CCA Updates Website…Finally

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127 Responses

  1. Hopeful says:

    However, Bob Caldwell’s name is still all over the website.

  2. Michael says:

    It’s only in one spot now…

  3. Kevin H says:

    So the website now has the tagline of, “Reviving the Systematic Exposition of Scripture”. Seems like just another passive aggressive shot at Brodersen. And why in the world does this need reviving? Are there not any other churches out there who do this anymore and so it needs reviving? Good thing the CCA is coming along to bring the systematic exposition of Scripture back to life.

    And also worth noticing is that all of their posted letters are now just signed as the CCA Council. Certainly don’t want to list those individual signatures anymore and reveal the discrepancy of different signers and also bring attention to those who are no longer on the council. No, no. Much better to give a false front of unity than to allow for any possible transparency.

  4. Michael says:


    It is another shot at Brodersen…and an attempt to perpetuate the myth that they’re the only ones who do systematic exposition.

    The Reformed were doing it 450 years before they were thought of…

  5. covered says:

    Michael, what do you mean by this statement? Did they come to their senses and throw in the towel?

    “Now that this project is finished, maybe they will have time to file their tax papers in California…I’m dying to see the 990’s…”

  6. covered says:

    Nevermind… I just realized that the the project you are referring to is their web page. It’s been a long day and I’m a bit slower than usual 🙂

  7. Michael says:

    It’s all good… 🙂

  8. Captain Kevin says:

    I’m glad to see David’s name taken off. I have a lot of respect for him, so it bugged me that he would be associated with the cronies.

    As far as systematic exposition of scripture, not only are they not the only ones doing it, but there are many others who do it with much more fidelity to the text.

  9. victorious says:

    Maybe they can get Johnny Mac to join now. Lol

  10. guest says:

    So much needs to be said…

  11. Corby says:

    I thought Wayne T was also off the council? It looks like two pictures have been removed. Who was the other (other than David)?

    And wait a tick, on the Pastors Wives page, there is a conference scheduled for October at Murrieta? What the what? Like CCA and CCGNs wives are going to chill together when the hubbies are not? And, The amazing Mrs. Guzik (not sarcasm, she’s awesome) is on the Pastors Wives board which I didn’t even know existed.

    I don’t think the project of website update is over.

  12. Disillusioned says:

    One of the things you are brainwashed to believe in CC is that NO ONE is teaching scripture correctly except them! I can’t tell you how many times I heard the phrase “those churches down the street…” when speaking of false teaching. “But where will we go?” was the response from one person when confronted with the pastor’s sin…. like there was no one else in this large metropolitan area who could teach the word.

  13. Stephen says:

    Was just listening to an old Howie Hendricks presentation and something he said just jumped out at me, considering the CCA;

    ” one of the greatest mistakes of a organization is to identify its distinctives as its own rather than Biblical”.


  14. Kevin H says:


    I know what you mean. I have heard plenty of criticisms over the years of other churches who don’t teach the Bible, or who don’t believe the Bible, or who just do things wrong. I haven’t heard the claim that CC is the only one doing it right, but the criticisms of so many others surely helps lead some to come to that conclusion.

    I do know the claim is often made that the CC I attend was started because there were no good Bible teaching/believing churches in the area. (I haven’t heard the claim made to current day, only for the time when the church was started.) I did not live in the area at that time and would have only been a child so I cannot verify nor deny that claim. But I have always been suspicious of it.

  15. Disillusioned says:

    “no good Bible teaching/believing churches in the area”
    Hmmm. Seems to making the same point and seems to imply that that is still the case…
    The exclusivity that is promoted from the pulpit is sinful and divisive.

  16. CostcoCal says:

    I really like David Guzik.

    He is a fine theologian!

    I wish I worked as hard as he at knowing what the Scriptures declare.

  17. Siegfried says:


    That’s awfully generalized. I never heard that in my old CC. Almost to a fault.

  18. Siegfried says:


    and he posts his commentary free, which is so very cool.

  19. Siegfried says:

    Kevin H,

    Maybe you know, what is the percentage of mainline pastors/teachers who don’t believe one or more core doctrines? I think I remember it being said that the Methodists were almost at 50% of their leadership dropping the belief in His virgin birth. I bring it up as to why so many CCs popped up like Starbucks did.

  20. CostcoCal says:

    Sieg, Yep. He and Jon Courson are the (only) two “Calvary Chapel” guys that I go to in my studies.

  21. Siegfried says:


    Since the Moses model isn’t really biblical, it stands to reason it is CC has basically copyrighted it. What I wonder is, how much do they hold to the Larry Taylor model of Assistant Pastorship?

  22. Kevin H says:


    No, I wouldn’t be the one to know, not at least without doing some serious googling first. Maybe others would have some numbers more ready to go.

