Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference: Salt, Light … and on Fire for Jesus [Videos]

Craig HueyChurch4 Comments

My wife, Shelly, and I had the pleasure of going to the 2017 Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference in Costa Mesa last week.

It was awesome!

Titled “Salt & Light: The Church in the World,” it certainly was an appropriate theme for the speakers.

It was at Calvary Chapel I first heard the Good News and accepted Christ as my personal Savior.

Pastor Chuck Smith’s expository teaching was powerful and became a Distinctive of all Calvary Chapels, emphasizing biblical truth and reaching the lost for Christ.

Since he’s been home with the Lord, there are over 1,000 Calvary Chapel affiliated churches worldwide.

Here are 3 key takeaways:

  1. The pastors were engaged and on fire.

I’ve been a speaker and attendee at previous pastor conferences. Many of them are disappointing. For example, during worship, so many pastors just sit. We’re talking about a room of 1,000 or more leading pastors in America listening to some awesome worship music. A couple would raise their hands, but the vast majority weren’t even worshiping our Savior.

They were just listening.

And when some incredibly talented Bible teachers were preaching and teaching the Word, there was hardly any reaction from the audience.

Not so at this conference.

What a blessing to see the pastors crying out to God in song and worship, raising their hands, with massive smiles on their faces.

They brought to life Psalm 29:2:

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.

And what a great encouragement to see these men and women of God engaged in acknowledging what was being spoken from the pulpit.

  1. While the conference was always Christ-centered and biblically based, much of it had to do with engaging the current culture.

Multiple times I heard exhortations on reaching the youth. Pastors were encouraged to recognize that every opportunity is an opportunity of salvation.

There should be altar calls at every church service, because you never know who may hear the gospel only once.

Or someone who is backslidden will recommit their life to Christ.

There was exhortation to recognize a biblical, loving attitude towards sinners but not compromising on biblical principles.

For example, the issue of homosexuality and how the church needs to deal with sin and not run from it. To understand that whether it is heterosexual sin or homosexual sin, it is still sin.

It’s what one of the teachers called “holy sexuality,” as stated in 1 Cor. 6:19-20:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

Single. Heterosexual. Homosexual. The issue is really “holy sexuality.”

  1. Calvary Chapel has undergone several changes since founder Chuck Smith went home to be with the Lord.

Some Calvary Chapel pastors have not been happy with change, some of which are necessary and good.

It was heartening to see the pastors at this conference wanting to be directed and led by the Holy Spirit on how to engage this culture.

It brought vividly to mind Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.

I encourage you to watch this video of Pastor Chet Lowe, speaking on “Finding the Key.” For a link to videos on other speakers, click here.

This group of pastors wants to be open to new moves directed by the Holy Spirit, and new ways on communicating truth, but never compromising it.

This was the first pastors conference since an unfortunate split and division among many great men and women of God.

The 2017 conference was organized and led by Pastor Brian Brodersen, (who I’ve known since junior high ministry at CCCM). God used him in putting together a great summit.

What was powerful and clear was a call for unity and reconciliation.

Multiple times during the conference, that theme was echoed and appreciated by all.

My overall takeaway from the conference was that not only were the pastors better equipped and refreshed, but that they left with a vision of great things that can be accomplished by each of them in their own fellowships.

My prayer is that what was learned in this conference will be effective in engaging  our changing culture and bringing the light of Jesus to a dark world that doesn’t know Him.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)

What do you think? Email me at

4 Comments on “Calvary Chapel Pastors Conference: Salt, Light … and on Fire for Jesus [Videos]”

  1. Luke 12:57: “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?

    After watching every video available of the 2017 “Calvary Chapel Pastor’s Conference: Salt and Light & On Fire For Jesus,” and comparing it to what was in 72 sermons I read from 1620-1899, the source of America’s pre-1900s erratic trajectory toward blessings from God, and America’s changed trajectory toward abomination and destruction occurring from the early 1900s to today becomes obvious. And yes, there are rare exceptions like Calvary Chapel Chino Hills which does not fixate on politics, but biblically calls for representation of Christ in government. The following is found on their website – ” “Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God. God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.” – Charles Finney” [].

