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.
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.
Over the last four months we have added a few new faces. Kellen Criswell has joined the staff and is helping develop the new calvarychapel.com. 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.
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.
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.