Church Intensive




a note from francis

Haven't you always been a bit confused about Church?  You read about the unstoppable power, miraculous love, and outrageous sacrifice of the first church.  Then you wonder if it is even possible for the church today.  

We believe it is not only possible, but it is promised and commanded.  And we want to invite you to dream with us and hopefully reignite your hope for the church.  Join us to take a fresh look at the Scriptures, and experience how we pursue these biblical ideals for church in San Francisco.

Our church is far from perfect, but we are beginning to experience some of the blessings promised in Scripture.  Our hope is to encourage you along your journey.  Through our Church Intensive, you can engage in classes taught by pastors of We Are Church, participate in our house church gatherings, hit the streets with us to reach out to the community, and refocus in prayer both personally and together.


what is church intensive?

The Church Intensive is a one week (or two-day) experience for pastors and future pastors to study ecclesiology alongside of We Are Church, the church planting network started by Francis Chan in 2013.  The week-long session will be comprised of shadowing our pastors as they engage in ministry, joining the church gatherings to observe how they function, prayer and worship together, and participating in classes each day led by We Are Church pastors focused on church vision, structure, and practices. The two-day session does not involve as much observation, but will have engaging classes that will cover much of the same material that is covered in the week-long session. The week-long session is only located in San Francisco, CA, whereas the two-day session may have varying locations (which will be listed on this website once available). 


who can come?

The Church Intensive is designed for men who are currently serving as a pastor or elder within their church as well as men who are in other forms of church leadership and sense a calling to be a pastor in the near future.  We also encourage current pastors have one key church member with them (male or female) apply to join, but that person must apply and be accepted in addition to the pastor for both to come. If you do not fall into one of these categories, please take advantage of our We Are Church website and the resources there to learn more about what we believe and are doing with church.  Our hope is to continue to create more content going forward to be available to everyone.

The Church Intensive aims to create an environment where visiting pastors can personally connect and dialogue with We Are Church pastors, so each session allows for a maximum of ten attendees at a time. Anyone wishing to attend must submit a short application and references.  Once we receive all of your references, we will typically be able to give you an answer within a week.  In the event the session you have applied for is full, we will inform you and encourage you to consider a different session.


the experience

Each participant of the Church Intensive will go through a mixture of teachings and discussions led by pastors of We Are Church. These classes are designed with the intention of taking a fresh look to see what Scripture has to say about the church, its importance, its functions, and how we as pastors are called to lead. There will be assigned homework each evening to be discussed in class the following day.


Each participant in the Church Intensive will be exposed to the established community of We Are Church by joining one of the house churches on Sunday and Wednesday, engaging in outreach led by We Are Church pastors throughout the intensive, and touring different ministry sites.


4-Day Intensive

Cost $400 (housing not included)

Our four-day intensive (previously five-day intensive) gives us more time to connect with you, allows you to observe our lives through transparent discussions, meet more of our pastors and wrestle through many of your questions together.  Participants will engage in classes that are geared towards dialogue and group processing led by a couple of our pastors.  They will also be exposed to our We Are Church pastoral training on Sunday, house church gatherings and community outreach.  Staying for the four-day experience allows for deeper understanding of the We are Church model through immersion.

Upcoming Dates:

May 6-9

May 13-16

May 20-23



2-Day Intensive

Cost $250 (housing not included)

Our two-day intensive is a compact version for those who can't make it out for five days. Our class times will be more instructional and Q&A focused rather than full on discussion as in the five-day experience. Because this is over a Wednesday and Thursday, the intensive will not include a house church gathering on Sunday. If you would like to join for one then you can choose to spend the weekend after the program in San Francisco on your own and join a Sunday gathering. You will, however, experience a Wednesday evening prayer gathering (if in San Francisco) which is very similar to our Sunday gathering.

Upcoming Dates:

May 30-31


off-site church intensives

*Dates and locations coming soon!

All other sessions are currently full. Due to high demand, we have reconsidered and have made dates available in May. We can only process applications for dates listed on this website. No other dates have been solidified, but once they are, they will be posted on this page. 

*Please note that we are currently only able to accept applications for sessions that are listed on this website that are not full.

Are you wondering about the schedule? Other questions? See if they are answered here in our FAQ page:

Frequently Asked Questions