May 232018
 

Sometime in the recent past, (but I know not when) the “What We Believe” section of the Calvary Global Network was edited.

The affirmation that the group was premillennial and pre-tribulational was changed to simply “premillennial”.

This seems to indicate that one of the core doctrines of the old Calvary Chapel is not required to be held if you wanted to affiliate with CGN.

This fact is causing no little consternation among those who were CC before the split and consider belief in a pre-tribulational Rapture a vital distinctive.

The other issue that the change raises is about who made it and why.

It was obviously made by Brodersen or with his approval without consulting the rank and file in the new “movement”.

This creates a “meet the new boss, same as the old boss ” scenario where Brodersen is acting via divine fiat just as his father in law once did.

It won’t work…it’s not working.

There are many Calvary Chapel pastors disenchanted with the leadership of the rival Calvary Chapel Association who would like to find a new home, but not if the same sort of leadership is modeled.

The CCA is led by men who have a very few years of “service” left and those behind them do not have the gravitas or “legitimacy via proximity to the late founder” to lead the association.

Brodersen needs to distinguish his group with a clear identity and focus if he’s to survive much longer.

Here’s what you do, Brian…ready?

You take time out of the upcoming pastors conference to hold elections.

You allow the pastors to nominate and vote on a board…with 2 year term limits.

You do something CC has never done…you treat pastors like adults and give them a say in governance, doctrine, and practice.

You do something similar to what the Southern Baptist Convention does…before more pastors just join the SBC.

You can name yourself eternal board chairman if you need to…but unless you give these pastors some skin in the game, the game is soon over.

Give these men a reason to be truly involved in the movement and you’ll grow and have a sustainable sect when you’re gone.

Refuse to do so and in ten years neither side of this split will matter at all in the bigger picture of American evangelicalism.

Now, I know you can’t do it this year, (because I’m the one that made the suggestion)…but you better do something soon.

If you do, you’ll save the movement and it’s legacy.

You’re welcome…

 

  9 Responses to “How Brian Brodersen Can Save The Calvary Chapel Movement”

  1. You take time out of the upcoming pastors conference to hold elections.

    You allow the pastors to nominate and vote on a board…with 2 year term limits.

    You do something CC has never done…you treat pastors like adults and give them a say in governance, doctrine, and practice.

    You can name yourself eternal board chairman if you need to…but unless you give these pastors some skin in the game, the game is soon over.

    _______________________________________________________________________
    Awesome first steps! But don’t stop there, treat the congregants (not just pastors) like adults as well. I know the congregation is just a bunch of grumbling butts in the seat but seriously if you don’t recognize the gifts and talents of the laypersons and not just the club of pastors the game is over. The congregants (not just pastors) need skin in the game as well since after all they are basically financing the entire thing and they won’t forever put up with their non existent status. Institute formal membership if you don’t have it right away.

  2. Thank you, Steve…and amen to the rest of your post as well…

  3. I don’t think my suggestions have been received with gladness… 🙂

  4. Yeah, we all know none of that will happen. And I for one would run away from CGN if it ever did. Because voting is totally antithetical to, well a lot of things in my opinion, but especially to being a CC.

    Chuck wasn’t a dictator over the movement. (Some would say over his church, but that’s not the context here.) The mindset, and this is what I really liked, is “This is the direction we’re going, this is what we believe, if you like that direction and believe the same thing, let’s go together.” That spirit, that mentality is actually very appealing to a lot of people. The idea of voting in a board, term limits, voting on doctrines, that sounds completely repulsive on this scale. And people don’t feel like they are being treated like a child if they “don’t have a say.” They have a say with their feet. And they used them, hence the split. A split would have happened with these structures in place anyway.

    If CGN were run the like SBC or some other denomination, I would have to bail.

  5. Corby,

    I will go to my grave utterly confused about the typical CC mindset.

    You want no say in leadership, doctrine, or practice.

    You don’t want to participate in the governance of the group you belong to.

