Leading People Beyond Comfort

2009 RightNow Conference


This 51-minute session from the 2009 RightNow Conference is an opportunity for us to focus on our mission to help people be attracted to Jesus. Francis Chan, author, speaker and former pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA, encourages us to lead people out of their own comfort—the “middle road”—and towards a life of service to Christ.

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


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Francis shared the story about a guy in his church who accused Francis of neglecting the whole “middle road”—those believers who follow some of the Bible but don’t want to be radical. Could you relate? How do we address the “middle road” believers? How are we encouraging people to live beyond their own comfort?
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Are we designing the programs in our church to make people happy or are we designing programs to carry out the mission of our church? Is there anything we are doing in our ministry that leads people to be comfortable and consumer-minded? What can we create or provide that are both inspirational and practical ways to help people live out the mission of our church?
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Francis talked about how we have certain expectations for success, popularity, comfort, salary, benefits. He reminded us from 1 Peter 4:12 that we should expect suffering and should be more concerned when we are not suffering. What process is God taking you through in chaos and suffering? What process is God taking your ministry through in chaos and suffering?
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Francis shared the story of the Korean missionaries in Afghanistan who, at times, wished they were back in captivity. Francis said, “They experienced this fellowship that they couldn’t get in comfort.” How can we lead people to accept suffering so they can experience a closeness to Jesus? What are some specific steps we can take to lead people towards a lifestyle that embraces suffering?
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Francis shares the story about being tired of the fighting, resistance, and anger in the church and wanting to quit ministry all together. Have you been there as a leader? What keeps you going during times when you feel like quitting? What is the reason we stay in ministry? Why can’t we give up? What are we “fighting for”?
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Francis encourages us that our goal as leaders isn’t to be popular or attractive to those we lead or to the world we’re trying to impact, but that our mission is to help people be attracted to Jesus—to get them back to Christ and his power, even if it means suffering. That’s what leading is all about. This video session ended with the story of One Church, who goes out into the community every fifth Sunday morning to “be the church” to those in need around them.

How can you inspire your church to trade in comfort for an eternal impact in your community?


For information about the upcoming RightNow Conference, go to rightnowconferences.org.

For more RightNow Media training posts, teaching videos and Bible study resources with Francis Chan, click here