Jun 052012

CCSPC 2012 from Murrieta Hot Springs in California. The annual event sponsored by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa's CCOF Ministry arm attracts Affiliated CC Pastors from around the nation and world. Photo posted online by Chaz Celaya of CCBC.

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.



 Posted by at 6:52 am

  17 Responses to “CCSPC 2012: Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor’s Conference 2012 kicks off in Murrieta, California”

  1. Guzik said, “The work we do for Jesus should give off the fragrance of Jesus,” said Guzik. “What does your ministry smell like?”

    Agreed. Good point.

    Just remember that some have been smoking for a long time and have killed their “smeller.” Those will have to ask others what their ministry smells like, outside of their inner circle fan base.

    One of the qualifications for leadership is that one has to have a good reputation in the community. My community was far more aware that our CC pastor was corrupt long before the inner circle woke up.

  2. Grateful. LOL. Yes. If you’ve had B.O. for a long time and so has the friends you’ve picked to hold you accountable….none of you smell what is obvious to others.

  3. The B.O. example is a much more accurate description! LOL!

  4. I would tend to agree with the smell test too.

    I am afraid that the pastors who have ministries that smell bad that they usually are in denial. For these, all we can do is try to show them:


  5. Looking at the picture of the conference going on there –I see how that place has really changed. I remember Murrieta Hot Springs back in the early eighties when it was a beautiful place to go and relax out in the countryside of Murrieta. Now it belongs to CC and is surrounded by city life that has spread outwards in Murrieta. I miss the days of the Hot Springs – it was truly a rejuvenating place back then.

  6. Alex, I am sorry for your pain, but I’m just wondering how you justify this website in light of God’s Word. I’m sure you know the instructions found in Matthew 18 concerning what we are to do when a brother sins against us. If you followed that guideline, it should have ended when you took it to the church. While you did not get the results you were hoping for,, nowhere do I see that you are to carry it further. (i.e., this smear campaign against your father and the CC’s). Deuteronomy 32:35 says “Vengeance is Mine.” I encourage you to leave this to God. He will handle it. Trust Him and stand down, then your healing will come.

  7. Kat, I appreciate your comments and I think it’s a process (in terms of the healing part).

    As to the “justification”…I think there’s context and nuance.

    I would point to Ephesians 5:11 and 1 Corinthians 6 (we are to judge inside the church) and 1 Timothy 5:19-22 and Jesus’s example in Matthew 23 and Paul the Apostle’s example regarding the Judaizers in Galatians 5 and an emphasis on the Qualifications of Pastors/Elders in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure my approach has erred many times and my heart has gone back-and-forth from anger/disgust and wanting CC to go away to “wounds of a friend” and hoping things will change for the better and grow and learn from the mistakes.

    The situation is complex. I see my situation (with BG) as being heavily enabled by the CC System by example and rhetoric from the past that has created for some in CC the justification and support they need to be a Despot via the Moses Model and a twisting of Chuck’s articulation of not being a ‘hireling’ etc etc.

    Then you have examples of “some” in CC who have used their power in bad ways…and this teaches by example and encourages guys like BG to become who they became…and people get hurt. A lot of people, many more than just me. My concern and disgust, frankly, has been more for what’s happened to others (not that I don’t have my own pain). And, my disgust has been for what a terrible example Bob’s Board (which included Ries, Ruff and Rosales) and then Chuck Smith himself…how poorly they handled the grievances and clear wrongdoing. It sends a message. A bad one. I hope those guys have learned something (but I’m not getting my hopes up).

    I will say this, the website is going to transition and I want to “help” in a more constructive and what would be a called a “nicer” manner. I think the past direction resonates with those who have been hurt by CC’s, but closes the ears of those who have had a good experience in CC and closes the ears of many of the leaders in CC. Very few who haven’t been negatively affected and hurt in CC respond well to a more negative tone. I have to be wise and clean that up…as my goal is to try and make a positive dent so things get better and fewer people get hurt (especially kids) in CC.

  8. Kat, one of the key issues, is that CC does have a hierarchy and a Leadership and they do have Authority…but Chuck won’t exercise it now b/c of the child molestation lawsuit in Idaho….which is a shame.

    Part of the Matthew 18 process is an Appeal to Authority (the church) and when the Church Leadership says, “Not our responsibility!” it defangs the whole reason for Matt. 18 and undoes what Scripture, I believe, meant to do: correct the bad behavior of the offending party.

    Right now, the guy who does bad, especially a CCSP, holds all the cards and has all the power. If you’ve got a beef, you can vent on a blog and write a letter to CC Costa Mesa…and you get nothing. The guy who did bad keeps on trucking as if nothing ever happened, while you get the left foot of fellowship and suffer a lot.

    That’s not just, not the way God intended Matthew 18, IMO.

  9. Kat, your post, like hundreds of others, have rightly reminded all of us that there is biblical guidance for any kind of relationship here on earth. Matthew 18 is one of the first references a new blogger on this site will point to, and it is appropriate to do so.

