Skip to main content

Chan Challenges Pastors to Stop Creating 'Wave Pool' Churches: 'We've Twisted It and It's Evil'


Share This article

Evangelist Francis Chan told pastors this week they must set aside their own personal agendas and allow Jesus to lead their churches.

Chan spoke at the Exponential Conference Tuesday at First Baptist in Orlando, Florida, the Christian Post reports.

"I realize that a lot of times I don't act like He's the head of the Church," Chan admitted. "I don't act like I'm just like an arm. And I don't really humble myself, 'Lord, You're the head of the Church. What do You want me to do?' The arm doesn't do anything unless the head tells him to do it."

"If it was up to this mind to build a church, if it was up to this mind to keep a church together, Lord I'll just create something that this mind wants. And what I like, what I enjoy. God, I need you as head over the church. We need You as head over the church," he said.

The evangelist warned against the dangers of making church like a "wave pool" at a water park  – fun, but "so different from real surfing."

"I can create a wave. I can make a wave start at 9:20. And I can have a peak at 9:30. And then it will die out at 9:50 so we can get the kids out of child care. I can make a wave where everyone is having a blast and then we walk away and we go, 'whoa God moved!' Eh, I think it was man-made this week," explained Chan.

"As long as we're OK in the wave pool and create a little bit of excitement, we're not going to get to see the things we see in (the Bible)."

Chan, who has planted many churches and is an internationally-renowned minister, is often critical of how modern churches treat the gospel.

Last year, he released a documentary under his "Letters to the Church" series on YouTube calling out Christians for their "consumerism" mentality.

"One of our elders called it pastoral malpractice… we are actually ruining people by making them consumers. Because you're supposed to be turning them into servants," Chan says in the documentary.  "We don't come to be served.  We serve and give our lives as a ransom for many. It's at the core of what we understand it means to follow Jesus Christ.  And we've twisted it and it's evil."

Chan believes the church can change by repenting and honoring God.

"You know what, we can change...We've got to give God the glory he deserves and we've got to be willing to suffer whatever we need to suffer to walk away from our sin, to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior, because we believe what the disciples did – that Jesus rose from the dead," he urged.


Share This article

About The Author


Emily Jones is a multi-media journalist for CBN News in Jerusalem. Before she moved to the Middle East in 2019, she spent years regularly traveling to the region to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meet with government officials, and raise awareness about Christian persecution. During her college years, Emily served as president of Regent University's Christians United for Israel chapter and spoke alongside world leaders at numerous conferences and events. She is an active member of the Philos Project, an organization that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement with the Middle