Francis Chan is moving to Asia next year to be a missionary

Pastor and author Francis Chan delivers remarks as part of the Q Commons event, broadcast internationally on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. [Q Ideas/Parker Young]

Pastor and evangelist Francis Chan will be packing his bags and moving to Asia next February to become a full-time missionary to the region.

The bestselling author shared his plans while preaching a sermon at Azusa Pacific University on Wednesday. His family will be making the move with him.

He revealed that the surprise move had been inspired by a mission trip they made to Myanmar earlier this year when they shared the Gospel with people living in slum districts.

"My family and I are going to move to Asia in February," he said.

"A few months ago, we were in Myanmar and my wife and I and kids, we were just with a translator going from hut to hut in these slums, trying to explain to people who Jesus is.

"These people had never even heard of Him. And the eagerness, the way they listened, seeing people get baptized — it was just like, wow, what do we do on a normal day that even compares to this?"

Explaining his decision to make a longer-term move to Asia, he shared some of his frustrations with the Christian scene back in the US.

"As we got on the plane home, I was like, 'Honey, I think it's time to move,'" the Crazy Love author said.

"I describe it like this: I feel like I've been fishing in the same pond my whole life and now there's like thousands of other fishermen at the same pond, and our lines are getting tangled and everyone's fighting over stupid things, and one guy tries some new lure and we go, 'Oh, he caught a fish, let's all try his method!' And it just feels like, what are we all doing here?"

"What if I heard of a lake that's like a five-mile hike away, and no one's fishing it. And they're saying, 'Man, the fish are biting — just throw a hook in there and they'll go for it!' Man, I'll make that five-mile hike if I love fishing.

"What would keep me at that same pond? I'll tell you what would keep me at the pond is: I built a house on the pond, and all my friends have houses on the pond. And we don't even fish that much, we just go out, and we hang out, and we talk, and we play, and I don't want to leave my friends.

"But if my calling is to go fish, and there's no one fishing over there, why wouldn't I go?"

Chan encouraged others to think about whether they were really denying themselves and prepared to take up their cross.

"Jesus would get in front of a crowd and He goes, 'Hey, I'm about to leave here and be nailed to a cross. So unless you are willing to ditch your life and pick up the cross next to me and go get nailed to this cross, don't bother following me, because unless you deny yourself, all those desires you have, all those dreams you have — unless you're ready to leave all of that and pick up your cross and follow me, you can't be my disciple," he said.

He went on to challenge Christians to speak the truth of the Gospel regardless of what other people might think.

"This book is slowly drifting and we've been so scared — 'well, don't dare hurt their feelings, don't offend.' Suddenly, we start speaking to not offend people," Chan said.

"The truth is, this Word is becoming less and less and people are just rising in their opinions and they're just believing what they want to believe."

He added: "[Jesus] says, 'I'm knocking on the door. You want to get real with me? You ready to surrender to me? You ready to start submitting to this Word even if no one else does?

"If your thoughts contradict this book, then you need to come under His thinking."