Jul 242017
 

Brian Brodersen had a successful conference for his side of the Calvary Chapel split.

Attendance was good and more importantly, those in attendance remarked that there was something of a renewal of the original spirit of Calvary Chapel present in the gathering.

What happens now?

Here’s a better question.

What happens to the Calvary Global Network if Brodersen dies or is incapacitated?

The question of succession that haunts many CC’s today is built into the framework of CGN.

At this juncture it seems to be a one man show, run from one mans church, using that churches resources.

What happens when that one man goes down?

This brings up the most frequently asked question I’ve received over the last couple of months…where is the accountability mechanism for CGN?

The answer is the same as it’s always been in Calvary Chapel…if it doesn’t exist at the local level, it doesn’t exist at all.

There will be no oversight of local churches…from the website;

“Because CGN is not an association and churches will not affiliate with CGN, we do not have a formal affiliation process, overseers, regions, or regional directors. All church disciplinary issues that might arise among the churches within the network will be dealt with through their own local leaders. CGN will never involve itself in (or take responsibility for) matters pertaining to any local church.”

Granted, in CGN as a corporation, there’s not much to be accountable for, although some pastors have asked about where the money from conferences goes.

It’s my understanding that Brodersen has a board, but no one knows who is on it.

Perhaps now that the split is written in stone (and it is) we will see CGN take on more definition and structure.

Right now there is too much ambiguity…and CC pastors are not known for their love of ambiguity…or succession plans that don’t include kin.

 

  66 Responses to “Questions Concerning Calvary Global Network”

  1. C. Brodersen will assume, I assume.

  2. Considering what “%$#$*&” Brian has had to endure with taking over leadership of the mothership campus, I would be surprised if he does not have a succession plan in some form.

    Telling people that he has a plan would in some way necessitate showing that plan. Inquiring minds would want to know who the next prince in line is. Any of Brian and Cheryls kids in ministry?

    Accountability in CC?

    Michael – sometimes you make me chuckle….. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Accountability is an interesting animal. So much depends on relationship, respect, and submission for it to work. Any leader, any builder of something, inside or outside the church, is usually wired with a kind of drive that isn’t naturally compatible with accountability. Of course that’s all tied up with the nature of the flesh.

    In light of that, I do agree with CGN’s view on local accountability. Local church leaderships teams should be accountable internally and locally. I think a pastor should be firable if it came to it. I also think that same principle applies to CGN. It should be accountable in its own context. I don’t know what that looks like but it makes sense to me anyway. Since it doesn’t govern the masses it shouldn’t be accountable to the masses. But it should be in some way.

    There are too many levels of what-ifs that could be asked and consequently too many levels of accountability that could be created to deal with the what-ifs. There is a reasonable amount of accountability that should exist but it should serve the organization, the organization shouldn’t be a slave to it. In other words, being called to the court of accountability shouldnt be like a hammer hanging over one’s head at all times. It should be a tool ready to be used when needed.

  4. Maybe you know more about this than me, but I think this is a misunderstanding of CGN. If I understand it correctly, CGN is simply one of many ministries of CCCM. As such, it is responsible to the board of CCCM. I’d be surprised if the makeup of that board was a secret. Hence, if something happened to Brian B, the church would be responsible to shepherd whatever was going on with that particular ministry. I think the problem comes when people assume that CGN is somehow a separate ministry like CCA. Who guards those guards is another question altogether.

  5. ” . . . succession plans that donโ€™t include kin.”
    I would be interested to know how many CC churches have more than one family member of the Senior Pastor on paid staff. I can grudgingly accept one, but more than one means that the church is a family business more than a church. I also wonder how many succession plans include the pastor’s son . . .

  6. “I would be interested to know how many CC churches have more than one family member of the Senior Pastor on paid staff’

    not many

    and who would want that job LOL, seen enough, been around enough on all sides of it, in most situations it is not nearly worth it, hard to please everyone if anyone at all. a few big names do pretty well, but as michael has said over the years, most are in the trenches grinding it out for not much money and a lot of thankless hours and always lots of messy human beings to deal with

  7. Accountability will never take place if a man operates from the base of his ego. Fear of losing positional power keeps a man of ego from opening himself to vulnerability. Thus the “Moses model” type of leadership. “My way or the highway.”

