Francis Chan: Don’t waste your life; help complete the Great Commission


By Mark Ellis

Francis Chan
Francis Chan

Noted author and preacher Francis Chan urged believers not to waste their lives on fruitless pursuits, but to join with him and others focused on planting churches among the remaining unreached people groups of the world.

“We have to mobilize to get the Gospel to these people,” Chan declared at the Finishing the Task conference December 8th at Saddleback Church.

“But the other thing we’re accomplishing is helping people not to waste their lives. They are doing something you know God wants. You know it has eternal significance,” he told a group of mission-minded leaders at the conference.

Chan said following the command of Jesus given in Matthew 28 is the ultimate antidote to a purposeless existence. “How many people wander through life wondering if they wasted it?” he asked.

“But this is not a waste; it’s straight out of Scripture.”

Chan and his wife minister in East Africa on their 20th anniversary
Chan and his wife minister in East Africa on their 20th anniversary

Chan also spoke at the same conference in 2015. “Last year this conference impacted me in a big way. I went home and told my staff I’m not taking another speaking engagement this year unless it has to do with reaching unreached people groups,” he noted.

Two months ago Chan visited an unreached group in Africa for the first time. “We took two flights and a helicopter and we were in the middle of nowhere,” he recounted.

“A young missionary was there speaking their language perfectly. I heard him explaining to people who had never in history heard about Jesus. I’ve been in ministry 30 years and I’ve never witnessed something like that. It was so beautiful.”

Chan wished he had engaged in missions work earlier. “I was jealous that I didn’t have the courage at his age to do something like this,” he noted.

“There are days I wonder if what I’m doing is worth it. But standing with a tribe who never heard of Jesus and there is no guessing. It’s the coolest thing. There is no doubt in my mind he is not wasting his life.”

Chan challenged the mission leaders at the conference to not neglect their devotional life. “I came here to ask you how you are doing in your own personal intimacy with Jesus,” he said.

“Are you still thrilled about prayer?”

Chan said he has been in “a good season” lately, reading through the Book of Romans in his quiet time. “I was thinking I had never noticed this (in the Scripture), and everything is coming alive. Do you know those moments?”

On December 6th Chan had a prayer gathering with other pastors in San Francisco. “You could feel the power in the room,” he recounted. “I thought, I love this, I don’t want to leave this room. I love these people; this is so beautiful.

“Then last night I saw the answer to some of those prayers and I thought, Are you kidding me Lord? I didn’t even see that as a solution.”


For more information about Finishing the Task, go here

Below: Chan and his wife minister in East Africa on their 20th anniversary