CCA 2021 Conference—Part 1

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Building Up the Shepherds—Part 1: Pastors & Leaders Gather for 2021 CCA Rocky Mountain Regional Conference

Story by Margot Bass
Photos by Keith Durflinger

This is Part 1 of a three-part story about the Calvary Chapel Association (CCA) Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in May 2021.

Click to read summaries of teachings from the conference: Part 2: Teachings by Dave Love, Al Pittman, and Jeff Johnson. Part 3 Teachings by Eric Cartier, Gino Geraci, and Jimmy Humphreys. Both parts offer an extended photo gallery sharing the highlights of the event.

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The worship team at the 2021 Calvary Chapel Association (CCA) Rocky Mountain Regional Conference brings people closer to the Lord. The conference was held in May at Calvary Castle Rock, CO.

Sam Park stood before a group of Calvary Chapel pastors and leaders, sharing how during the COVID-19 lockdowns his fellowship had met for several weeks in their parking lot, laughing now as he recalled facing freezing weather and snow. Sam, pastor of Truth Church Calvary in Littleton, CO, was one of 217 attending the 2021 Calvary Chapel Association Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in May. He had just heard teachings by Dave Love, senior pastor of Calvary Castle Rock, CO, and Al Pittman, senior pastor of Calvary Worship Center in Colorado Springs, CO.

“I walked in discouraged; I’m going to be walking out on fire [spiritually],” Sam announced. He admitted to being discouraged in ministry, from contentions over COVID restrictions to exhaustion. “Two months ago, I was ready to give up the pulpit. But the Lord kept giving me Galatians 6—Don’t be weary in doing good; fight the good fight. At the end of our lives … there’s nothing greater than the legacy we leave for Jesus Christ. That’s where I am today. We’re running the race, staying the course, finishing strong.”

The theme of the conference was “Understand the Times”, based on 1 Chronicles 12:32. The Rocky Mountain region covers Calvary Chapels in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Attendees came from larger and smaller churches, many long established and even one just planted in January of 2021.

… of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do … 1 Chronicles 12:32a

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Two men hug at the CCA regional conference. After more than 18 months of COVID-19 restrictions and complications, this conference provided an opportunity for pastors, leaders, and their wives to encourage and reconnect with each other.

The three-day conference was held May 25-27 at Calvary Castle Rock, CO. It featured teachings by six pastors, practical breakout sessions, and several opportunities for the men and women to publicly and transparently share their experiences of persevering through the pandemic. These sharing sessions were filled with stories of God’s faithfulness and victories, marked by joy, laughter and humor, and strong encouragement.

Organizer Dave Love declared, “Pastors faced hard decisions in 2020, and by gathering together for this conference, we wanted the pastors and their leadership to know that they were not alone and that the regional team is here to help. We encouraged the pastors to pray, stay the course of their calling, and to reach out to other pastors in their area and to us, because we are a family of churches that can help each other.” Each time a pastor spoke during the organized sharing times, the regional team prayed individually for him, laying hands on him. Dave confirmed that Pastor Sam’s discouragement wasn’t unusual. “A few pastors admitted to wanting to quit because of the difficulty of ministry and the hardship of ministry life on their families. Some of those pastors afterwards told me that if it wasn’t for this conference, they may have left their calling.”

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

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Pastor Dave Love, senior pastor of Calvary Castle Rock, CO, and conference organizer, teaches a session on discerning the times, based on the conference theme “Understand the Times”, based on 1 Chronicles 12:32. Participants came from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota.

Teachings

Speakers included Dave Love; Al Pittman; Gino Geraci, a longtime CC pastor and current host of a radio call-in program Crosswalk out of 94.7 FM in Aurora, CO; Jimmy Humphreys of Great Divide Calvary in Breckenridge, CO; Jeff Johnson of Calvary Chapel Grand Junction, CO; and Eric Cartier of Rocky Mountain Calvary in Colorado Springs, CO. Their teachings will be highlighted in Calvary Chapel Magazine in future stories.