    Any man can appear to be a model Christian in a pulpit, but his actions or lack of actions may signal an unseen truth or a hidden ego.

    We know the fruit of such a model always eliminates those who would question and sweeps wrong doing under the carpet if the perpetrator is friend or family.

    The early Jewish Christian church had a wonderful model where everyone got equal access to comment on the Word of God collectively.

    No one person stood out as the one and only premiere person outside of Christ

    If one person were not present the Church operated just as it should without that person.

    No halting or battle for the platform if someone passed on.

    The customary practice was not like todays church meeting places. Instead of all seats facing a front platform where one person speaks from.

    The early church had small stadium type of seating where two sets of seating faced each other with a space down the middle.

    One person would stand up and read the Word of God and then everyone present was allowed to discuss what was just read.

    Of course apostle Paul wanted to limit women from openly discussing.

    On a positive note, a lot of home Bible studies have the above model where everyone is allowed to discuss the passage of Scripture under study.

    I had a man who has deep interest in these things share this with me years ago.

    Don’t know if it is totally accurate so I can’t bring up any citations.

    Maybe someone has more info here.

  8. I only know about CC from here, so I’m a complete outsider, but I like to translate some of what I see into Anglican terms…
    The post-Chuck pre-split CC liked to say they were not a hierarchical denomination – no bishop, no diocesan office that can call the shots for the local churches…
    However, they did have a cathedral, and a dean of cathedral. In the absence of a bishop the dean gets to act a bit like the bishop, but without all the restrictions an official bishop might have.
    It sounds like the dean of cathedral is a good leader of God’s people. I’d rather have a good leader in a bad structure than the other way around any time.
    But some churches didn’t like an unelected bishop, and have broken off the diocese and formed an alternative structure.

  9. Two years ago our elder team brought my son-in-law on our church staff as youth pastor. I pushed back for the obvious reasons, but our leaders saw this young man emerging as a pastor. And, I must say, he really has embraced his role with passion and humility. He’s in the master’s program through Western and soaking it up like a sponge.

    It is an interesting dance that I don’t think I will ever be comfortable with. But the leaders have really taken a lot of the burden off me.

    He preached his first “big church” sermon last week while I was in Alaska, and I heard many good reports upon my return.

  10. A one man show with a mystery board doing mysterious things with funds not accounted for?
    I simply can’t believe it. Simply shocking…

  11. #9 That is nice to hear. Yes, there are “success” stories for sure. I’m glad to hear that it was your board who made this decision.

  12. I’m giving Brian and the CGN the benefit of the doubt but I do have some concerns. My concern is who Brian will join hands with in doing ministry. I did recently hear Don Stewart denounce Bethel Church in Redding and the whole NAR movement. He called it heretical. I was glad to hear his stand. But there are others who (I suspect) are also a part of NAR ie. Hillsong; that I think I heard KWVE do an advert on an event Brian Houston is doing. That concerns me. Many charismatic churches have bought into the NAR movement ie. The Vineyard as well. I don’t think we should work with these kinds of churches who teach false doctrine and are hurting the Church.

    One thing I believe is that Brian has been in Calvary long enough and close to Chuck and the problems of Calvary, that he’s seen the pitfalls and is trying to fix them in this new network. So that is very good. No one should imply evil intentions with money, accountability or succession until proven guilty. Brian and Cheryl seem like sincere and godly leaders. I’m not so sure about some others on the CCA board; some of which have resigned because of sin. And because I see Brian fixing the very things I have been bothered by for years within Calvary, that gives me hope and some confidence in his intentions.

  13. If you want global “unaccountability” in your church go with CGN and their spirit of freedom model. If you want local “unaccountability” in your church go with CCA and their pastor centric Moses Model. If you want the best of both worlds try to align yourself with both organizations and have all basis “accounted” for in a strategy of least accountability. Classic CC at its finest. CGN + CCA = CC = “zero accountability”.

