Equip Your People for a Rapidly Changing Culture

2015 RightNow Conference

As we all know, the morality and values of our country are changing quickly. We don’t need to panic, but we should be wise in equipping our people so they can not only survive, but thrive. In this 30-minute breakout session at the 2015 RightNow Conference, Francis Chan shares his current model for countercultural discipleship.

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 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.  

In church leadership we often hear big words like “vision,” “strategy,” and “discipleship.” Church has, in many ways, become a business, aiming to impress and produce as many Christians as possible. In this session, Francis stripped all of the work away and simply focused on God’s people. His ministry is no longer focused on his teaching or creating impressive worship, but he said he loves being a pastor these days.  

What feelings did Francis’s message evoke in you?
Log In to Continue

Do you feel like your ministry has become more “work” than it was intended to be? If so, in what ways? If not, what is helping you stay focused on Christ and His people as you lead?
Log In to Continue

Francis’s new model for church and discipleship is due in part to his reaction to our changing culture. He said it’s easier and easier for people to get distracted these days. In his own teaching he finds himself distracted by the lights, large numbers of people, and the fact that he’s being videoed. People can also quote, tweet, and broadcast his message across multiple platforms, which makes him more self-conscious than he’d like to be.  

In what ways are you distracted in today’s culture? Name some things that scatter your mind and keep you from focusing on the ministry God has entrusted to you.
Log In to Continue

Francis named certain necessities for ministry. In the church setting, for example, there needs to be lights on in the building, and it’s true that if you preach a good message one Sunday, you want to teach another good one the next week. Part of the work of ministry is to create environments where people are fed, taken care of, and nurtured in practical ways. When church becomes only about catering to people, impressing them, or constant improvement, though, it loses its focus.  

In what ways do you manage the necessities of church life (bills to pay, meetings to run, people's comfort) but also keep your church’s attention primarily on the person and work of Christ? Is that easy or hard to do?
Log In to Continue

Francis’s way of managing the necessities was simply to strip a lot of them away and return to the basics. You may or may not be able to, or be called to, do that. Are there certain things you can strip away, though, in order to go against the ever-adding, ever-improving culture in which we live? If so, what are those things? Make a list, however long or short.
Log In to Continue

Francis aims for a simple and pure ministry where people read the Bible for themselves and care for one another deeply. What kind of church is on your heart?
Log In to Continue

Acts 2:42-46 (ESV)

The Fellowship of the Believers

42And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.43And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.44And all who believed were together and had all things in common.45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

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.

The first Christians were known as a group of people who stood out because of the ways they loved and took care of each other and the people in their community. Their love and care took place because the people knew each other, sat beside each other, and lived life together. A lot of these face-to-face interactions are missing in today’s church where many people simply show up to a worship service to be entertained.  

What have been your most meaningful face-to-face interactions in ministry? Do you still have them regularly? If not, consider asking yourself what Francis asked: could less be more?
Log In to Continue

Francis’s change in model led him to literally walk the streets to see who God brought to him. Who knows what could happen if you shift yours? When we take a step back, remember what God has called us to, and consider it in light of our current work, changes often become clear. 

As our culture continues to change rapidly, remember the simplicity of the gospel and Great Commission. It’s all about good news. Be creative, intentional, and—above all—loving as you share it.

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