    The pastors conference should have started with repentance for their failure to remind their flocks to represent Christ in society and government. Which is where many of us started, who admitted America’s God offending morally, economically and governmentally emaciated condition exists because we read and sing about Jesus but don’t find Jesus worth representing in society and government. Representation in the form of aiding the needy to the exclusion of government doing so. By lawfully displacing evildoers in government with representation of Christ – by electing godly constitutionalists to replace the ‘establishment’ constitutional-deconstructionists including outright conservative-impostors infecting the GOP like a cancer.

    In the videos, along for calls for pastors to “hug each other,” I heard talk of pastors traveling to distant lands to evangelize ‘child-soldiers.’ With the bible making clear that God judges ‘people in the afterlife and nations in this life,’ and knowing God expects christians to represent Christ within America 1st and foreign lands second – how about evangelizing to the ‘child-soldiers’ throughout America in MS-13 and other gangs, violent revolutionary-anarchist groups, the mass of drug addicted, overflowing prisons, those flooding America with godless hyper-sexuality, etc. How about investing the resources necessary to travel around the world into changing your own nation’s trajectory from abomination taunting ‘the justice side of God’ sure to have our children and grandchildren inheriting tyranny from us, to instead evangelizing those anti-christians in America bringing destruction upon our future generations.

    If the past century of pastors were not editing the Word of God to exclude the ‘works’ required to represent Christ in government and society, do you think our nation would be responsible for murdering 55 million unborn children, anti-christ education systems, government pursuing a ’new world order’ offensive to God and at the expense of America, God offending versions of ‘fairness/equality/security’ celebrated as good, and the like??? No. Every societal and governmental pathology edging America closer to destruction exists due to the ‘Christ-void’ created by pastors not admonishing their flocks of their obligation to represent Christ in society and government – while tickling the ears of congregations with a fixation on ‘what christians get out of christianity,’ music, the rapture, heaven. All of which has its place, but not as a fixation at the expense of ‘works’ representing Christ in society and government.

    Pastors are required to protect their flocks primarily spiritually and secondarily physically. Instead, many pastors unintentionally functionally create ‘happy sheep on their way to slaughter’ instead of soldiers and ambassadors for Christ. Time for the sheep to respectfully confront their shepherds regarding the God offending and America destroying ‘Christ-void’ their lukewarm teachings have created in America.

  2. Wow Mel,

    I was thinking the same after the last 8 years of leftists leadership.

    The interesting thing is now Trump overturned the imagery 501 c3 no political speech excuse, now what?

    I dont understand why representing Jesus in all possible situations, including civics is not being accomplished with strong leadership, after of course a solid gospel presentation program is in place.

    But thats just me.

  3. Very sad!

    Yeh, based on the videos, instead of “Salt & Light” they should have called it “Sugar and Lite.” Between this type of evangelical leadership, the Pope/cardinals/bishops leading Catholics astray, it’s no wonder there’s few soldiers for Christ left to (peacefully) confront the evils destroying America.

    Most christian church leadership serve to hand out ‘get out of hell free cards’ while limiting their teaching to teachings requiring no action on the part of their congregations that could glorify God and save America.

    Republican Party which should be influenced by soldiers for Christ, is now filled with voters no longer use the original intent of our amended constitution as their measure for electability then hold GOP politicians who are elected accountable to their ‘oath of office’ taken to the constitution. GOP leadership aided by their media accomplices demonize true constitutionalists by labeling them as ‘isolationist,’ protectionist,’ ‘anti-military,’ and the like, though these people took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution from an enemies foreign and domestic. More than an irony given that one of the most patriotic obligations of citizens is to prevent our precious military personnel from being abused by global engineering deceivers claiming national security interests – even when claiming conservatism.

    Now I see why the Bible warns Church leadership they will be held to a higher standard – which is because they’re leaving out portions of the Bible commanding us to engage in ‘works’ can destroy nations by creating too many claiming Christ who are ‘hearers of the Word but not doers of the Word.’ Let alone those turned-off to Christianity by feel-good lukewarm teachings, that otherwise could have come to Christ instead of hell.

  4. The following is history regarding Pastors having ensured we inherited usable God given inalienable rights instead of tyranny:

    James Caldwell was called the “Rebel High Priest” or the “Fighting Chaplain.” During the Springfield (New Jersey) engagement, the Colonial militia ran out of wadding for their muskets. Quickly, Caldwell galloped to the Presbyterian church, and, returning with an armload of hymnals, he threw them to the ground and hollered, “Now, boys, give ’em Watts!” He was referring to the famous hymn writer, Isaac Watts, of course.

