TCW Talks to ... Lisa Chan

A conversation about her marriage to pastor Francis Chan and their urban ministry in San Francisco

Two years ago, Lisa and Francis Chan sold their home in Simi Valley and left Cornerstone Church, where they'd served for 16 years, feeling God telling them it was time to leave. They travelled internationally, praying over cities and asking God for direction. Ironically, he led them back to California—San Francisco. There the Chans are using their time and gifts to minister to a specific group of people who live in government-funded, low-income housing. Lisa is also currently in the midst of a video project called "True Beauty," a series that disciples women in their growing relationships with Christ. Read on to hear from Lisa on life, family, and surrendering it all for the glory of God.

Tell us about your ministry in San Francisco.

The ministry Francis and I are involved with is called City Impact. It's a group that reaches out to the Tenderloin, which is one square mile of low-income housing. It's full of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, prostitution—everything you'd expect from an area that has lost hope. You can sense the battle. Most of the people who live there have spent the majority of their lives never knowing what love and real relationships are, or what it means to be taken care of. They're surrounded by a spiritual darkness I never knew existed. We go out in teams and visit with them each week. On Sundays we meet together as a church, worship, hear a message, and then go out. We want people to be there to pray, develop relationships, and start to disciple the people of the Tenderloin. From there we hope to raise up leaders that God has already appointed in these buildings to transform this whole area.

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Ashley Grace Emmert

Ashley Grace Emmert is a writer, editor, and TCW regular contributor who lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her sweet Southern husband and their small scrappy dog. Find her at or on Twitter at @ashgemmert.

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Evangelism; Marriage; Ministry; Outreach; Service; Women's Ministry
Today's Christian Woman, July/August , 2013
Posted July 1, 2013

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