keep you from fervent prayer for the people of your church?
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Francis said that God is all-powerful, and He can do anything. He then referenced Ephesians and asked God to strengthen pastors “according to the riches of His glory.” In what ways have you experienced the riches of God’s power and glory throughout your life or ministry?
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Francis described a church in China where 70 believing families adopted 160 children with special needs. Their motivation was prayer and the Word of God, and they lived in simple community with each other. Francis loved this church but then compared it to the Church in America where we strive to create more and more programming to merely keep people coming another week.  

Have you ever had an experience like Francis’s—seen a church in another culture that seemed to be more in line with Jesus’ ministry? What were your feelings as you compared that experience to your Sunday morning church?
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Francis admits not all American expressions of the Christian faith are bad. In what ways do you see the fullness of God in the ministries you’re a part of?
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Francis admits times when he has been more concerned with trying to get people to stop drinking or gossiping, repair their marriages, or to give more money to the church than he has been about an internal change within people’s hearts. His passion is for the love of Christ to dwell in people’s hearts and give them the strength, power, and fullness described in Ephesians. He wants to begin praying more for this type of conversion.

Is there a person or group of people you know now who are in need of this kind of internal change within them? If so, name them below and take a minute to pray for them. Consider getting on your knees as you pray.
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Francis has a vision for pastors and churches to strip away all the things that keep them from immersing themselves in Christ. He personally wants to be more spiritual, devoting himself to prayer, and he hopes all pastors will join him. How great would it be if Christians were known for being full of the fullness of God? 

When you peel away all the layers, what do you really want to be known for?
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Being rooted means you’re not going anywhere. What commitments can you make to more fully immerse yourself in Christ’s love so that you and your faith will be unmoved, and you will be known as one who is full of God?
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Francis said the church he visited in China was the most beautiful church he’s ever seen. Why? Not because of the size of the building, the large mass of people, or the stained glass windows, but because of the humble care families had for children and the devotion they had to prayer and God’s Word. The church was full of the love of Christ. 

You and your church can be full too. Commit yourself to prayer and the ministry before you, and see how God shows up!

For more information about the RightNow Conference or find out how to attend next year’s event, visit  

If you're looking to grow more rooted in Christ—personally, with your family, or in your small group—check out this verse-by-verse journey with Francis through The Book of James.