Famous author Francis Chan recently revealed the reason for his abrupt departure from his own megachurch in California seven years ago.
During a talk at Facebook headquarters on Thursday, Chan explained in detail his reasons for leaving the Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, California, which drew around 5,000 people each week before his departure in April 2010.
Chan said that he felt he was wasting the "supernatural" gifts of the people who attend the service of Cornerstone each week because they only come to listen to him instead of contributing to Church.
Additionally, he believed that the church was not following God's command to love one another because the attendees would simply greet each other for 30 seconds and hang out in cliques once a week.
When Chan announced his decision to leave Cornerstone in 2010, he said he felt a restlessness and stirring to let go of the church he founded in his living room.
In his talk at Facebook, Chan revealed that he decided to leave the church partly because he wanted to get away from the pride he began to feel as his book, "Crazy Love," became a bestseller and as he grew in popularity as a Christian speaker. He went on to explain to the audience that God hates pride and that one can easily lose humility.
Chan now leads a movement in San Francisco called We Are Church, which is comprised of about 14 to 15 house churches and 30 pastors. The churches are intended to be small, so members can get to know each other and make use of their gifts.
He noted that those who join the churches include "guys coming off the streets, out of prison to doctors and people that work here (Facebook) or Google."
Chan emphasized that attending the house churches is free, and he hopes to double the number of the churches each year so that there will be 1.2 million people participating in the movement in just 10 years.
He went on to narrate his encounter with a former gang member whom he baptized in Cornerstone, but that man later left even though he was quite involved in the church.
"One of my friends asked him, 'Hey, how come you're not at Cornerstone anymore?' He said 'I didn't understand church. When I was baptized, I thought that was going to be being jumped into the gang where it's like 24/7 they're my family, because I didn't know it was just somewhere we attend on Sundays," he recounted.
"That makes me so sick that the gangs are a better picture of family than the church of Jesus Christ. I can't live with that. ... We're going to do something different," he added.
He admitted that his former gig at Cornerstone was easier in some aspects, but he said that he loves what he is doing now.
The bestselling author revealed that he gives away all the money he earns from his books. He said that he had prayed years ago that God would either raise up a new generation of rich people who would give all their money away or make him rich so that he could give his riches away "give it all away to show that you're better than all of that." When he surprisingly made a million dollars the next year through his book and made more in subsequent years, he signed it all over to a charitable gift fund.
"It's been the best thing. Now I spend my days going and looking where are the needs around the world and how can I contribute to it?" he said.