  14. A plan for succession should never be up to an out-going pastor. That is an incredible conflict of interest. It should be written policy well before there is ever need for it.

  15. Same ole CC song n dance

  16. I’ve recently heard a lot of criticism directed toward the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). And along w/ that, the common demonizing and cliche labeling others as “heretics” who are even remotely linked to such movements.

    Out of total respect to Babylon’s Dread, I believe he has a level of familiarity with this movement. I’d be curious to hear directly from him what this movement is abut and what it’s hopes are. I believe he’d have a far better/accurate depiction of this movement than the Online Discernment Militias (ODM’s) and/or Don Stewart (OMD-lite).

  17. Josh,
    You said, “A plan for succession should never be up to an out-going pastor.”

    Says what passage/example found in scripture? Not wanting to sound contentious, but I’m just curious as your above statement sounds more rooted in tradition then scripture.

  18. Sherlock @ #17

    Where is succession plan found in scripture? I search for it but can’t find it mentioned. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I agree with Josh @ #14 – Its common sense to not have an outgoing pastor have a say in a succession plan – or you could him return to the church if he decides to – ala Skip H and Pete N. in ABQ.

    Or you could have an outgoing pastor stack the deck and make sure that he gets asked to speak when his replacement goes on vacation.

  19. Pastoral succession is a concern for every church.

    The concerns discussed here about pastoral succession might apply to one in a thousand churches. If that many…

    Entire websites are devoted to churches looking for someone, anyone, to come pastor their church.

  20. @ 17 – It’s an argument from silence. You also can’t show me where it says a pastor should choose his successor. I’m sure I could build a scriptural argument if need be, but honestly, I am just using sound reasoning.

  21. It would seem that the CGN would need more definition and structure moving forward. It would seem to be okay for a starting point, but for the organization to last long term, there will need to be more meat given as to what CGN is.

    Accountability is just not in the DNA of CC. It is okay if the CGN does not want to be an organization to oversee the accountability of local churches, and leave it to the local church to hold itself accountable. But one would then hope that at the very least, the CGN would have requirements that a local church have accountability structures in place before they could be part of the CGN.

    Of course then other questions pop up. It seems as if almost any church that desires to join the CGN can do so. An unlikely but still possible scenario pops up where what if a church of significant theological differences wants to join? More to even a hypothetical scenario, but what if even a Mormon or Jehovah Witness church would want to join? Do they all get in, no questions asked?

    And what if an existing church refuses to hold itself accountable and turns into a dumpster fire of a moral or theological mess? Do they still get to continue to carry the Calvary name, no questions asked?

    Of course, the CCA side is not much different. They only seem to care about potentially holding churches accountable who don’t tow their political lines. Of course, none of this is codified in any manner, but if you don’t emphasize the Rapture enough, or aren’t verse-by-verse enough, or it the pastor drinks, or don’t revere Pastor Chuck enough, etc., etc., then you might want to be careful not to get on their bad side.

  22. I once was on a church staff where the board was tasked with hiring a new senior pastor, but that didn’t keep the outgoing senior pastor from trying to control almost every aspect of his departure. The board had originally had him preaching and leading the church for three months before he moved on, but they cut that short so he could stop looking in the rear-view mirror and get to focusing on his new assignment.

  23. the outgoing senior pastor from trying to control almost every aspect of his departure.
    —————————————–
    shocking.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    originally had him preaching and leading the church for three months before he moved on
    ———————————————————–
    on the bright side…he was doing something productive for the church…

  24. If you have a hierarchical system (Bishops, pastors [priests] and deacons) you have the Scriptural pattern for succession. The bishop chooses the next pastor.

  25. Actually, in Scripture there is zero difference between the office of bishop, pastor, and elder, in fact the three terms are used of the same person/office. Acts 20 and 1 Peter 5 would be two passages showing this interplay between the three words involving the same person/office.

