The State of Calvary Chapel
In a new article on calvarychapel.com, Kellen Criswell does a state of the union report on the health of Calvary Chapel.
His opening paragraph takes a shot before getting into the meat of the matter…
“Fringe personalities and opportunists instantly went to work in the wake of Pastor Chuck’s passing predicting everything from a rapid splintering of the movement to a large-scale fall into liberalism.”
I’m not sure which category I fall into, but I’ll comment none the less.
Criswell paints a glowing picture of the movements health based on numerical growth.
“Calvary Chapel exploded in the 60s, but we are still expanding today.
Calvary Chapel has arguments, but we are still a committed family today.
Calvary Chapel is aging, but we are still training and deploying new leaders today.
Calvary Chapel has roots that are American, but we are still going global in more ways than ever before today.
Calvary Chapel is vintage, but the planting of more local Calvary Chapels is still in high demand today.
We still have a lot to work on, to be sure. But I for one think it is safe to say that things are looking strong for the future of Calvary Chapel.”
It’s hard to argue with the numbers.
Despite the denials however, there are still issues under the surface.
There has been splintering as there is still opposition to Brian Brodersen and many who believe that the “movement” has lost it foundational theological moorings, especially in regard to eschatology.
One need only watch the recent prophecy conferences and discussions at CC Cypress to hear this.
There has been discontent among some over the Calvary Chapel Association, particularly in regard to Skip Heitzig’s involvement with Gospel For Asia.
Who are the leaders of the leaders accountable to?
The answers at the national level are the same as at the local level…they are accountable to no one they don’t choose to be.
What Criswell is doing is actually reporting on the state of the brand.
It is hard to argue with his conclusion that despite the issues we and others have reported online and the death of the founder, that the brand is healthy.
That may say more about the state of evangelicalism in general than the movement itself.