In 2009 I was watching a ministry leadership conference online. The speaker was talking about mentors. He was giving some specific points about how to be mentored by the right people. I grabbed a 3 x 5 card and wrote down five names of leaders I wished I could be mentored by. One of the leaders I listed was Brian Brodersen. Fast forward a year and a half... Our family moved to Orange County where I became the interim director of Calvary Chapel University. My office was on the grounds of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. The school that I took over was struggling and I reached out to Pastor Brian for advice. He took me out to lunch and invited me into the broader ministry of Calvary Chapel. Since then he has been a friend, supporter, defender, counselor, and encourager. He has given me amazing opportunities to serve and has been incredibly transparent along the way.
Having now been at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa for three years it is a great joy to now see Pastor Brian recognized as the Senior Pastor by the board. I can whole heartedly say that he is the right guy for the job. Pastor Brian has been waiting in the wings for almost 14 years. He loves the church right where it is at in the way that a shepherd cares for the sheep.
He came to Costa Mesa during my second semester of Bible College. I have watched Brian serve patiently along side Pastor Chuck since that time. He believed that God had called him to Costa Mesa and in spite of opposing factions and shifting plans he remained faithful day in and day out.
As the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Brian will preach weekly and direct the affairs of the church. That would include overseeing KWVE Radio, the Bible Colleges, the School of Ministry, the School of Worship, the four conference centers, the K-12 school at CCCM, and probably something that I'm forgetting. This is no small task and I'm sure that he would appreciate your prayers.
From what I have observed, Brian's ministry has three primary emphases.
The Bible Teaching Pastor
Pastor Brian has a deep conviction that verse-by-verse Bible teaching is the primary method for preaching week in and week out. He has done an excellent job at recent conferences making it clear that Calvary Chapel does not just emphasize Bible teaching, but it emphasizes Holy Spirit empowered Bible teaching. It is the Holy Spirit's empowering that makes the Bible teaching significant.
The Equipper of Young Adults
One of the amazing things about Brian is the broad network of young men who have connected with him. Many of these guys are in full time ministry around the world. He stays in contact with them through Twitter and ministry conferences. I think the primary reason so many guys have connected with Brian is because he is their advocate. He supports them in the position of ministry even though they are young. He doesn't just talk about passing the ministry on to a younger generation, but he has done it time and time again.
Brian also seems to be more in touch with the thought process of the current young generation of pastors. He is sympathetic to the fact that Calvary Chapel is not the only strong ministry influence in these guys lives and he doesn't compete for a "Calvary Only" mentality. Brian strikes the balance of being a Calvary Chapel pastor and an evangelical connected to the body of Christ at large.
The Supporter of Church Planting and Missions
Pastor Brian's support of missions goes back to his days at Calvary Chapel Vista. He has had a strong missions emphasis ever since I've known him. In the mid 90's he took his family to England to church plant. There are hundreds of families that can say their start in missions came from Brian's prodding (in the Spirit). Since being back at CCCM, Brian has gone to great lengths to support the missions efforts of church planters and established missionaries around the world. He has traveled to remote locations to speak at various missions conferences. On many occasions the gathering of missionaries at these conferences have been small, but Brian was there because it was a priority in his ministry.
I am excited. Brian's leadership will be a blessing for the church and he will influence the Calvary Chapel movement in some significant ways. He is not the new Chuck Smith. His primary focus will be on the local church. But God has gifted him and equipped him to have a hand in the unity of the movement, the tone that Calvary Chapel strikes publicly, and the ministry emphasis in the coming years.