    Church History (from early on) certainly had a pattern for succession, but a separate Bishop is hardly a “Scriptural pattern”

  26. I think there can be a healthy approach to succession, as well as unhealthy.

    What I witnessed was certainly unhealthy, and at times bizarre.

    Come to think of it, it was this experience when I first discovered the Phoenix Preacher!

  27. Typically, if the pastor is being replaced there would be no thought of him being in the process. He is quitting for some reason (and the stats speak to burnout, conflict, discouragement, personal scandal etc), or getting fired by the church (whether justly or unjustly). Likewise, if the pastor is seeking a different ministry opportunity elsewhere, he loses any right (IMO) to keep his nose in the business of the church he has chosen to leave.

    We really are talking almost exclusively about those cases when there is an honorable retirement. And in such cases, I would see no reason why the pastor would not be involved for the good of the church – in fact, I would think it not exactly “finishing well” to just look to cash out and leave the church in the lurch because he is ready to hang it up.

  28. I should add however, “being involved for the good of the church” as part of the process is far different than decreeing that the pastor’s son be the new pastor.

    Involved….as in one voice in the process among many.

    Maybe that son is the one with the heart and ministry skills for the church he grew up in and is the perfect choice. He should not be excluded from consideration just because of his parentage.

  29. Such situations do demand a lot of wisdom. I followed a well-loved pastor who really had a hard time retiring. I believe he wanted the best for the church, but his presence sometimes got in the way of new leadership. He was, deep down, a good man who loved the Lord(I did his funeral about three years ago). But when he retired, he had no idea what to do with himself. He was a pastor through and through. It could have been worse, but I think we fared the dance fairly well.

  30. If you have a hierarchical system (Bishops, pastors [priests] and deacons) you have the Scriptural pattern for succession. The bishop chooses the next pastor.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Not quite. You would expect the pastors to pick the deacons in a strictly hierarchical system, but we know biblically this is just not true. Acts. 6. All of the disciples were charged with picking the deacons. This hierarchical system breaks down pretty quick.

  31. what is ‘the’ biblical succession model?

    can’t really make a biblical case for any that is solid/set in stone.

    you have the roman catholics and similar structures on one end and loosey goosey non-denominations on the other end.

    both extremes present problems.

    but, God, in his providence, unfolds his plan regardless

  32. PH,

    I recall a Baptist church near me years ago where the former pastor “retired” but went around greeting people who visited (like I did one week) and introduced himself as Pastor so and so….

    After service, he stood at the exit (near the real pastor) greeting people who wanted to say hello to him, no doubt that knew him for years.

    I’m sure his heart was right too, and he wanted to be friendly for the good of the church and the new pastor…but it did breed some confusion.

    I do not agree with the idea that a retired pastor has to somehow leave the church and can’t continue to worship there in his older years “for the good of the church”. In fact, I think that is a cheap excuse from guys who aren’t humble enough to not be the top dog anymore, but sounds pseudo-spiritual.

    But at the same time, he has to be aware enough of these sorts of things and truly just be one of the worshippers (and hopefully maybe a Godly support for the new leadership but behind the public scene)

  33. Alex,

    Not every non-denomination is loosey goosey as you stated. I go to an independent church and to get a pastor onboard is really tough. They have to jump thru so many hurdles that its amazing that we even have a pastor at all. I guess this is another extreme or another side of the story that is unfamiliar to some.

  34. Steve @ 30,

    The Disciples are a special case. They are the ones who got the ball rolling. After they left the scene the traditional Bishop/ Pastor/ Deacon system began.

    Read the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch (not the Loyola Ignatius) to see how things worked out in the early church right after the death of the disciples and apostles. Ignatius was a disciple of St. John, by the way, the same John who wrote the Gospel named after him and the Apocalypse (Revelation.)

