by Skip Heitzig
We place great emphasis on the exposition of Scripture and teaching the entire Bible chapter-by-chapter and verse-by-verse. We believe that the Spirit of God works through the Word of God in the hearts of the people of God. Exposition is more than merely speaking about the bible or from the Bible; it is the proclamation of the Bible itself. The work of the expositor is to determine what God has said in Scripture and then to convey it to God’s people so that God’s own voice is heard.
We believe that Bible exposition is inductive: directing the listener to the Bible’s own truth without preconceived ideas. We believe that Bible exposition is exegetical: demanding that the pastor critically examine the text with accuracy and basing his message upon observable principles of interpretation.
Informal/ Relaxed Style
by Chuck Smith
Another distinctive characteristic of Calvary Chapel is our relaxed casual style. We don’t get involved in a lot of spiritual hype. We don’t try to motivate people carnally, and we aren’t apt to shout at the congregation. I believe this stems from our belief and trust in Jesus Christ and in the Holy Spirit. We are of the belief that if the Lord doesn’t build the house, they labor in vain who build it, so all of our hype and pressure aren’t really going to do the job. We simply trust in the work of the Holy Spirit, and of Jesus Christ who is building His church as He said He would. If we have complete confidence that it’s His church, that He’s going to build it, and that He’s going to do His job, then all I have to do is be faithful. I simply need to watch His work, and then the pressure isn’t on me. I don’t get all hyped or pressured because the work of God isn’t my responsibility. It’s not my church. It’s His church. I believe that it’s very important to remember this, because if you try to carry the load and bear the burden, you’ll find that it’s too great for you. You’ll find yourself under pressure to create schemes and hypes, and then you begin to push and manipulate people. That isn’t the Calvary Chapel style.
Calvary Chapels are minus the hype. We’re not into the carnal pursuit of new programs or spiritual hype to try to appeal to people. It’s the Word of God that we trust in, that we teach, that we rely on. It’s the foundation upon which we are built. It’s inexhaustible. There’s no burnout with it. It just keeps going on and on and on.
For this reason, we have a relaxed, casual style that’s reflected in our ministry. It’s His church so we don’t have to sweat it. We’re not really into seminars on how to build a church, how to create a user-friendly church, or how to develop a five-year plan. Who knows if we’ll even be here five years from now! Let’s minister for today!
Christ Centered Worship
by Don McClure
Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
When the Lord created man in His image (Gen 1:26) we were created with the glorious capacity to be a reflection of the Lord Himself. We were created to literally share His life, His nature, His character, His love and joy and peace. Thus man at his highest identity is found as he shares his life with the Lord and the Lord shares His life with us. Thus, we were made to worship the Lord as He is so worthy to receive glory and honor and power as we have been made to bring him pleasure. And nothing brings more pleasure to man than when man is pleasing God.
In Calvary Chapel, we love offering ourselves to the Lord and worshiping and praising and rejoicing and resting in Jesus for all He has accomplished for us. We worship Him for what He has done in taking our sin on Himself and giving His life for us. And we worship Him for ever living at the right hand of the Majesty on high making intercession for us and presenting us faultless. And we worship the Father and the Son and the Spirit for all they mean to us for the rest of eternity. Yes, worship is the precious gift God has given us.
Equipping the Saints
by Mike Macintosh
When Don McClure, Tom Stipe and I were asked by Chuck Smith to become interns at Calvary Chapel, we were thrilled. The crowds were gigantic and we were thrown into the ocean of ministry. The three of us were at every Bible Study that Pastor Chuck taught, plus we each had two or three studies going on at the same time either on campus or in homes.
Boy, we were blessed to learn deep and rich truths from Pastor Chuck as we sat and listened chapter by chapter and verse by verse through the Bible every Sunday, Monday and Thursday evening and Sunday mornings as well. Two of the early books we heard, along with all the church goers, we learned the depth of Romans. We knew we would die to ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Jesus. As a side note, I hear of “stars” or “Christian celebrity teachers” having their names and conferences promoted. Pastor Chuck never has or would draw attention to himself. We were not following a man, but someone who always pointed us to Jesus.
We learned about the Walk of the Spirit and having a renewed mind. The book of Ephesians lit me up as I learned that I was God’s workmanship. And that God gives gifts to men, each of us has a gift of a measure of faith. When we learned that Jesus gave men gifts to serve His people, and I think the “Equipping of the Saints” happened with great fervor among us interns.
When I arrived in San Diego, not knowing anyone, not having any cash or savings, my wife Sandy and I arrived by faith. From the beginning I incorporated the things the Holy Spirit had taught me at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Pastor Chuck’s ministry is easily defined. And, it is that definition that I have used to plant new churches and start new para church organizations, to send people all around the world for God’s glory.
Here is the simplicity that I minister and have learned by watching Pastor Chuck serve the Lord:
- Win people to Jesus
- Disciple that person in Jesus
- Send that person for Jesus
by Don McClure
The word evangelism simply means “the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ by personal witness or public preaching.” Or “a zealous advocacy of a cause.”
Calvary Chapel was born in revival. It’s very birth and growth was because Jesus Christ gave himself for us on the cross, that He might give Himself to us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that He might live His life through us sharing the good news. We believe in and love sharing the good news of Jesus and do it with zeal.
Jesus said “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 ).
Jesus also said “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).
And Jesus said “ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Thus, our Lord Jesus gave to the Body of Christ the incredible privilege and blessing and responsibility and call to go into all the world and share the glorious news that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners and to make disciples.
A foundational aspect of Calvary Chapel ministries is the teaching of the Word of God. After His resurrection, Jesus emphasized the teaching of the Word to Peter when He asked him “Lovest thou me” which Peter affirmed, and then Jesus told him “then feed My sheep.” And the result of good teaching is evangelism. As Pastor Chuck Smith often said “Healthy sheep beget sheep.” And that is evangelism to us.
Evangelism first reveals itself primarily through the Christian’s life. Paul says that Christians are “living epistles, known and read of all men” (II Corinthians 3:2). Thus, the great majority of Christians through history have come through the personal witness of Christians.
Calvary Chapels as churches love all manner of public preaching of the gospel, desiring to reach all we can with the good news of Jesus saving us. Thus, there is also many varied methods of preaching Christ; in public open air evangelistic meetings, missionary outreaches around the world and through many media forms.
Our desire is “to know Him and make Him known.”