We Are Doing Well And Having Fun


Back in October I wrote a post about Pastor Brian Brodersen and his new role as the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. That was four months ago. It was one of the most popular blog posts that I've put up. A lot has taken place at the church since that time. You may have seen the Christianity Today Magazine interview with Pastor Brian that was met with overwhelming enthusiasm. It has been an amazing season. I thought I would give a brief update (from my perspective) and share a few videos.

The Ratification of Brian Brodersen

The Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa Bylaws state that the governing board is responsible for picking the next Senior Pastor and then the congregation is given an opportunity to ratify that designation through a vote. The Bylaws only require this type of procedure in special circumstances and picking a new Senior Pastor was one of those circumstances. This was surprising to me. I was not aware of a congregational vote within Calvary Chapel. But it ended up being a beautiful evening. As the video below shows, Pastor Brian had overwhelming support.

Service Changes 

Early in January Pastor Brian lead the church in a week of prayer. For that week the church gathered every evening to prayer for various topics like missions, the Church in America, and Orange County. There was a good sized group of people every night. When it was all said and done those who attended were saying "We need to do this more often."

The week of prayer was one of the things Pastor Brian shared about at the 2014 Vision service (video embedded below). He also explained the upcoming changes to the different services. The three services that he adjusted were the Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night services. These are the primary gatherings for the church.

Historically Pastor Chuck taught a topical message on Sunday morning that was based on a text being studied in depth during the Sunday evening service. This is a model that has been adopted by some other Calvary Chapels: primarily the larger fellowships that draw a big enough crowd for both a Sunday morning and Sunday evening service.

Pastor Brian felt led to do more in-depth verse-by-verse exposition during the Sunday morning service. He moved the Through the Bible study from Sunday Nights to Wednesday Nights. And this gave him the freedom to start a new service that had been in his heart for a while. He called the new Sunday Night service Acts 2:42. As Pastor Brian explained it, this new service would include Bible Study, Fellowship, Prayer and Communion. He also added a weekly testimony into the mix. If you are interested in watching a testimony and Bible study from this service you can view them here. This service has been amazing.


At the end of October the church hosted the public memorial for Pastor Chuck. The Honda Center was almost completely full and a half a million people watched the video stream online. If you weren't one of those 500,000 people who viewed the feed you can check it out here.

The Men's Conference took place on October 26th and had a significantly larger crowd then the preceding year.

People Changes 

Over the last four months we have added a few new faces. Kellen Criswell has joined the staff and is helping develop the new Lance Emma joined the team and is overseeing KWVE, Calvary Distribution and The Word For Today. A few key staff that were serving at the Bible College in Murrieta have moved up here to Costa Mesa including Dave Shirley and Mark Schwartz.

We have also seen two guys go out and plant churches in the local area. We sent Garid Beeler out in January and two weeks ago we sent out Tommy Cota. Garid’s church is called Vision City Church and it meets in North Irvine. Tommy’s church is called Hope Alive Santa Ana. Both of these fellowships filled their meeting spaces on the first Sunday and seem to be doing well. 

Structural Changes

We have also seen some facility changes and systems changes that have been fruitful. Two weeks after Pastor Chuck passed away we moved the sound board out of an isolated room upstairs down into the sanctuary. This helped the sound guys to hear the live mix in the room rather than guessing from upstairs.

The Fellowship Hall is in the process of being remodeled. I’ve peeked at it once and am excited to see the final results. I think the church is going to love it.

CCCM Fellowship Hall

Different ministries moved offices on campus. A third-party tenant moved out of the second floor of the Logos building and made space for Veritas Seminary. Starting this Fall there will be three different higher education schools on the second floor of the Logos building.

KWVE 107.9, the church’s radio station, saw some changes with the program schedule. These changes added more contemporary music into the mix and a couple of new shows.

The Bottom Line

There have been some very good changes that have taken place over the last four months. We are seeing very strong attendance at all of the main services. There is no known factions or contingents of opposition. The congregation loves Pastor Brian. The staff is more unified than ever. Internal communication is getting better. And people are giving their life to Lord on a weekly basis. Like I said up top, we are doing well and having fun.

The Right Guy for the Job


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.


Prayer Retreat, Bishop California


This past weekend I had the privilege of joining seven men up in the mountains above Bishop, California. We had a great time fishing, shooting guns, and hiking through the mountains. In the evening we talked through ministry and life. It was a great time! During the three days I was on this trip I was meditating upon Matthew 6 where it talks about "take no thought" (Matt 6:25, 27–28, 31, 34). One of the stark contrasts that is given in that passage is that of earthly treasure verses heavenly treasure. Jesus points out how earthly treasure can be stollen, lost, or corrupted. He encourages the disciples to seek treasure in heaven because it is secure there.

There were two amazing scenes that I encountered while I meditated on this theme. The first scenes was the Aspen forest that was just turning yellow because of the dropping temperatures. I probably spent a dozen hours walking through these trees while I fished the stream. It was amazing. The second scene was the abandoned mines from 1930. Here are some of the pictures I captured.

Aspens and Stream


Yellow Aspen

Aspendale Valley

Fly Fishing South Lake

These are are the pictures of the mining operation in the same valley. From what I could tell these mines were in full swing during the 1930s.

Aspendale, Mine

Mine Shaft

Old Mine Machine

Mine Built in 1933



As of this past Sunday I officially transitioned out of managing the content for into the role of assistant pastor at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. (…requiring me to purchase some new clothes. Thus, the picture above.) I’m thrilled to join the team of guys that serve the body here at CCCM. I also will be teaching 2nd Corinthians at the School of Worship and assisting the church with some of their higher edu projects.

It is always fun to make changes like this. I’m excited to be closer to the “people” ministry of the church.