  35. steve, loosey goosey in terms of a historical and well established hierarchical structure. my guess is your non-denom is about one generation old and the only real structure is an elder board and the only real reach is that one location, i stated it in that context

  36. what you call ‘hurdles’ is likely how joe the plummer, bob the accountant and bill the high school teacher think the pastor should be from a checklist they created. that is ‘loosey goosey’ in the context i presented it compared to a multi-century structure, apparatus, hierarchy and system like the roman catholic church

  37. Seriously, if I could just get you all to read the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch, my work here would be done. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. If you have a hierarchical system (Bishops, pastors [priests] and deacons) you have the Scriptural pattern for succession……..Read the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch
    ———————————————————-
    Xenia, I think I acknowledged the very early days of Church History. However, if we are talking the Scriptures only (which was my comment’s direction ๐Ÿ™‚ ) then there are three different Greek New Testament words, commonly translated bishop, elder, pastor (and their verb forms of same) and they speak to the same people…

    NOT apostles at all. The leaders of the local churches (as the two Biblical references I cited clearly show).

    Nothing against St. Ignatius, or his pedigree with the Apostle John, but his words are not classified as “Scripture” i.e. The God-breathed written Word.

    That was my only point. To say something is laid out in Scripture is not, to me at least, to say something is laid out in the writings of the Church Fathers.

    Obviously, we disagree on this point.

  39. Xenia,

    Your appeal to Apostolic Succession is duly noted, but not what the type of succession plan we are talking about, my dear friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ignatius is telling his followers to follower their bishops(presbyters and deacons) so to stay within the authority of the church.

    Yes, bishops appointed their own successors. But that is nowhere in scripture.

  40. agree with steve w again, church history and tradition does not equal scripture….unless your catholic

  41. *you’re lol

  42. I should add that one of the most significant observations for me has been that before the 1st Century ended, when the Apostle John was still alive, Jesus Himself was dictating letters to correct things wrong with the earliest of the churches.

    Man was already screwing it up….

  43. all the hierarchy and structure etc of the roman catholic church didn’t do a thing in terms of accountability to stop the priests from molesting kids. in fact, it was shown it enabled it

  44. and today, the roman catholic church is one of the most hypocritical organizations on the planet.

    the liberal pope wags his finger at capitalism, while the RCC hoards billions of dollars and is and extremely rich organization.

    the same liberal pope decries ‘walls are evil!’ while residing behind a nice big wall with armed guards.

    RCC is corrupt and their hierarchy and system etc hasn’t produced any real accountability or any real virtue

  45. Ok.

    I am not of Sola scripturist, obviously. For me, the writings of a disciple of St. John, a man solid enough to be made a bishop, are authoritative. Not as authoritative as the Scriptures, but still authoritative. His letters don’t contradict the NT and are a continuation of what was written in the NT.

    But the original question was finding evidence of a hierarchy in the NT and I veered off course into the realm of Tradition, which matters to me but not to many of you. I see the seeds of a hierarchy in the NT which blossom into fruition in the following decades after the repose of the apostles.

  46. No one here is trying to make a case for the RCC, Alex.

  47. Jesus Himself was dictating letters to correct things wrong with the earliest of the churches.<<<

    Say what?

  48. Xenia – That’s the first three chapters in Revelation.

  49. Ah, didn’t think of those!

  50. Xenia,

    Thank you for your correction @ 45. I was only speaking of your statement regarding scriptural succession. I admit I am not up to speed on the various traditions. I do appreciate your enlightenment on tradition but as others noted I think its important to acknowledge that tradition and scripture are not exactly the same as you have admitted. So with that said, why are the disciples a special case? This is scripture so why wouldn’t we use this as our model today?

  51. I think we recognize words change. I believe Scripture is clear in the priesthood of all believers, but to call a Christian a priest is confusing. So too the word bishop. The word as it appears in translations like the KJV has no connection to how it is generally used today.

    And yeah, I was referencing the beginning of Revelation.

  52. Steve @ 51

    The Scriptures are a part of the Tradition, along with the Councils, the Creed, the Liturgy, etc. So it’s not Scriptures and Tradition, it’s the Tradition, of which the Scriptures assume a uniquely authoritative role. <— That's the teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy, which I believe.