    There can be disparity, too, in what one defines as core doctrines. Some might have a list of a few, while others many, many more. The bigger the list, the more likely you will find mainline churches/pastors who don’t follow traditional church teachings/beliefs.

    I do think the prevalence of CC’s and other evangelical churches being formed/planted over the last 40-50 years is a good bit in reaction to the direction that many mainline churches have taken. Some denominations that are now considered mostly mainline do still have conservative factions (i.e. Lutherans – LCMS, Presbyterians – PCA, etc.), but it would seem numerically that many, if not most, have gone the way of a liberal approach to theology and doctrine.

  23. Michael says:


    My sources originally thought Taylor had been forced out.
    They don’t want him on the council because of his relationship with Brodersen.
    From what I can gather he told them to pack sand…

  24. Michael says:

    The “Moses Model” is nothing more than the old senior pastor model with a different name and crappy theology to explain it.

    It is prevalent in many other sects and has been before Chuck Smith was even born.

  25. Siegfried says:

    Monoepiscopacy, right? Often becomes heavy shepherding

  26. Michael says:

    Monoepiscopy was having one bishop over an area or a city, the individual churches had their own leadership that answered to the bishop.

  27. SMiller says:

    One of the reasons our group was excited to attend CCBoise was we knew it was one of their beliefs to systematically go through the Bible.

    One of the reasons we left there was when it became obvious Bob was just going to tell stories. We didn’t need to bring our Bible any longer. We were told he had decided to do topical preaching.

    The stories from the old days were repeated over and over again. The guests we invited would no longer attend because they had his story of’ stealing batteries in the old days’ over and over again.

    To actually teach the Word would require study and a background of how to do it. Is that being transferred to the young pastors who they choose as their replacements?
    This was yet another Red Flag it was time to go.

  28. Potatoehead says:


    Had to check that interesting word up.

    Late 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Gore (1853–1932), bishop of Oxford. From mono- + episcopacy.

    Basically when things are run by one bishop.

    Like a Monarchy.

  29. Siegfried says:


    That sounds RIDICULOUSLY …


  30. Siegfried says:

    Wasn’t that what CCOF/CCA amounted to under Chuck? The Chuck Smith Papal decrees of Calvary Chapel?

  31. Michael says:

    In some ways Smith acted as a bishop…until he paid out lots of money because oversight brings liability…

  32. Siegfried says:

    On Money and liability
    Whatever happened to Alex Grenier?

  33. Bob Sweat says:

    Siegfried, How’s Roy?

  34. Siegfried says:

    Taming the Lion

  35. Michael says:

    Alex and his father and family are working towards reconciliation and he has chosen to focus on putting his life back together.

  36. Scooter Jones says:

    The only one’s not happy about Greiner reconciliation are probably the lawyers.

    I can’t imagine how many tens of thousands of dollars that were wasted these past couple of years.

    I just read the link about the upcoming reconciliation dinner. I wonder if they will be serving humble pie for dessert.

  37. Duane Arnold says:

    Not to take issue with anyone else, but I think Michael hit it in #24 – the old senior pastor model – but with a difference. It was the old senior pastor model from Foursquare, Full Gospel, Assemblies of God, etc., where the church was also the family business. When of age, the son (or sons, or sons-in-law) would take their “rightful position” in the church as youth minister, or associate, with the understanding that they would take over in due time. It is a cultural norm in such churches. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the practice is still common in such circles. The anointing of not only a “leader” but of an entire extended family has more to do with “folk religion” than it does with normative Christian practice.

  38. Michael says:

    That would be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    I have some serious misgivings about the “event”, but I choose to support Alex.

  39. Michael says:


    # 37…nailed it.

  40. Siegfried says:


    I just read Judges 17, 18 last night. Sounds like the man Micah, his son, the paid levite, and the Danites.

    History repeats itself in SGM and CC and so many other places

  41. Duane Arnold says:

    #39 Michael

    I’ve seen it happen so often and it is so wrong… especially for the son/daughter/wife/son-in-law, etc. They are always the queen, prince or princess, and seldom, if ever, their own person. It also speaks to the insecurity of the senior pastor, as though someone has to be “of the blood” to be trusted. If, indeed, someone in the younger generation seems to have “a call”, let them go through a normal process of discernment, education and the garnering of experience on a mixed staff or in a small church with all of its frustrations. They will be a better pastoral leader as a result.

  42. Scooter Jones says:

    “hundreds of thousands…”

    You’re obviously right, I just didn’t want to appear to be exaggerating 😉

    As far as the 7 speakers, is it known if any of those men were actively involved in working with Alex & Bob these past several years towards reconciliation?

    If not, what is the purpose of these men even speaking? Seems like Bob & Alex are more than capable of speaking for themselves regarding their family reconciliation.

  43. Xenia says:

    Teaching the Bible…

    In non-evangelical type churches, Bible teaching is not the focus of the Sunday morning service. The focus is the Eucharist.