    I have read thousands of responses on here over the past few years. I have read the detailed accounts that Alex and others attempted for conflict resolution in many varied places. This blog would never have gained as much traction as it did, and would not have become as widespread as it is, without there being legitimate need for reconciliation to occur. If any careful reader of the Bible concludes that there is never any reason to question the authority and character of a religious leader, then they simply read irresponsibly.

    This blog was messy in it’s beginnings. It was raw, and brutally honest. My view is that Alex and his brothers, along with countless others formerly from the Visalia CC, have told a truthful story regarding the senior leadership in that church. I am certain the current pastor is a brute toward his congregation. The exit polls are mind-numbing. I am convinced by all the reports, that the senior pastor abused his children in the home. He is, by all accounts, a very bad man. It is a shame he still is given a voice in any church. That is a shame.

    Alex has tempered his ways, and has graciously learned many things over the years. I respect Alex, and know he has been greatly maligned in this process to bring light to the corruption that exists in CC, especially in Visalia. If you get offended by the reference to corruption in the Movement, then once again you read your Bible selectively. All of us have a corrupted life of sin. Some of us are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. That includes church pastors. They are not venerated saints, having experienced glorification already. They wait, like we do, to receive an incorruptible body when we breath our last breath.

    I think we have all learned a lot these past few years. I hope we will never forget that sin crouches at our doors every minute. Spiritual leaders should openly welcome every possible accountability structure to help them live holy lives. We have seen way too many failures in their lives in recent years to allow them to build gated walls around their private lives. They are feed and clothed by our sacrificial gifts. They own nothing. They are Levites, in service to God for the sake of the brethren. Glamour and fame have no place in the Kingdom of God. All the fame belongs to our dear Savior, Jesus. No one else is perfect and worthy of praise.

  10. Thanks for your input once again Bryan. You’ve been a steady voice from the beginning. Good post.

  11. Things have been said, postulated, documented, denied, brushed-off, castigated, vilified, ignored, and/or explained away. The consensus knows what has taken place. You guys didn’t make this up, and someday you will be vindicated. I’m glad to see the direction you are taking.

  12. One more thing then I’m going to depart again.

    If CC was not accountable to the people three years ago, they are much more now. Their actions, their personal financial practices, their behind-the-scene posturings, their biblical stance, are all in play. No one has anything to fear if they live faithfully and honestly before the Lord.

  13. Kat brings up the interesting point of Matt. 18. and bringing it before the church. I have been studying it recently and reflecting on my past experiences and what all I have witnessed.

    I have never once seen Matt. 18:17 exercised in a single Calvary Chapel in 20 years from very famous ones in California all the way to North Carolina and in between. Am I to believe that problems did not arise to that level at those specific Calvary’s while I attended?

    My last and final Calvary in Arizona had numerous mass exoduses from 1999-2011 while I attended there. If Matt. 18 was actually followed there you may not have seen the mass exoduses and church splits. But what if the sinning brother is continually the Senior Pastor? Would this explain the mass exoduses? Should this somehow CHANGE the process of Matt.18.? The pastor’s don’t want their sin brought before the congregation. They would risk losing even more “giving units”. (CC pastors term, not mine) So what happens? The process is not completed, there’s no reconciliation but the pastor does not have to fess up to his sins and can stay in rebellion thus he stays in denial.

    Since Matt.18 was never followed what I witnessed was the senior pastor chastise the families in the congregation that were in the know. He would say things like “if you don’t like it the door is right there, get out go, go find somewhere else to fellowship. (Not kidding this is what he said on may occasions from the pulpit) If you were not in the know at the time it would not make sense. This was his way of dealing with the problem. (Similar to settling out court, force the families to leave, so the pastor does not have to deal with his sin.)

    Now if someone has seen Matt. 18:15-20 exercised properly in a Calvary Chapel, I would love to hear how the process went. This could be a good direction and great discussion, especially if it could be backed up. Has there ever been one single pastor in Calvary who went through the process? Of course not because they are “the LORD’s anointed,” therefore they are exempt from discipline right? They are at the top of their own pyramid with the flow down hill structure of authority and deemed untouchable.

    Might be a good time for ALL of us to re-read Heb.12.
    Pay attention now, if you are NOT chastened then you are ILLEGITIMATE and NOT SONS. DO NOT DESPISE THE CHASTENING OF THE LORD!

    As I have said already, in over 20 years in Calvary Chapel, I have never saw Matt:17 exercised once. Nor have I saw it in my life. Probably due to me regretfully having attended Calvary Chapel exclusively those years.

  14. Well, most calvaries are mainly in Ca, some large churches in other states, I doubt that Calvary is much larger than all the eastern and oriential orthodox churches in the states which are made up of Russian, Greek, Syrian, Copts, and so forth. Being 4th largest sounds large but Calvary is by study the churches mention in the us and other countries probably between 700,000 to 2 million.

  15. Probably in either OC or La or Riverside does Calvary number around 30,000.

  16. A lot of middle ageed men with shorts on.

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