17 Jul Review of the 2014 Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference
The Annual Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference was held at CC Costa Mesa last week. In previous years it’s been held at the Conference Center at Murrieta Hot Springs and was only for senior pastors. This year it was opened up to assistant pastors as well and senior leaders were encouraged to invite younger men. There were 9 of us that attended from CC Oxnard.
It was a wonderful time in which the worship and teaching was rich. This was the first conference to be held since the passing of our movement’s founder and leader, Pastor Chuck Smith. There was a lot of anticipation on the part of pastors what the tone of the conference would be.
While there are many points I could elaborate on, I’ll summarize by saying the consistent theme echoed by several speakers was the rightness of honoring our past while not dwelling there. We can love our past without living in it. We ought to hold fast to who and what we are, but not be adverse to altering HOW we go about doing what God has called us to do.
There has been a small (and grumpy) contingent within Calvary that when they saw Pastor Chuck moving toward the end of his tenure as the leader of the movement, began to make a play to seize control. Though Pastor Chuck had already devolved the leadership to the Calvary Chapel Association, along with the men who were to be a part of it, this other group positioned themselves as the “real & official” representatives of what it means to “be a Calvary Chapel.” Emails were sent out in blanket fashion and lines were drawn. But the men who took this position were never a part of CCA and weren’t sanctioned by Pastor Chuck to take on the leadership of the movement. They created a doctrinal crisis and insinuated that if you weren’t with them in their narrowly defined terms, then you were not really a Calvary Chapel. What they were really doing was finding a way to discredit the de facto leadership of CCA. Their attempt failed miserably, nut not before taking out some easily persuaded pastors.
The Conference was effective in making it clear that the future of Calvary Chapel is safe under the leadership of the men of CCA. Who and what we are will not change but how we go about doing things can and should change since the culture has moved on from the Jesus People movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s.