    A person visiting a liturgical church on a Sunday morning will notice that no one brings their Bibles, notebook and pen to the service and the homily/sermon is short and based on the morning’s Gospel or Epistle readings or where the church is on the liturgical calendar. Such a person might form the erroneous opinion that this is not a “Bible-based” church because the pastor/priest is not delivering a verse by verse lecture.

    Liturgical churches teach the Scriptures at times other than the main morning service. They might have a Sunday school or they might have weekday classes.

    There are mainline fellowships (I will not call them “churches”) where the basics of the Christian faith are denied. They can be discounted entirely.

  44. Michael says:


    Those seven had nothing to do with this process at any time.
    I need to shut up now…

  45. Michael says:


    Amen to all that…and add in the economic reasons to keep it all in the family…

  46. Scooter Jones says:

    Michael, I figured as much.

  47. Siegfried says:


    As Kevin H said, the basics of the faith depend on who you ask and their tradition.

    Many do not consider Eucharistic tradition to be basic but extra biblical. I don’t, and I can say with surety I am part of the body of Christ. The body will always look bigger than it really is, as the mustard tree parable goes.

  48. Duane Arnold says:


    Not only finances, but secrets. If your son, who is also your associate pastor is involved in untoward behavior, what is the reaction? Do you treat him as a son or as part of the leadership? On the other hand, if you have counseling from the father, what is shared with the other members of the family? It is a “greenhouse environment” for the keeping of secrets and information, as well as money and perks. All the wrong lessons are learned and internalized. Then the behavior is repeated again in the next generation…

  49. Michael says:


    You are prophetic today…I know of two churches in that exact scenario as we speak…

  50. Lurkie Loo says:

    Yep, some (all?) of the 7 were exposed on Alex’s site, so to me it looks like damage control. Alex is in a tender place, just like when Chuck pretended he would orchestrate a meeting with his mother, and I hope he is not being used. I choose to believe the authenticity and miracle of the father – son reconciliation, and I would much rather listen to an hour of their story, to the degree that they are willing to share, vs. a CCA conference. Logistically, I have no idea how they are going to have 7 speakers and a Christian band at a 6:30 p.m. Sunday event. Bob also asked people to bring former attendees bc he has a special message for them too. What, one sentence? And maybe I missed it, but are Paul and Alex reconciled? Thank you, Michael, for allowing these questions on your blog.

  51. Lurkie Loo says:

    Yep, some (all?) of the 7 were exposed on Alex’s site, so to me it looks like damage control. Alex is in a tender place, just like when Chuck pretended he would orchestrate a meeting with his mother, and I hope he is not being used. I will choose to believe the authenticity and miracle of the father – son reconciliation, and I would much rather listen to an hour of their story, to the degree that they are willing to share, vs. a CCA conference. Logistically, I have no idea how they are going to have 7 speakers and a Christian band at a 6:30 p.m. Sunday event. Bob also asked people to bring former attendees bc he has a special message for them too. What, one sentence? And maybe I missed it, but are Paul and Alex reconciled? Thank you, Michael, for allowing these questions on your blog.

  52. Lurkie Loo says:

    Sorry for the double post. And I hope they will do the hard work of individual and joint counseling, outside of CC.

  53. Siegfried says:

    Michael, any info on who played the spirit of Elijah in this reconciliation?

  54. Siegfried says:

    Anybody have a link to the list of speakers?

  55. Disillusioned says:

    Family business – I see that, too. When I consider this outcome, I once again kick myself for being so blind!! It reminded me also that for years the pastors’ wives would pray aloud for the pastor’s son to become the worship leader — even though he hadn’t been to that church in ten years at least! He was their “prodigal.” So first he had to get “saved.” Then, in their mind, the next logical step was of course, worship leader!
    Sometimes I really feel stupid for my lack of understanding about the way things really were.

  56. Duane Arnold says:

    #55 Disillusioned

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s a common situation allowing for a very subtle passive/aggressive leadership style.

    In my view (some may take offense) if a family member related to the senior pastor is on staff, it is unhealthy. If the wife of a senior pastor is given a prominent or leadership role, it is unhealthy. If the “success” of the church is always credited to the senior pastor, it is unhealthy. Yes, I know that God uses individuals, but a good pastor cares more about his charge than he does about himself and, therefore, tries to make sure that that he is NOT indispensable.

  57. Hannah says:

    As a young believer, i studied the Old Testament prophets with David
    online at blue letter bible.
    I was not getting much teaching at my CC.
    I used to email him if I had a question and he always answered.
    When his family left for Germany, I prayed for them.
    It was about the time the fires destroyed the town where his CC was.
    He is a wonderful man of God.

  58. Hannah says:

    I should clarify! I studied with his online commentary… Not with him!
    He seemed very different in his views compared to the CC pastors I knew.
    I am grateful for what I learned through his teachings…just in case he us reading here.