    American Tories burned Caldwell’s house and church. He and his wife Hannah then moved to a farm house about four miles away. British troops murdered Hannah in the farm house as she sat with her children on her bed. They then burned down the farm house in an attempt to cover up their murder of Mrs. Caldwell. Later, a fellow American was bribed by the British to assassinate Pastor Caldwell–which is exactly what he did. No less than three cities, two public schools, and an entire school district in the State of New Jersey bear his name.

    Pastor John Peter Muhlenberg was pastor of a Lutheran church in Woodstock, Virginia, when hostilities erupted between Britain and the American colonies. When news of Bunker Hill reached Virginia, Muhlenberg preached a sermon from Ecclesiastes 3 to his congregation. He reminded his parishioners that there was a time to preach and a time to fight. He said that for him the time to preach was past and it was time to fight. He then threw off his vestments and stood before his congregants in the uniform of a Virginia colonel.

    Preacher was a Christian attorney and judge and also a lay preacher at the Hopewell [New Jersey] Baptist Meeting House. Colonel Houghton was in the Meeting House at worship when he received the first information of Concord and Lexington. His great-grandson gives the following eloquent description of the way he treated the tidings: “[M]ounting the great stone block in front of the meeting-house, he beckoned the people to stop. Men and women paused to hear, curious to know what so unusual a sequel to the service of the day could mean…He told them all the story of the cowardly murder at Lexington by the royal troops; the heroic vengeance following hard upon it; the retreat of Percy; the gathering of the children of the Pilgrims round the beleaguered hills of Boston: then pausing, and looking over the silent throng, he said slowly: ‘Men of New Jersey, the red coats are murdering our brethren of New England! Who follows me to Boston?’ and every man in that audience stepped out of line, and answered, ‘I!’ There was not a coward or a traitor in old Hopewell Baptist Meeting-house that day.” (William Cathcart, D.D., Baptists and the American Revolution, Second Edition, S.A. George & Co., Philadelphia, 1876, pp. 56-57)

    Pastor Jonas was pastor of the Church of Lexington, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1775, the day that British troops marched on Concord with orders to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock and to seize a cache of firearms. It was Pastor Clark’s male congregants who were the first ones to face off against the British troops as they marched through Lexington on their way to Concord. When you hear the story of the Minutemen at the Battle of Lexington, remember those Minutemen were Pastor Jonas Clark and the brave men of his congregation. On the one year anniversary of the Battle of Lexington (April 19, 1776), Clark preached a sermon based upon his eyewitness testimony of the event. He called his sermon “The Fate of Blood-Thirsty Oppressors and God’s Tender Care of His Distressed People.”

    Of course, these four brave preachers were not the only ones to participate in America’s fight for independence. There were Episcopalian ministers such as Dr. Samuel Provoost of New York, Dr. John Croes of New Jersey, and Robert Smith of South Carolina. Presbyterian ministers such as Adam Boyd of North Carolina and James Armstrong of Maryland, along with many others, also took part.

    So many Baptist preachers participated in America’s War for Independence that at the conclusion of the war President George Washington wrote a personal letter to the Baptist people saying, “I recollect with satisfaction that the religious Society of which you are Members, have been, throughout America, uniformly, and almost unanimously, the firm friends to civil liberty, and the preserving Promoters of our glorious revolution.” It also explains how Thomas Jefferson could write on April 13, 1809, to Albemarle Buckmountain Baptist Church in Virginia and say, “We have acted together from the origin to the end of a memorable Revolution.”

    The American colonists were spiritually and morally prepared to fight the War of Independence because their pastors continually reminded them that: 1) “Faith without workd is dead.” 2) Be doers of the Word and not hearers only. 3) Aiding the needy to the exclusion of government diong so and opposing evildoers with representation of Christ is an obligation – not a ‘calling.’ Had pastors over the past century reminded their flocks of their obligation to lawfully represented Christ in government decades ago to prevent what is no the murder of over 55 million unborn children and America’s slide toward national-suicide, America would not be the God offending nation it is today. Without question, those leading the Calvary Chappel “s alt and light” Pastors Conference could take a lesson from the courageous preaching and example of colonial pastors having provided the colonists with the inspiration and resolve to resist the tyranny of the Crown and win America’s freedom and independence – providing evidence for their faith being true and not merely assumed.

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