Ministry: Why I Like Calvary Chapel.
In 1996 I was volunteering at a local church here in Palm Beach County. As a matter of fact I was leading a college ministry and enjoying it quite a bit. A friend of mine suggested I go attend a church in Ft. Lauderdale, just to check it out. Well, on a Saturday I decided to take a ride over to this church, and see what they do. I was blown away. Never had I seen so many normal people at church in my whole life, and the teaching, the guy taught from the Bible (the church where I was serving at, at the time occasionally studied the Bible). Needless to say, I was blown away by the whole experience. This was my first Calvary Chapel experience. Since then I have had the incredible opportunity to serve in a Calvary Chapel as a full time associate pastor. Here are 5 reasons why I like Calvary Chapel so much......
1. The Bible is Taught - not all CC's are the same (from what I hear). I do know one thing that all CC's do have in common: the Bible is taught. I love the commitment that my pastor has to teaching the Bible. I know every time we gather corporately and my pastor teaches, he won't try and bring to the table some regurgitated Andy Stanley, Rick Warren or Bill Hybels message. He studies the Bible and teaches the Bible. Plain and simple. No bells and whistles, just the Bible. Pastor Chuck Smith was the first CC pastor and he has set an example for so many of us by just teaching the Bible.
2. The Organic Philosophy - this branches off of the previous comment, teach the Bible. It's amazing how God raises so many people up naturally within the church as the Bible is taught. Over the past year a load of people left our church for various reasons, leaving a gaping whole in some places within the church. Well, amazingly enough, because the Bible is taught, many people have been moved by the Holy Spirit to step up in various ministries. It is the natural flow of things here. We didn't have some blitz to fill the spots left open. We have left them open (and sometimes they naturally closed right up) until the right people are called and placed into these vacancies. It's amazing how people are challenged and changed by the Bible and the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
3. The Simplicity - Pastor Chuck Smith is known for the saying "Where God guides, God provides". How simple! As our church has aged (we are now 8 years young) we have lived by this philosophy. I can't tell you how many times my pastor has said this. We live this out by not taking an offering. We have tithe boxes in the back of the church. I know it may sound absurd, but we have never asked for money or taken up a special collection or anything. Our church has been committed to trusting the Lord to provide for all of our needs.
4. It's Roots - in the '60's CC was birthed out of Chuck Smith and his heart to reach the hippies. Some of the guys he ministered with thought he was nuts. He was committed to making disciples. Out of the early CC movement many guys were raised up to do incredible ministry. The roots of CC were focused on ministering to a generation that was considered lost and unreachable.
5. Regular Guys - I love reading stories about some of the CC pastors. They are some former druggies, atheists, rockers, and legalists. Some were pastors in other denominations. It seems like a lot of CC pastors are just regular guys. This has been so refreshing to me. I come from a background that often times over looked men called into ministry because they didn't fit the typical pastor mold.