  59. Steve Wright says:

    I am going to refrain from a lengthy opposition to the bigotry and stereotyping about the kids of pastors except to say that nepotism exists in all walks of life, and is not only found in the charismatic, evangelical churches cited above.

    Some of the finest servants of the Lord I have met are children of pastors. When a servant of God is judged because his dad served too, and worse, financial and “knowing the secrets” is implied for that service, it tars a lot of good people….in Jesus Name of course.

    I logged on to add a coda to an early discussion, since I see David Guzik is the focus of this post. David is a friend of CCLE and a great brother in the Lord.

    I wrote an email to the CCA council back when all this broke and mentioned on this blog I had not gotten an answer after a couple of weeks. David heard of this and wrote me right away asking what I wanted to know (as he had not seen my email), but it went into a junk filter and I did not see his December reply until a couple weeks ago – well after he had subsequently stepped down from the CCA council.

    I wrote him back to explain the junk filter delay and thank him and told him it was moot since he is no longer on the council.

    All that to say, David is a solid leader and the CCA council is weakened by his resignation. They might look in the mirror as to what drives a brother like this away….(and no, I still did not get a reply from anyone else at the CCA council as to my earlier concerns a couple months ago)

  60. Duane Arnold says:

    #59 Steve

    I know a number as well and there are always exceptions. Nonetheless, I think it is under the category of “bad practice” for a whole host of reasons. Additionally, it may be stereotyping (although some stereotypes are valid), but it is not “bigotry”…

  61. Duane Arnold says:


    Additionally, I was speaking specifically of serving in the same church at the same time, not as you implied by placing the father’s service in the past tense…

  62. Steve Wright says:

    “with the understanding that they will take over in due time”….your words.

    As far as concurrent service, believe it or not, serving as an assistant before becoming the senior makes sense to most, and there are those who want to be a part of the church they have grown up in and with the people they know and love. If there is a verse that says it is more virtuous to try and move your family away to a strange town and church before returning home…I have not read it…

    (I used bigotry in the broader, prejudicial sense, not the hatred aspect, and your double down that (some stereotypes are valid) supports my use. But I won’t insist on that point but to say your stereotype is not valid in this case, and I would hope nobody would refuse a church SOLELY due to pastoral lineage…for that would be bigotry)

    You can have the last word if you wish to continue to judge multiple servants of Christ you don’t know…I wanted to comment on David Guzik and I did that.

  63. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Steve Wright,
    I apologize if we have offended you. Still, it seems to me that most often the bible mentions nepotism, it nearly always turns out bad. As I said I got started thinking about CC and other ministries when I read Judges 18, Micah, the Levite, and the Danites. It started with the sins of Aaron and strange fire in Exodus, didn’t it? The example continues into Nehemiah, into the Gospels with Caiaphas, and if I’m not mistaken wasn’t John Mark related to Barnabus?

  64. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Sons, not sins of Aaron

  65. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Thanks Loo

  66. Duane Arnold says:


    “You can have the last word if you wish to continue to judge multiple servants of Christ you don’t know”

    Actually, I know a number… and I remain convinced that nepotism is “bad practice” in the Church. Hopefully, we can agree to disagree…

  67. Disillusioned says:

    Steve Wright,
    I understand it’s painful to read about the people in your movement who have wounded others. No one is blaming you or any other innocent person.
    Duane’s take is reasonable – nepotism in the church doesn’t look good. And in many cases, it really ISN’T good. Don’t get all “you’re a bigot” because that doesn’t even make sense.

  68. Duane Arnold says:

    #68 Disillusioned

    The Evangelical Council for Accountability agrees concerning the issue of nepotism and actually issues guidelines on the matter… If anyone is interested, and if Michael was agreeable, I could post them on the thread…

  69. Disillusioned says:

    As someone directly impacted by nepotism, I feel qualified to speak about it. My case was a poster child for why it is bad: that CC put a person in leadership who they knew was not ready for many reasons. Did that stop them? Heck no. And now they are planning for the second wave of nepotism…and in my mind are setting up the next generation to take over the family business.

    Duane, I for one would love to see those guidelines. If you don’t post them, I’ll look it up myself.

  70. says:

    Notice how, as almost always, a CC king interprets life differently for them as others – nepotism, though NEVER supported anywhere in the NT, is ignored in CCs, and their support? Well, if happens everywhere?!!!
    However, when they’re “teaching” on many other topics, “all we need is the word.”
    I know, I know, “touch not the Lord’s anointed,” sort of like King David, who committed adultery and God literally killed his child as punishment.
    So much for that “theology.”

  71. Duane Arnold says:

    Here they are… they relate mainly to the financial aspect…

    Sample Nepotism Policy

    Purpose. To clearly define XYZ Ministry’s policy regarding the standards for close relatives working for the Ministry in the same or different departments.

