XII. Worship is Vital
(see Eph. 5:18,19)
At Calvary Chapel great emphasis is given
to music and worship. Worship is not just a warm up for the
sermon, it is actually and literally entering into the Holiest
of All, coming through the gates with thanksgiving and the
courts with praise. Jesus said the Father was seeking those
who would worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Way back in the early days of Calvary Chapel there was a sign
out front that said "Jesus Christ is Lord, adore Him with
us". That's true worship--adoring Jesus.
We like to stay away from performance type music where the
congregation is just watching others worship, in favor of
participatory worship that everyone can enter into.
We also like to emphasize songs to Jesus, rather than just
songs about Jesus. We are singing to Him, adoring Him, loving
Him. We are not just filling space until the late comers get
You can always tell a church that is moving with the Lord.
The sanctuary fills up early, people love to sit up in the
front row, and they sing with all their hearts.
True, heart felt, Spirit filled worship is vital and essential.
XIII. Be Balanced Theologically
(see I Tim. 4:16. II Tim. 2:23-26)
Pastor Chuck has always sought to avoid those
issues which do nothing but divide the Body of Christ, and,
as he once said, "when Christ's Body is divided, pray tell,
Calvary Chapel is unique in the world today because it fills
a gap that other churches do not.
On one side of the spectrum, there is an extreme form of pentecostalism
with its emotional expression of "charismania", an emphasis
on gifts of the Spirit to the expense of the Word of God.
On the other end of the spectrum is fundamentalism with its
opposition to gifts of the Spirit. At Calvary we believe in
and allow for the operation of all the gifts of the Spirit,
but always decently and in order. We believe that the Holy
Spirit never interrupts Himself, so tongues or prophecies
are not allowed while the Word is being taught, for example,
Calvary Chapel is the balance between pentecostalism and fundamentalism.
On another spectrum, there are the hyper-Calvinists who teach
that Jesus died only for His elect, that man has no free will,
that one group is elect for heaven, another is elect for hell,
and there's nothing you can do about it. Opposite them are
the hyper-Arminians who forget the sovereignty of God altogether
and believe a person must be born again each time they sin.
Again, Calvary Chapel is the balance between the two. As Pastor
Chuck said: "I believe in once saved always saved, if you
abide in Christ". [And this is in total agreement with Scripture,
for Jesus said in Matthew 24:13 "But he who endures to the
end shall be saved." I.e. you can fall away, as Hebrews 10:26-31
also indicates. See also John 15:1-6. These are all serious
warnings that we as Christians must abide in Christ. Read
them. Take this seriously.] The Bible teaches the sovereignty
of God and the responsibility of man; it teaches the security
of the believer and the perseverance of the saints. We will
never intellectually reconcile the two; we just need to accept
the fact that God is bigger than we are and teach all that
the Bible says.
There are other areas where we tend to get out of balance.
Some groups preach pro-life to the expense of the gospel.
Others mix in so much psychology that the Scriptures are forgotten.
Stay balanced. Stay true to the Word of God.
XIV. Get Your People Praying and Keep Them
(see I Sam. 12:23; Lk. 21:36; Mt. 6)
Jesus said that men ought to always pray
and not faint. Samuel said it would be a sin against God to
stop praying for the people. Paul prayed whole heartedly for
Prayer is the life blood of the ministry. The church moves
forward on its knees. Every successful ministry has had dedicated
prayer warriors behind it.
Be creative. Get people praying. Use prayer letters, prayer
rooms, elders meetings, whatever. Get them praying. Then,
keep them praying.
Prayer is not a means to convince God to give us what we want.
It is a means by which we can participate in His will. It
is the channel through which He works. Prayer moves the heart
Saturate your ministry with prayer. Lord teach us to pray.