CCSPC 2012, the annual Calvary Chapel organization’s Senior Pastor’s Conference, kicked off in Murrieta, California yesterday at the Murrieta Hot Springs Conference Center at 39405 Murrieta Hot Springs Road. This year’s Conference runs from Monday, June 4th through Friday, June 8th and will feature the current Who’s Who of the Calvary Chapel leadership.
The event, which is a yearly get-together for the officially Affiliated and In Fellowship Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors and their wives from across the nation and world, is the product of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa’s CCOF Ministry licensing arm of which Chuck Smith, the Founder of the Calvary Chapel Movement, is President.
Day one kicked off with an appearance by “Papa Chuck” Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa who is the beloved father of the now estimated 1,500 plus Calvary Chapel affiliates in the United States and worldwide. Considered by many as a denomination, Calvary Chapel now ranks as the fourth largest denomination in the U.S.
Despite his current battle with Stage 3 lung cancer, which has been ruled inoperable, Pastor Chuck received a “standing ovation” and was described as doing well by many in attendance. Smith taught from 2 Corinthians 1 and according to one CC pastor’s twitter feed, “…tore it up during the opening sesh.”
A more reflective and less fiery Smith seemed to acknowledge some of the recent controversy in Calvary Chapel regarding reports of abusiveness that has been broadly reported among some of the Affiliated Calvary Chapel Senior Pastors. The Moses Model articulated by Smith in his Calvary Chapel “Distinctives”, which a CC Senior Pastor must agree to to become Affiliated with rights to use the licensed name and logo of Calvary Chapel, has often been criticized as encouraging a more autocratic leadership style. Smith seemed to emphasize that the Moses Model construct where the Senior Pastor has the final say on all matters and is not a hireling of the congregation or his board, should exercise that power with great care.
“Don’t see your relationship with the flock as to lord it over them, serve them instead,” said Smith, as reported by Pastor Chris Ward of Calvary Chapel Maricopa.
In a hint that his battle with cancer is beginning to wear on him, Smith used it as a teaching moment for his spiritual children.
“How can we know the comfort Jesus brings in suffering, unless we go through suffering first?” said Smith.
Smith reassured the CC pastors that, “You can put your confidence in the unchanging promises of an unchanging God.”
Day one of CCSPC 2012 also featured a Social Media workshop by Josh Turansky who heads up CalvaryChapel.com and @CalvaryChapel and is a pastor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa who attends Faith Evangelical Seminary and lives in Tustin, California.
Turansky believes that pastors should use Social Media to further the Gospel message.
Bryan Henderson of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa tweeted, “[Josh Turansky] says pastors are to engage in social media for the sake of the Gospel much like Paul the Apostle’s reasoning.”
The Evening Session headliner at this year’s CCSPC 2012 was Pastor David Guzik of Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara. Guzik was Affiliated in 2010 to take over for long-time CCSP Ricky Ryan who left to pastor a Calvary Chapel in Maui, Hawaii.
According to Guzik’s website, “For 7 years before that, David was the director of Calvary Chapel Bible College Germany, near Siegen, Germany. David took this position in January of 2003, after serving for 14 years as the founding and Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Simi Valley. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1982. David has no formal Bible College or seminary training, but does have a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.”
Guzik, who authors a popular series of Bible Commentaries published by Calvary Chapel’s publishing arm, spoke topically in what was described by many as “encouraging” but he also challenged CCSP’s with calls to action.
“The work we do for Jesus should give off the fragrance of Jesus,” said Guzik. “What does your ministry smell like?”
The consensus reported by attendees was that Day One was a rousing success, though Jim Jacobson of Calvary Chapel Arlington Washington tweeted, “Someone needs to spring for a new projector. Seriously. No point in putting up slides we can’t read.”
The CCSPC 2012 continues today. You can view live Twitter feeds at #calvarychapel and #ccspc.