    Policy. XYZ Ministry permits the employment of qualified relatives of employees, of the employee’s household, or immediate family as long as such employment does not, in the opinion of the Ministry, create actual conflicts of interest. For purposes of this policy, “qualified relative” is defined as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, first cousin, corresponding in-law, “step” relation, or any member of the employee’s household. The Ministry will use sound judgment in the placement of related employees in accordance with the following guidelines:
    Individuals who are related by blood, marriage, or reside in the same household are permitted to work in the same Ministry department, provided no direct reporting or supervisor to subordinate relationship exists. That is, no employee is permitted to work within “the chain of command” when one relative’s work responsibilities, salary, hours, career progress, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment could be influenced by the other relative.
    Related employees may have no influence over the wages, hours, benefits, career progress and other terms and conditions of the other related staff members.
    Employees who marry while employed, or become part of the same household are treated in accordance with these guidelines. That is, if in the opinion of the Ministry, a conflict arises as a result of the relationship, one of the employees may be transferred at the earliest practicable time.

    Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Ministry Board of Directors.
    Please note: The above policy allows the employment of related individuals in certain specific circumstances. Other nepotism policies may entirely prohibit the employment of related individuals. When creating a Nepotism Policy for your ministry, please consult your lawyer to verify compliance with federal and state laws.

  72. Duane Arnold says:

    The above guidelines, of course, do not speak to the pastoral care issues that may result from nepotism…

  73. Disillusioned says:

    “Individuals who are related by blood, marriage, or reside in the same household are permitted to work in the same Ministry department, provided no direct reporting or supervisor to subordinate relationship exists. That is, no employee is permitted to work within “the chain of command” when one relative’s work responsibilities, salary, hours, career progress, benefits, or other terms and conditions of employment could be influenced by the other relative.
    Related employees may have no influence over the wages, hours, benefits, career progress and other terms and conditions of the other related staff

    Well. THESE guideline were surely thrown out the window. It makes me laugh….albeit derisively…

  74. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    It’s just a sample, but a good start. It would also need to address relationships inter-association, such as the son/daughter of a celebrity pastor having special privileges due to the friendship between his father/mother and another pastor of a separate church. IMO.

    Thanks Duane

  75. Duane Arnold says:

    #75 Sig

    I think financial interests are important, but the pastoral issues are equally important. In the pastoral issues, I include the “recipient” – son, daughter, etc.. In such a situation are they allowed to grow in their calling? Does a sense of “entitlement” become a permanent aspect of their ministry? I know there can be exceptions, but these only seem to prove the rule…

  76. Steve Wright says:

    Duane, don’t you see the problem? When a black person is hired, it does not mean he is underqualified and just benefittig from affirmative action. If not hired it does not mean the employer is a racist.

    Nepotism is a pejorative. It exists (as do both my illustrations above exist) but is something that should be solely judged by the people involved. That in Christ we don’t judge a class of people as a class based on something like bloodline. The irony that pastoral disqualification involves out of control children, but faithful servants of the Lord get your judgement is just bizarre. And playing the “exception that proves the rule” is weak sauce when you have countless exceptions.

    And while he was not even in my thoughts when I started this discussion, you are making a great case for the CCA against Brian.

    Whereas we both have seen bad examples, (I don’t deny Nepotism but I see it in the broader Church. Sproul Jr (of Ashley Madison fame) started in daddy’s ministry.

    But maybe you are lacking in good examples. In Board meetings when votes are taken for the best person, for children working secular jobs and serving the church for years before ever seeing a paycheck. And how about the mission field! Children often of missionary parents who love the people and carry on the work.

    This blog is READ…wide and far. Duane, you are respected and listened to. Words matter.

  77. Duane Arnold says:

    #77 Steve

    I do understand that “words matter”… so do actions. I’ve addressed a general principle, not a specific person or persons. I think the sample guidelines from ECFA make sense, especially in terms of financial accountability. By the way, non-religious not-for-profits are expected to adhere to similar guidelines as best practice.

    As I said before, I don’t believe that nepotism is a good idea. It is not the moral equivalent of discrimination as you inferred. Again, I hope we could agree to disagree…

  78. CostcoCal says:


    Here is a thought. If a man has a father in the full time ministry, as a pastor or a bishop, and that particular man wants to be in the ministry, is he then automatically excluded? I would assume that you would say no. So if that son of a minister goes through training/school/life, then he has every right to be in that vocation, just as a son of any other professional would have.

  79. Steve Wright says:

    If it is for money reasons or to keep the secrets, as was stated above, it most certainly is immoral….and quite a charge. But I’ve said my peace. With one final comment. Finding faithful, mature volunteer servants is not easy for a church. Hiring people for a paid staff position is very different….there is always plenty of interest when a paycheck is involved.