Mindi Love, wife of Dave Love, led a workshop for the women about being a helper and a completer for their husbands in ministry. She related, “What really is our role in the church? It is to lift up our husband’s hands, or even the pastor’s [hands] if we do not have a husband—to … encourage and support them and honor them in that leadership role. And yet, that is something that is really unraveling in our culture. As far as women’s respect and honor to men, we can’t let that happen in the church[es].”

Barry Arrington of Alliance Defending Freedom, a non-profit law firm defending religious freedoms, taught an overview of how the U.S. Constitution and the church intersect, opening up the floor for questions. Michael “MC” Williams, a retired law enforcement officer, spoke to attendees about church security. He exhorted, “The hardest resistance I get to church security is from pastors, who don’t understand that their role is to physically, and not just spiritually, protect their flock. If you’re a pastor, your job is to protect your flock.”

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From left to right, the regional team, Dave Love, Al Pittman, Shaun Sells, Ben Gárate, and Lonnie Trujillo pray over Pastor Matt Korniotes of CC Cherry Creek, CO, who had just shared his joys and challenges with conference attendees. A highlight of the conference was the sharing times provided after teachings, when leaders were invited to be transparent with each other. “Pastors faced hard decisions in 2020, and by gathering together for this conference, we wanted the pastors and their leadership to know that they were not alone and that the regional team is here to help,” Dave shared.

Attendees Share

Bill Smith of Calvary Chapel Minot, ND, asserted, “God is shaking this world, and God is shaking His Church. As the Church is being shaken, we’ve noticed, at least in Minot, that people are looking for two things: solid Bible teaching and authentic Christianity.”

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Men pray together in an emotional moment.

Jimmy Humphreys of Great Divide Calvary in Breckenridge, CO, noted that ministry changed in 2020. “There’s been a pruning that’s taken place in our fellowship. We’re not the same anymore … God has done this pruning, even though [it] hurts.” He continued, “But I’m excited for where we’re at [now], what the Lord is doing now, that fresh work. It doesn’t look like anything we’ve been involved in before. It’s this newness, this excitement, this life.”

“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.” Isaiah 43:18

Scott Cox from Calvary Chapel Windsor, Windsor, CO, summed up the importance of the conference. “Let’s be here for one another. I wouldn’t miss out on this for the world. We know that Calvary Chapels are going through some ups and downs. We’re here for Jesus! Every single one of you guys who is pastoring a church, say, ‘We’re doing what we’re doing to serve Jesus, and we’re not going to stop.’ And you guys are being faithful to [do] that.”

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Participants at the regional conference enjoyed laughter and lighthearted moments. Many of the pastors and leaders had faced discouragement and temptations to quit the ministry over the last 18 months. Here, Jimmy Humphreys (center) of Great Divide Calvary in Breckenridge, CO, is joyfully surrounded by Christian brothers.

                  

Follow this series at: Part 2: Teachings by Dave Love, Al Pittman, and Jeff Johnson. Part 3 Teachings by Eric Cartier, Gino Geraci, and Jimmy Humphreys. Both parts offer an extended photo gallery sharing the highlights of the event.
                  

To watch the complete teachings, go to Calvary Chapel Association 2021 Conference Videos
                  

 

CCA Conference Photo Gallery
Enjoy more photos from the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference.

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Pastor Dave (left) and Lonnie Trujillo (right) of Horizon Christian Fellowship address the conference attendees. “We encouraged the pastors to pray, stay the course of their calling, and to reach out to other pastors in their area and to us, because we are a family of churches that can help each other,” Dave said.

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In a time of quiet, Dave Pierce of Outpost CC and Russ Mau of CC Berthoud, CO, share an encouraging conversation.

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Pastor Dave and his wife Mindi worship together.

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Jimmy Humphreys has an animated conversation with two men.

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Joey McKee, assistant pastor at Calvary Castle Rock, addresses the audience.

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All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2021 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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