    The Disciples are a special case because they were ordained by Christ Himself. After they died, what happened next? We can't tell from Scripture alone because this material isn't covered in the NT. We have to look to the writings of the Apostolic fathers, such as Ignatius of Antioch, to see how the Church chose the next generation of ministers.

  53. Xenia, I know your second part was to Josh’s question, but the Scriptures I referenced used these words, like bishop, for later leaders the apostles were addressing….but not in any way leaders who even knew Jesus on earth.

    When Peter and Paul used the words in a way that tradition then swayed from, it gets my attention.

  54. Thanks Xenia. I learn a lot from you. Not sure I agree with your conclusions but never the less its great food for thought. For instance not sure how you came to the conclusion that the disciples in Acts were ordained by Christ himself. It seems these disciples were when the disciples were gaining in number. And this was after Christ already ascended and after Pentecost. So when did He ordain them? Other than Paul on the road to Demascus, not sure what disciples met Jesus personally after the ascension.

  55. Hi Steve @ 55,

    I was referring to the Twelve Disciples, not “disciples” in the general sense.

  56. Some of you are assuming evil and jumping to false conclusions regarding Brian and the CGN. If you’d just go to CCCM’s website and navigate to what the CGN is about and how to become partners with it, a lot of this speculation and conjecture would be resolved. Why do you jump to such evil conclusion? Man, some of you are so jaded. Just read it for yourself. Why would you all think there is no accountability? Calvay DOES have a system set up for it just like every local church does or should. The only downfall with any system is how godly the men actually are and how much they aim to please God and not man. And in the past, Pastor Chuck himself let too many rogue Pastors off the hook instead of dealing with them Biblically. He would move them around (kind of like the Pope does with child molesting priests) He also interfered with David Hockings own church board and took him in instead of letting him suffer the needed church discipline David’s board was trying to exert on him. Not good. Brian seems to be doing things the way Chuck should have run Calvary and all it’s affiliations. Each church pastor is accountable to their own board. Only those elders know the pastor the best not someone outside trying to oversee it. Just because a few Calvary’s here and there get away with murder and are not held accountable doesn’t mean they are all that way. The system is set up but it all depends upon the godliness of the men within it. IF your church has a bunch of yes men elders/pastors to the Senior pastor, that’s a red flag.

  57. “Some of you are assuming evil and jumping to false conclusions regarding Brian and the CGN. If youโ€™d just go to CCCMโ€™s website and navigate to what the CGN is about and how to become partners with it, a lot of this speculation and conjecture would be resolved. Why do you jump to such evil conclusion? ”

    You’re co-opting Michael’s Eugene Peterson line LOL.

    “Everyone who disagrees with my Group and criticizes it is EVIL! The literal Devil!”

    LOL, everyone does that. So very human.

  58. You are evil for pointing that out, alex ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Alex, one more crack about Peterson and you’re done.
    Period.

  60. Wow, that was swift.

  61. โ€œEveryone who disagrees with my Group and criticizes it is EVIL! The literal Devil!โ€
    I’ve never said anything remotely resembling that.
    Yesterday I had to moderate an unacceptable comment.
    I won’t be trolled.

    This site is in a great place now and it’s going to stay that way.

  62. Gotcha.

  63. Let me make something abundantly clear.

    This is not Facebook.

    This will not be a place where free for all rampages are allowed.

    We allow plenty of room for dissent…but it will be done with some amount of propriety.

    I and I alone am the sole arbiter of what falls in that definition.

    Those who wish something else are free to go elsewhere or start their own sites.

  64. “I and I alone am the sole arbiter of what falls in that definition.”

    Yes, that is true.

  65. Michael

    I shall start my own site reporting on everything you say and allow on this blog

    I shall call it The Phoenix Peeper

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I hope that with much honey and dialogue (as far as I am able to keep up with you and MLD and Duane and Steve W and Xenia and and and and) I will reconcile my former sins here on this blog. I also hope we shed our little altars of our golden calves by much discussion, and become more convinced of what we know to be true. You have a good thing here, as long as it can stay that way. hope your day is a blessing.

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