Francis Chan, pastor and best-selling author of Crazy Love and Forgotten God, talked about his own experience as a Christian college student during Monday’s convocation in his first visit to Liberty University.
Chan’s message was about living biblically, while staying culturally relevant, to effectively make disciples for Christ. He reflected on his time as a student at a Christian college in California, saying his five years there were some of the worst in his life in terms of living out his faith.
“I was doing a lot of Christian things, but I didn’t have the intimacy with God that I have today,” Chan said.
He spoke about his struggle with hypocrisy because he was surrounded in a Christian culture that fueled complacency rather than a faith-driven lifestyle. During this time he said he “lacked peace” because he was comfortable in going through the motions.
“I’m at the most peace when I’m living by faith,” he said. “I want to look like a guy that walked out of the Bible, not one who walked out of the Bible belt.”
He explained that many times people think Christians are “weird” and “socially awkward” because they lack relevancy to the latest trends and relationship building that is vital to making disciples.
Chan reminded students “to work hard to stay in the world”—engaging the world without compromising.
He encouraged students to follow the example of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, making disciples but not being consumed by the Christian “culture.”
“[We must] be able to look at someone in the eye and tell them about what’s most important to us,” he said.
Chan is a founding pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi, Calif. After recently stepping down as pastor, he is pursuing church planting work in San Francisco where he resides with his wife, Lisa, and their five children. He speaks at several conferences a year.