What Is Calvary Chapel Today? Part 1

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36 Responses

  1. Donner says:

    This is a well written, informative analysis. Thank you.

  2. Mayonaise says:

    I think it’s unfair how they treated Brian, all of the accusations against him are false. However, I do believe that he should decide if he wants to be the Missions Pastor or Senior Pastor. He’s never at his church and I can tell you first hand that some of the mission trips are a waste of time and money (in the sense that there are very little established Calvary Chapel affiliates and it seems more like a vacation). They have a chance to put a charismatic teacher in there and make Brian the executive/missions pastor. The problem is he will never hand over the keys to the bank. Also, the board is a puppet board so the notion of the board ousting is off the table.

  3. Ok. Couple of observations. What others see as people abandoning CCCM for whatever reason resulting in low attendance, I see as trimming the fat. I see it as losing the people who were there for the wrong reasons at the point of departure. I stepped in as the new pastor of a small CC and in that first year I was glad to see a fourth of the church go because they were there for the wrong reason(s); to play church and/or because they liked the other guy. They weren’t growing, they weren’t contributing, they weren’t invested, they were just, there. I don’t know, just my guess, but I would think that’s what’s happening at CCCM. Aren’t we still within 12 months of the split? This was or at least should have been expected, in fact desired.

    As for Brian not being a charismatic teacher, I agree and I’m glad for it. Chuck wasn’t a charismatic teacher. At all. There was a reason we listened to “Chuck tapes” at Bible college sped up. He was boring, but he had great content. Personally, I don’t like “charismatic teachers.” Too often I hear people refer to churches with said charismatic teachers, and they rarely talk about the church or how they are growing or serving. They say, “I just love the way he teaches. He’s so energetic.” And that’s the reason they are there.

    I never wanted to be a charismatic teacher and many would say I succeeded. 😉 It’s not that I couldn’t. I had a job for four years where I spoke to elementary schools of 100 to 1,000 two or three times a day five days a week. 400 shows a year across the US, UK, and down under. I held their attention for 45 minutes a show. I know how to do it. As a Bible teacher, I wanted people to leave not primarily thinking “I love the way he teaches,” but “I know God’s word better and know how to live it out.” If no one was inspired and motivated by the Holy Spirit, not by my crowd control, to follow Jesus closer, I failed as a teacher. I listen to CCCM Sunday Morning podcast and I like the way Brian is teaching. It’s as Calvary Chapel as ever. Clear, simple, and not flashy, but with conviction.

    What I hear is that Brian is more energized than ever, especially after these recent mission trips. For all we know they’ve been on the books since the split happened. He’s engaging the younger generation not with what they want, but what they need, in an honest and transparent way. That’s the harder road. It takes longer and fewer people get it or enjoy it, but in the long run I think it builds something that is stronger and better than the alternatives.

    Just one former CC pastors observations.

    PS, I’ve no relationship with Brian, I’m not a rah-rah CC-can-do-no-wrong person. But I also believe critics over simply their criticism, just as superfans over simplify their devotion.

  4. Captain Kevin says:

    Mayonnaise, sounds as though you have first-hand knowledge. Have you been on any of his trips? How do you know what Brian would or wouldn’t do with the bank? And what leads you to believe that the board is a puppet board? I’m not trying to start an argument or say that you are wrong. Just wondering how it is that you know all this.

  5. Captain Kevin says:

    Hi Corby! Well said. If one waddles like a CC pastor and quacks like a CC pastor…

    FORMER CC pastor? I must be out of the loop.

  6. Mayonaise says:

    Kevin, I don’t want to say anymore I wish to remain anonymous.

  7. JM says:

    Thank you for the update, Michael.
    Thoughtful commentary, Calvary Corby.

  8. Surfer51 says:

    You really can’t enjoying building on another man’s foundation. Brian’s heart just might not be in it?

  9. Maggie says:

    If CCA chooses to expose Brian at the next conference Calvary’s board will have little
    choice but to dismiss Brian. This termination would solve a number of problems both for Calvary’s board and CCA. Best guess is that both CCA and Calvary’s board are afraid of Brian’s counter punch and neither will do anything.

  10. Kevin H says:

    Maggie,

    Expose Brian for what? Things of real substance such as moral failure or significant theological changes? Or are you talking about things that are already well known like him being friends with the boogeyman, er, Rick Warren, or that he said things like it might not be the best use of time to go through a book like Deuteronomy strictly verse-by-verse on Sunday mornings?

  11. Captain Kevin says:

    Wait for iiiiiiit…

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    Michael et al…side question absolutely NOT meant to derail current discussion:

    Is Calvary Chapel primarily a West Coast church? I’ve heard of them since the 1990s from Church Smith’s radio program up in Minnesota, but don’t see any CC churches down here in Baptist land. Thanks!

  13. Kevin H says:

    Dan,

    Calvary Chapel originated in Southern California and so that is where CC churches are naturally most common, with the West Coast as a whole being generally pretty populated with CC’s. They exist all throughout the country, and even world to some degree, with some areas being more populated with CC’s than others. Here in Southeastern Pennsylvania there is a pretty decent population of CC’s, although nothing like Southern California where they are very dense. Other areas, like perhaps where you’re at in Georgia, CC’s may be more sparse. There are church locator tools on both the CalvaryChapel.com and CCA websites which can give a better picture of CC locations.