  80. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s funny, after my wife and I closed our business of 15 years we had to get jobs out with other people. I ended up working for my wife – we had to get a special dispensation from the human resources department for a direct reporting relationship.

    He have since moved on and now we both work for the company which my son is a VP and we both have a direct reporting relationship to him. Somehow it all works.

    as a side note, when we had out business, he worked for us.

  81. Michael says:

    I’m sitting here thinking of a bunch of churches I know about that are basically family ATM’s and wondering why this is even a controversial topic…

  82. CostcoCal says:

    So Andy Stanley ought to be disqualified? 🙂

  83. Michael says:

    Andy Stanley doesn’t work for his fathers church.

    There will always be exceptions, but nepotism as a general principal is not a good idea.

  84. CostcoCal says:

    He did work for his father’s church.

  85. Michael says:

    Let me assist your reading comprehension.
    “There will always be exceptions.”
    “Nepotism as a general principal is not a good idea”.

  86. Michael says:

    Sprout Jr. is a grand example.
    He has his daddy’s name but not his daddy’s character.
    He was an entitled, obnoxious, piece of flotsam that has brought shame on his fathers name and ministry.

  87. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’d be fine with getting rid of Andy Stanley, but it has nothing to do with his father.

  88. CostcoCal says:

    The 🙂 that I pasted meant, “take this with a grain of salt.”

  89. CostcoCal says:

    You’d probably want to get rid of Rick Warren, as well, Josh. 🙂

  90. Josh the Baptist says:


    Does he have a dad? 🙂

    Actually, I don’t care. Get him outta there.

  91. CostcoCal says:

    He’s a PK.

  92. Josh the Baptist says:

    Ha! I didn’t know that.

    I actually see Steve’s point above, but think he and Duane are actually arguing separate issues.

  93. Steve Wright says:

    Nepotism is NEVER a good idea. Words have definitions…

  94. Steve says:

    “We believe Jesus Christ is the head of the Body, His church, and that church government should be simplistic rather than complex and bureaucratic.”. That came from a popular CCA church website where the son of the senior pastor happens to also be a pastor in the same church. That’s convenient don’t you think? Or is it just simpler and less complex and bureaucratic? Absolutely no congregation involvement and who knows if their was elder or board involvement. This certainly does make things simple and convenient. But is this wise?

  95. Duane Arnold says:

    Let me make my position as clear as possible – If the son of a pastor feels a calling to go into ministry, fine and good. The ministry of that son, however, is best exercised in a church other than where his father is pastor. It is really that simple.

    Interesting that Andy Stanley was brought up. If you read his book, ‘Deep and Wide’, he actually talks about why he left his father’s church to strike out on his own. It also involved him not wanting to be in the position of dealing with his father’s divorce… A good example of why nepotism, in the main, does not work.

    In the secular world of not for profits, nepotism can also fall into the category of “conflict of interest”. It is considered important enough that the IRS on the 990 asks whether there is a written policy concerning conflicts of interest, the process to manage conflicts, as well as how that process is applied to board members.

    As the Church, I would think that we would wish to be even more transparent that a secular not for profit.

  96. CostcoCal says:

    Yeah, it was from Stanley’s book that I got that information.

    If he and his father had seen eye to eye, he would not have left the church.

  97. CostcoCal says:

    In conclusion, in any instance of dishonesty, self preservation, enrichment, and political maneuvering due to nepotism and father/son ministry, then by all means, that is sinful and wrong. And in such cases, should be labeled as such.

  98. Steve Wright says:

    LOL – So, two good old boy pastors arrange for each other’s churches to hire their kids. Now beyond reproach. LOL

    What’s the average tenure for a pastor at one church. 3-5 years or so?

    What is it though in some churches…20+..a lifetime of ministry.

    Apples and oranges, Duane.

  99. Steve Wright says:

    Oh…and don’t think for a second there isn’t plenty of favoritism in the educational world when these children of influential leaders decide to apply…..nor think that a degree equates to someone actually studying hard, learning, and getting equipped for the future in that field.

  100. Duane Arnold says:

    #99 Steve

    I think you’re addressing someone else’s comment…

  101. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So back to the CCA / Brodersen dust up. Isn’t this natural? When Luther died there were many divisions in the Church and many wayward theological wanderings – my goodness, even Philip Melanchthon pretty much left the faith and became a Calvinist type.

    The fight was between the gnesio lutherans (genuine Lutherans) and the Philippists (those who broke of with Philip Melanchthon).

    This was a 30 year process – and in the end, The Book of Concord was developed to define who / what was Lutheran.

  102. Michael says:


    It’s not natural because there aren’t any doctrinal distinctions being made between the two.

    It’s simply a power grab by a man who doesn’t care what his lust costs others.

