Calvary Chapel Association Letter to Pastors from 11/9/2016

NOTE: This CCA letter was originally contained in an e-mail sent to CC pastors. It was reposted online on the Phoenix Preacher’s blog. I am reposting here so that the average congregant may be informed on the current issues impacting the church.

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Calvary Chapel Pastors,

Before he went to be with Jesus, Pastor Chuck made it clear he wanted the Calvary Chapel movement to be lead by a collaboration of men working together. The CCA Council was formed by our pastor to carry out that vision. Last week Brian Brodersen resigned from the Council. We are grieved by his decision and its ramifications for our movement.

In Brian’s letter to you he explained that some of us want to “dwell in the past,” be “bound to it,” and “to continually revisit it.” Brian also quoted Pastor Chuck’s warning about creating “a religious system, with rigid controls and traditions,” as if that was the intention of those of us on the CCA Council. We are deeply saddened by Brian’s mis-characterization of our vision for CCA and the Calvary Chapel movement.

The men on the CCA Council have long loved Calvary Chapel and the move of God’s Spirit that graced us. Rather than “bind us,” our core values have defined us and steadied us for 50 years, and have kept our Spirit-led movement moving forward in a God-glorifying direction. We believe they should be revisited often, for they have helped us build healthy churches equipped to reach each generation for Jesus. And contrary to “dwelling in the past,” our values keep us looking for Jesus, praying for a fresh empowering of His Spirit, and grounded in the Word of God that speaks to all ages. Pastor Chuck was our teacher, and we will always owe him a debt of gratitude, but our spiritual DNA comes from the New Testament and is timeless in its application.

We certainly take heed to all Pastor Chuck’s warnings, but it has never been the desire of the Council to create a “religious system, with rigid controls and traditions.” The Calvary Chapel movement is unique in the freedom it affords its pastors, while offering fellowship with like-minded brothers.

Certainly, some of our Calvary Chapel core values are not considered essentials to the Christian faith, but they are essential to who we are as Calvary Chapel. And one of the reasons our fellowship is so meaningful is because of these shared values. Rather than weigh us down, our core values make us who we are. The CCA Council has a limited mission. Our role is simply to affiliate churches, provide guidance and encouragement, and offer opportunities for fellowship. (We are disappointed anyone would see those tasks as rigid or controlling.) But our mission is important. If our identity and values get watered down or altered, not only will pastors get sidetracked, but we will lose the distinctiveness of our calling in the Body of Christ.

It was never our desire to see two camps under the Calvary Chapel banner. We have worked hard to avoid this development. In the future this will create challenges that we will have to resolve. As Brian put it in his letter, he has chosen to no longer walk with us, yet we still consider him a brother, and pray for God’s will to be done in his life.

We will continue to lead as Pastor Chuck requested, and we desire to walk with men who agree with our core values. We are excited about the International Pastors Conference next November in St. Petersburg, Florida, and hope to see you there. Also calvarychapelassociation.com is being expanded to not only feature our CCA church locator, but to include helpful articles and content. Our CCA affiliation process remains the same, and for most of the regions it stays in the hands of the same men. The CCA Council will keep you all abreast of changes moving forward.

Finally, as we all deal with these issues, be reminded of the good work Jesus is doing in and through the Calvary Chapels. Ours is still a robust work of God’s Spirit that is going on in places all around the world. May we all be faithful where the Lord has placed us.

The CCA Council

Joe Focht, Jeff Johnson, Lloyd Pulley, David Guzik, Sandy Adams, Bill Stonebraker, David Rosales, Don McClure, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, Malcolm Wild, Damian Kyle,BoB Caldwell, Jack Hibbs

If you agree with this letter and you would like to add your signature, please email your name and the name of the ministry that you lead.

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