Dear Calvary Chapel Pastors,
Recently, a group of the Calvary Chapel Association Council members gathered together in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania for a few days to seek the Lord, worship, and ask Him for direction as to the Calvary Family. Our time was truly blessed with a great unity, a rich sense of the Lord’s presence, a fresh sense of direction, and a peace together like we have not experienced in years. There were a number of issues that we discussed that we want to pass on to the movement.
1. Though it has only been three years since the Lord took Pastor Chuck home, we realized how grateful we are for the foundation of Calvary Chapel that Chuck laid for us. As we discussed these things we all realized how deeply we are committed to out core values and thankful for Chuck and the way the Lord led us through him.
2. As we discussed our foundation and core values as a family of churches we realized that along the way, through the years, there have been those that have decided that their values were different, and they have gone on with another group such as the Pentecostals, or Acts 29, or Gospel Coalition, or Vineyard, or Hillsong, and that is truly fine. All these ministry families have their core values just as we do, and Pastor Chuck often simply looked at these situations as an opportunity for churches to find their most comfortable environment.
3. Since Chuck’s passing there may be pastors who have thought about some of our values, such as expository teaching, and no longer hold to the Calvary Chapel approach. There may be pastors who no longer embrace our leadership style, or our view of the Lord’s soon appearing and our emphasis on preaching about the rapture of the church, or our view of male leadership and the New Testament’s prohibition of women teaching men, or the errors associated with prosperity theology, or our need for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts being for today, or any other core values that we have held. 1 Corinthians 1:10 reads, “See that you all speak the same thing.” One of the great blessings of our family has always been a like mindedness toward our distinctives. When someone goes to a Calvary Chapel affiliate church there are things they go looking for. Just as when someone goes to a Pentecostal church, or a Hillsong church, or an Acts 29 church, or a Lutheran church. We completely respect their family’s philosophy of ministry, and we also love ours.
4. For the past three years, the Council has taken the time to seek the Lord together and try to move forward in unity. As individual pastors we have spoken in support of our core values, but we now feel the need for the Council members to speak with one voice. As our signatures to this letter attest, we are steadfastly committed to our roots, and want to clear up any confusion caused by those who have questioned the Calvary Chapel doctrine and philosophy of ministry statements.
5. To further speak to these issues we have scheduled an International Senior Pastors and Wives Conference, November 6-8, 2017 at Calvary Chapel St. Petersburg, Florida. The conference speakers will be the members of the Council and we want to reaffirm our core values, seek the Lord for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon us, and look forward to His coming. As the ministry of Calvary Chapel has grown to over 1600 affiliate churches around the world, we realize that there are many second, third, and fourth generation ministries that have joined our family, and we need to clarify what makes us Calvary Chapel. Above all, we are seeking the Lord to give us what we so deeply need and desire, a fresh filling of His Spirit.
Our Conference will focus on:
– Our Sure Foundation (Remembering our DNA)
– Our Fresh Expectancy (Desiring His Outpouring)
– Our Glorious Hope (Looking For Him)
So, please hold the November dates and we will be getting back to you with all the information regarding the conference.
6. We also need to clear up any confusion regarding calvarychapelassociation.com and calvarychapel.com. These are completely different websites and are on different servers. Any matters that relate to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa should be referred to calvarychapel.com. Any matters having to do with the movement as a whole, or church information changes and affiliation matters need to contact The Calvary Chapel Association at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been overhauling the CCA website and will be adding a library of information, monthly messages from the council members, adding a Calvary Chapel Pastor’s Wives page,adding messages from Pastors Conferences, as well as expanding the existing pages.
Please be in genuine prayer for us. We have a treasured heritage, a sure foundation, a solid family, and so much more.
Yours in Christ,
The CCA Council