  103. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    #76 Duane

    Bear with me as I flesh this out

    I’m reading through 1 Timothy this morning, trying to ascertain what, if any, church model is biblically New Testament, having been burned by my CC a short time ago. I realize nepotism is something I’ll see and have to pray about as I encounter it, similar to what Steve Wright is saying. Yet, I have the frame of mind that it is horrible church policy, represents a snare of Satan. But then so does the local church have the same snare that dabbles in Charismania, Hillsong and Bethel type worship. Yes, I see where I will have a hard time finding a church.

    I think I’ve come to the conclusion, for now, that as overseers all issues pertaining to the functioning of the body and even the functioning of the pastors’ own lives are pastoral issues, since the two are irreducibly intertwined. The priorities so far are thus, in descending order: qualifications for overseers, specifically here being Not greedy for filthy lucre and the rest (ch.3), always praying without dissension or wrath (ch.2), and finally and most importantly adhering to sound doctrine by abiding in Christ Jesus (ch.1). I think Paul makes the point that the ch3 qualifications are derivative of the overseers’ personal beliefs about prayer and doctrine, foremost derivative of their walk with Christ.

    So when you get to ch3 vs 4 I think the -ism of family inheritance conflicts with the idea there. IMO, Children should be sent out as ambassadors, carrying the heritage of their fathers. This gives outsiders no impression of impropriety, shows the pastors’ trust in God, and no leaves no temptation to live off the sheep. There are always outliers. But I think the biblical examples usually point to the failure of nepotism for the reason you stated, they can’t grow as the Holy Spirit might have them in other situations.
    I don’t agree with Steve Wright that it is an innocuous thing, a simple case by case examination – as if we could take Trump or Murdoch as an example of how to do it right or wrong. They are very successful in the standards of the world, but their children are often viewed as living off Daddy’s name. The practice always raises questions and is not above reproach (3:1) but is a snare (3:7).

  104. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    I think you are responding to mine. Yes, for example, I think if Pastor Raul Ries used his prestige to create for worship leader Ryan Ries a continual concert circuit within the CGN/CCA network, that would be a problem.

  105. Xenia says:

    Two scenarios:

    1. The son of a pastor or priest is a godly young man who desires to be a pastor. He has been trained by his godly father to love the Lord and the Lord’s people. Hopefully he gets some real training (seminary). If the group’s ecclesiology allows for it, I don’t see any reason why this young man couldn’t be the ass’t pastor and eventually the pastor one day. I see this even in Ortholandia, with good results.

    2. The other scenario would be a mediocre young man with no special love for God or His people and sees the pastorate as a convenient career, especially if a more worthy person is set aside so he can ascend. The senior pastor wants to keep control through his son. Such a young man might grow into the role (God loves His people) but I wouldn’t count on it.

    I am more bugged by other relatives of the pastor getting paying jobs that other parishioners did for no pay. I am extremely bugged by people getting fired so a relative can take their job.

  106. Duane Arnold says:

    #104 Sig

    You’ll never find a “perfect” church, but you may find a “good” one. I could define a “good” one in a number of ways, but high on the list would be simple pastoral care in a community centered on the Gospel.

    I would also say that transparency is important, especially in this day and age. As Paul said in II Cor. 8-20-21 – “We take this course so that no one should blame us about this generous gift that is being administered by us, for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.”

  107. Steve Wright says:

    I think you’re addressing someone else’s comment…
    Nope. When an objective standard of criticism is established, just make sure one is no longer in that objective standard…problem solved.

    I prefer subjective evaluation of people as individuals myself. Pastoral ministry is hard. Forget the small handful of celebrity glorified guest speaker/pastors with the title…I mean real pastoral ministry in modest size churches. The stats on burnout, depression, loneliness, family difficulty don’t lie. Nor do the small lengths of tenure.

    The world, the devil, our flesh are bad enough. When our brothers and sisters in Christ cast dispersion for no cause but bloodline (or denomination or some other objective standard), it really is tough.

    I have been on the receiving end of false charges by people of influence, believed because of that influence, with lasting consequences to myself and the church I pastor.

    I appreciated when some, including at this blog, came to my defense. It did not eliminate all the consequences, but it was a personal support worthy of Christ.

    It would be nice if the dispersions are not made in the first place…

    And I probably should, for the record, note that my children are not on staff, looking to be on staff, or in any way connected to this conversation. My defense is for those out there who otherwise get suspicious about the “money and secrets” motivation that prompted my comment.

  108. Steve Wright says:

    I am more bugged by other relatives of the pastor getting paying jobs that other parishioners did for no pay. I am extremely bugged by people getting fired so a relative can take their job.
    Agreed 100%.

    And a good example of the very small minority of churches, including CCs, where this would even be possible. Unless one has dealt with church finances, one might not realize how scarce financial resources really are at most churches.

