The reputation of American evangelical Christians 'has never been worse' - Francis Chan

(Photo: YouTube/RZIM)

Francis Chan has some sobering words for evangelicals in the US.

Laying his thoughts bare on a recent Zoom call with pastors from around the world, the Crazy Love author said the US Church has made some "serious mistakes" that have only caused division and damaged its reputation. 

The "number one mistake" he thinks it has made is an obsession with numbers, but he also took a shot at evangelicals getting closely bound up in politics. 

"I really believe there are some serious mistakes we made in the US [that] led to the Church being in the state that it's in right now: super divided, and the reputation of evangelical Christians in the US has never been worse," he said. 

He said that even just saying the word 'evangelical' was "cringing" and off-putting for people. 

"It's just an assumption that it's some politically driven group that they want nothing to do with," he sad.

"It's never been this bad," he added.

Calling the US Church "obsessed with church attendance," he said pastors had been "panicked" into trying to get as many people as possible to come, while sacrificing meaningful relationships. 

He suggested this wasn't a biblical model and that pastors are compromising with the Gospel to get people through church doors. 

"Where do you get that in Scripture?" he asked. "That is not the message of Jesus. Jesus could have kept thousands. All He had to do was water down the message, water down the commitment, but He didn't do it."

Chan said that although "it looks like there are other methods that might work better," Christians should get back to the basics of praying and loving one another.