    That’s how the tyrants keep their power….and the CCA tyrants have been very busy lately…

  6. “The congregants (not just pastors) need skin in the game as well since after all they are basically financing the entire thing and they won’t forever put up with their non existent status. Institute formal membership if you don’t have it right away.”

    Not sure I agree with this. I’d like to…but my experience at CC was that because
    CC is so pastor/personality driven, that often congregants didn’t really know or realize
    that they didn’t have a voice in anything. Maybe it’s a similar mindset to what
    must go on in some megachurches, where the leadership does all the work and the folks
    in the pews can sit back and worship, hear teaching and leave.

    My other observation from my CC days is that I felt sorry for folks where CC was their only church experience. They didn’t know there are churches that are more democratically run, where congregants vote and can freely express themselves,for example maybe there’s a board where congregants can express their opinions. I think they have to ‘fight’ more to get out of CC. Whereas others knew CC was only one out of many church groups.

  7. When I left cc I went to a church with meetings run by the members. I was initially shocked to hear regular people suggest and VOTE for changes. I don’t know if the rank and file Calvary folks will ever get to a point where they recognise their own voices and not just blindly follow “Moses”.

  8. bob1, I hear what you are saying. And I agree that probably neither mine nor Michael’s suggestions would ever be heard in CC. I am only hear because Michael has been kind enough to give me a small voice in what I believe is sorely lacking in CC as well as probably larger mega churches.

    I’m not hear to try to reform the problems in CC because they probably aren’t fixable. I didn’t leave CC by voting with my feet but rather by being booted by the Moses. But now that I am older and wiser I would have voted with my feet if I had known better. This is because, in my naivety, I didn’t quite understand the bizarre level of control, power and autonomy the senior pastor has being accountable only to God and absolutely no one else. It has taken me years to understand that this is not healthy for any church.

  9. There is this CC assumption that the mouth piece of any given CC has a special “anointing” because they are where they are because of a holy appointment. Therefore, the buck starts and stops with them. There is no way BB or any leader in CC would give that up because job security and perks comes from being the top guy. I know you know this… I’m just restating the obvious. BB feels this was his divine entitlement, and that he has the specialness to make independent decisions with or without approval from the rank and file. It’s this kind of renegade governing style that was the petri dish for the Jesus People movement, one where the ideal was we’d live and love each other in biblical harmony. In a way, it’s a charming 1960’s communal hippie ideal that was spun from the times in which it was birthed.

    But historically this stuff never works. There are reasons you build fences. Fences to stop predators from misconduct. Fences to protect the innocent. Fences to keep people accountable and honest. That’s because the absolute power that corrupts has it’s corrupting affect on even the anointed ones. It happens all the time in CC where power and money and privilege go unchecked. The misuses go on in spite of their denials of a system inherently built upon a corrosive lack of checks and balances. BB just feels he is incapable of such missteps cause, well… he is a good guy and he won’t be like Chuck was financially. He’s got this. Trust him. For all Brian’s good points (and there are many) he can not and will never see how this just isn’t good enough anymore. The system is inherently flawed and saying to critical observers that the problem is in what you see, not the actuals, denies the abject misuse of power that has become the hallmark of the Calvary Chapel experience. Corby said Chuck wasn’t a dictator except for perhaps his own church. Maybe that is true in the truest sense of the word, but “Papa Chuck” was the figurehead and inventor of a church management system that those who emulated him borrowed extensively from and no one dared argue against the “distinctives” put in place.

    Democracy and respect for laity holds nothing in light of the power that being the head guy offers. They’d rather the ship go down first to prove the rightness of their governance position. You are calling on BB to grab a hammer and nail down core elements in hopes of saving something of a system that had a simple beauty to itself, if only in concept, once so long ago. You are giving him ideas on how to build a fence. IMO that beauty of CC is long gone, wrinkled in time through abuses and fraud and immorality at the highest levels. I can name names. And I know you can too. But I gave up hoping a long time ago that anyone in CC, CCA, CGN… CC whatever… would have the courage, insight, and wisdom to fix this. None of them know how to use a hammer, except to strike it as a weapon to silence their detractors when reality becomes too painful to admit.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.