  109. Duane Arnold says:

    #108 Steve

    My comments were not directed at you or, indeed, anyone in particular. The issue of nepotism is, however, real within certain circles. Two of my best friends were in the situation of being on their father’s church staff. I saw the results over the course of 40 years… it was not pleasant to watch. I do believe this is part of an accepted evangelical subculture that creates more issues than it claims to solve. It is not about the people on a case by case basis (many are very fine men and women). It is about a system of thought that considers the modeling of nepotism to be acceptable in the Church. We should be above the standards of secular not for profits, not below them.

  110. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    You pastor at CC Lake Elsinore… No one is suspicious of your financial motives. I’m concerned about your financial strategies 😉 Just kidding…

    Btw, are you related to the Wrights of Indiana, specifically Mac, or Joretta and Steve?

  111. Steve Wright says:

    We should be above the standards of secular not for profits, not below them.
    That sounds fine and good but it is still an apples to oranges comparison.

    And to repeat for the umpteenth time…NEPOTISM is a word that has a meaning. And I have said, it is always wrong. It exists…it is wrong.

    But even your use of the word now is a massive backpeddle from your first comment at #37 above and your next couple of comments that followed.

  112. Steve Wright says:

    No one is suspicious of your financial motives
    I don’t know the Christian version of “Like hell they weren’t” as a reply here.

  113. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    I wonder, is it always apples to oranges when the world’s standards are above the church’s?

  114. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Capitalize the H.

  115. Duane Arnold says:

    #112 Steve

    Nope, nepotism has to do with the placing of family members in positions –
    ” It was the old senior pastor model from Foursquare, Full Gospel, Assemblies of God, etc., where the church was also the family business. When of age, the son (or sons, or sons-in-law) would take their “rightful position” in the church as youth minister, or associate, with the understanding that they would take over in due time. It is a cultural norm in such churches. Unfortunately (in my opinion) the practice is still common in such circles.”

    By the way, “nepotism” starts in the Church in the middle ages with the appointment of nephews to ecclesiastical positions… if we want to be precise.

  116. Steve Wright says:

    Sorry Duane, If you can find a dictionary definition of the word that does NOT mention the aspect of favoritism associated with nepotism…then I will eat my keyboard. It does NOT mean simply placing family members in positions as you write @116

    I just googled and can tell you the first eight selections all do. As I knew before I bothered to google the word. Maybe you can find one to hang your lexical hat on….good luck. I prefer to use language that the English speaking word tends to agree upon for definitions.

    But then, I’m not trying to steadfastly make a larger point beyond the meaning of the word.

    Now… bring this full circle….if one insists that ANYTIME one hires a relative it is an example of this bad thing called nepotism…then yes, we will agree to disagree…

    just like one can choose to not hire a black person and not be racist, I think a relative can definitely be God’s person for the job.

    But it would speak to why I tossed the idea of “bigotry” into the mix at the start.

    Because I read your #37. And it painted with quite the inclusive broardbrush…

  117. Steve Wright says:

    And I’m out now…

  118. Josh the Baptist says:

    “just like one can choose to not hire a black person and not be racist, I think a relative can definitely be God’s person for the job.”

    Unless that job is basketball player.

    I know it is racist, by why ARE black people better at basketball?


  119. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Steve Wright

    *mic drop*

  120. Duane Arnold says:

    #117 Steve

    Yes, it is favoritism and such favoritism is shown by the giving of a position or preferment. And, yes, we will have to agree to disagree…

  121. Steve says:

    Since some of these churches seem to put equal emphasis on both the old and new testaments, I speculate this is the reason some of these pastors probably justify this family line ministry succession. Its modeled after the Kings. After all they view themselves as anointed, like the the old testament royal kingdom.

  122. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:

    Josh the Baptist

    “Better” is the problematic term. Operant Conditioning relative to the environs. Generational recreational and bonding activities. Black people in Ghana largely suck at Basketball but kick serious derriere in soccer. Lots of Latinos in LA are good at Basketball but follow soccer religiously. Its relative and all equals out on the global scale.

  123. Sigmund,Siegfried, Siggy, or Sig, (still trying to land) says:


    The state of ancient Israel under it’s priests or kings was always in decline.

  124. Josh the Baptist says:

    All cultural, huh?

  125. Siggy the Terrible says:

    Almost. Speaking completely out of my rear, I’m sure some micro “evolutions” to DNA have been made over eons according to cultural environments, but I don’t think basketball or soccer have been in existence long enough to make those changes specific to the sport. Again, making poorly educated guesses.

  126. Disillusioned says:

    Steve Wright,
    Just curious: are your children in ministry at your CC? Because I have to say the offense you’ve take to the word nepotism is a little over the top.
    Of course there is nepotism in churches! Like Michael said, why is this even a question??
    And saying a person was placed in their position through nepotism does not convict those who earned it with the hard work required. It’s pretty obvious which is which and I don’t think anyone here has any objection to any person whose heart is for the Lord — it’s those whose hearts are NOT for the Lord that is the concern.

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