  14. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Kevin for the response! Like I said, grew up in MN and was only exposed to CC thru Chuch Smith’s radio program, but have never actually seen a CC church.

  15. Corby says:

    Captain – yes, former. Church closed up three years ago last month. Was on staff elsewhere for about 18 months, currently on the IT crew and teaching an IT class at a private Christian school. Hoping to migrate back into a ministry capacity over the next 6 years or as God sees fit. We shall see.

  16. pstrmike says:

    In comparing CCA with CGN, I think Brian (and therefore CGN) has a vision that is better able to minister the gospel today and into the future. I hope that he begins to focus on what are the priorities of growing where he has been planted which will give him dividends not only in his home church but as the head of CGN. CGN is, in my opinion, the real spirit of what Calvary Chapel once was, I can only hope that Brian has the wisdom to lead it well in the necessary transformation to address a 21st century culture.

  17. Corby says:

    Well said pstrmike! I for one agree!

  18. Michael says:

    Maggie,

    First off, there is nothing to expose, so you are doing the devil’s work.

    Second, the CCA has no authority over anyone, let alone Brian Brodersen.

  19. Michael says:

    Dan,

    There are 1500 + CC churches.
    Sometimes I think 1000 are in Oregon… lots of them here.

    So, yes, they are more active here on the left coast…

  20. Josh the Baptist says:

    It’s becoming obvious that CC as a movement died with Chuck Smith. That doesn’t mean that the individual churches aren’t doing God’s work, and doesn’t mean that the partnerships forged through the movement can’t be leveraged to continue to spread the Gospel around the world. IT just means that CC isn’t going to recapture its past glory. That time has come and gone, and it’s time to see where God will move next.

  21. Michael says:

    Josh,

    I agree and I’m glad you wrote that first. 🙂

  22. Josh the Baptist says:

    It is in no way mean-spirited. Just casual observation from an outsider.

  23. Josh the Baptist says:

    2nd observation – When a ministry / movement / or church has to continually say “It’s not about Pastor X” it usually is. That becomes apparent when Pastor X leaves or dies and nobody else knows what to do.

  24. the dude says:

    Personality-based movements usually go away when said personality passes away, it’s not unusual or strange…. it happens everyday … you’ll find it happens all the time..

  25. Chris says:

    One other aspect hurting CGN is that there doesn’t seem to be a real ordination/affiliation process. If a CC-oriented guy is planting or starting a church, he has to go to CCA to be ordained as a Calvary pastor I believe. by default that puts him on the CCA’s roster I guess.

  26. victorious says:

    Chris-

    Individual Calvary Chapels and their independent boards ordain Calvary Chapel pastors.

  27. Steve Durkac says:

    Chris raised an issue that I have thought on…before the split CCA was the keeper of the CC affiliation process and permission grantor for new churches to become a CC to use the CC name and the dove. Which does make me wonder if CCCM/Brodersen is not pursuing that affiliation process by limiting new church acceptance to only like-minded collaborative churches without CC flags?

  28. DavidM says:

    Mayonnaise and Maggie, if you cannot back up your statements with PROOF or facts (he’s never at his church; the board is a puppet board; they will expose Brian), then you cannot be taken at all seriously.

  29. mayonaise says:

    DavidM, Don’t take my word for it, just take a look at his instagram. Also, I can care less if you believe me or not, I was just venting more or less, I’m not here to cause division. If you don’t think this is the case then I’m sincerely glad. I’m for CCCM not against.

    -Rick

  30. Michael says:

    mayo,

    I know the board is not a puppet board and I know that Brian doesn’t view these trips as vacations.

    i agree that the accusations against him are false…but so were yours.

  31. mayonaise says:

    Michael,

    Moses Model is still alive and kicking over there, they may call it something different but all major decisions end with the Board nodding their head yes in the end. After all, why lose your job or be removed from your position?

    He doesn’t view all trips as vacations but some I know first hand are pointless that is why I presume “vacation”.

    I noticed you didn’t disagree with never at his church, that is good that you didn’t disagree.

    You stated that “you know” because I truly know and you are supposed to be discerner of all things.

  32. Chris says:

    Victorious, when our old pastor resigned and new pastor took over he had to fill out paperwork with CCOF (now CCA) to be a “Calvary” pastor. That was awhile ago so maybe things have changed?

  33. victorious says:

    Chris –
    You are correct that your new pastor’s affiliation had to be approved by CCOF. However his ordination was conferred by your local Calvary Chapel church independent of CCOF.

  34. Adrian Cook says:

    It would appear to me that most if not all comments originate in the USA. However I am from the UK and have left very recently a Calvary Chapel because of that churches involvement with Broderson. The evidence here in the UK is very worrying of Broderson’s increasingly ecumenical stance culminating in his Creation Fest sponsorship of a very non biblical event in Truro cathedral. This coupled with numerous video clips interviews etc are clear evidence to me and others that Broderson is clearly moving in a direction that deserves at least caution.

  35. Captain Kevin says:

    Adrian,
    Can you please be more specific about what ecumenical stance entails? Also, what is the unbiblical event and why do you consider it unbiblical?

  36. Glen says:

    I Would like to know more about calvary chapel and outhers

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