CCA 2021 Conference—Part 2

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Building Up the Shepherds—Part 2: Calvary Chapel Pastors Gather for Rocky Mountain Regional Conference

Story by Jim Culhane
Photos by Keith Durflinger

Following are teachings from the 2021 Calvary Chapel Association Rocky Mountain Regional Conference held May 25-27 at Calvary Castle Rock, CO. Pastors, leaders, and their wives came from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota for encouragement after a difficult year of ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference theme was “Understand the Times”, based on 1 Chronicles 12:32a: … of the sons of Issachar who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do …

Follow this series at: Part 1: About the conference. Part 3 Summaries of 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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At the 2021 CCA Rocky Mountain Regional Conference in May, Jerry and Marisa Comacho (left) of Calvary Chapel St. George, UT, speak with Al and Norma Pittman of Calvary Worship Center (CWC) in Colorado Springs, CO. These attendees joined 213 more pastors, leaders, and their wives to be encouraged and strengthened in their ministries. They came from Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Al, senior pastor of CWC, was one of the conference speakers.

Dave Love, senior pastor of Calvary Castle Rock, CO

With the topic “Sons of Issachar”, Pastor Dave explained the history of the Hebrew tribe of Issachar. The man Issachar was born of the patriarch Jacob and his wife Leah. She had bartered with Jacob’s first wife, Rachel, to have time alone with Jacob by giving Rachel some mandrake roots, to help her with fertility. So, Issachar’s name means “man for hire”. Over time, his tribe of many descendants prospered. They also were enslaved by other nations, but by the time of King David were leaders in Israel looking out for the interests of all of Israel. They had an understanding of the times and led Israel to join David when the lineage of King Saul ended. At that time, they did things God’s way.

“Let’s see if we can discern the times that we are in right now. Let’s see what we ought to do, collectively, unified under the banner of Jesus,” Dave prompted. Last year in the March shutdowns, there was a lot of confusion, apprehension, anger, and frustration. There were two extremes: cynical and fearful. We all fell somewhere in between. What action was required? Pastor Dave found himself confused. The people were confused and afraid. Looking to the pastors, they were asking, What ought we to do?

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Left to right, Ben Gárate of CC Montrose, CO, Dave Love, and Al Pittman pray over a pastor after he’s publicly and transparently shared the joys and struggles of his ministry. Dave Love, senior pastor of Calvary Castle Rock, CO, and coordinator of the conference, shared, “Pastors faced hard decisions in 2020, … and we wanted the pastors and their leadership to know that they were not alone and that the regional leadership team is here to help.”

Dave listed five steps describing what we should have been doing: Pray. Ask for wisdom. Seek the Lord and wait on Him. When God speaks to you, do it. Repeat the first four steps. One thing we learned in the last year was that we’d better have our technology up to speed. What the Lord told Pastor Dave to do is probably different than what He told other pastors to do. If they heard from God to do something different, they didn’t do anything wrong. Each congregation had problems that were different. God wanted not just the pastor to pray, but the entire congregation. Satan wants to divide the church, and our times are a time of division over silly masks. We should not judge others’ walks—it’s nothing to do with the Bible. Some people need masks. These are divisive times: We need to walk in love, in unity.

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Mindi Love (right), wife of Pastor Dave, prays with another woman. She led a workshop focusing on how women can the helpers and completers of their husbands.

Al Pittman, senior pastor of Calvary Worship Center, Colorado Springs, CO

Having chosen the title of “Fulfill Your Ministry”, Pastor Al stated, “This past year has been a challenging year, to say the least. I believe the Lord has used it as a pruning hook within His own Church, to cut away the veneer, the thin decorative covering of ‘churchianity’, to bring us back to Christianity, a Christ-centered life and ministry.” With a rise in anti-Semitism, the “woke” movement, coupled with BLM promoting reverse racism, we seem to be going backward because we are judging people by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. Everyone is easily offended.

But what Al finds even more disturbing is that we see secularism invading the church. A lot of congregations we teach are inundated with secularism, people coming to our building influenced by the culture of the world. God’s Word has no authority in their life. Many calling themselves Christians come from other churches that have bad teaching, not even teaching the Word of God. We have congregations infected by the demonic spirits of this age (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

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Pastor Dave Love makes a point in a casual conversation.

We need to fulfill what God has called us to do. A lot of things have been distractions. Masks have divided churches. Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, but all it took was a mask to divide people. There are three ways of action that the Lord has shown to Pastor Al. First, Stay on message. Sometimes we are tempted to go off message. Al has been tempted to go off message, close the Bible and say, “This is what I really want to say.” It’s not that we should not speak about the issues in the context of teaching the Word, but we are never to make the issues the central theme of our message. Colossians 1:28a: Him we preach. Be careful to keep the main thing the main thing. Don’t be distracted. Al wants people who are standing in their faith a hundred years from now because we teach them the Word of God. Prepare your people for the coming storm by preaching Christ.

The second thing God has spoken to Al about is to Stay in Goshen. Goshen was the land in Egypt that God set aside for Joseph and his family to live during the years of famine. Where God guides, He provides. No matter what you’re going through, there is a place that God has set aside that is cultivated just for you, called His Peace. As God sent Joseph ahead to Egypt to preserve his family (Genesis 45:5), God has a Goshen that He has set aside just for you. Today, there is a great spiritual famine of God’s Word in our land, but God always provides for His people. Stay in Goshen, the place God has prepared for you. But when we abandon God’s will, and get out of Goshen, we start to walk in fear rather than faith, and face spiritual poverty.

The third thing is to Stay in the fight. It’s a spiritual battle. The apostle Paul said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” If we have learned anything this past year, it’s that we’re in a spiritual fight. We may have to fight those in our congregation; some think we aren’t supposed to rock the boat. Jesus said that if they persecuted Him, they would do the same things to His followers. God makes us mighty pillars through our faith in Jesus Christ; the Lord is with us to deliver us. We aren’t fighting in our own strength; it is the power of God. We are experiencing a move of God, a battle. God is calling you to a fight, God wants to use you. We have to wrestle, not only with man, but sometimes with God. That is how God transforms and changes us.

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Four men pray over a man in the seats. Prayer for each other was an essential part of the CCA Rocky Mountain conference. The theme of the conference was “Understand the Times”, based on 1 Chronicles 12:32. Pastor Dave admitted that many of the leaders who attended were discouraged, telling him that if not for the conference, they may have left their callings.

Jeff Johnson, senior pastor, Calvary Chapel Grand Junction, CO

Pastor Jeff spoke about the current times and issues, and about what Christians should be doing now. Jeff believes that we are in the last minute of the Last Days. In other words, all that has happened over the last 18 months has simply prepared the way for the revealing and arrival of the Antichrist. Everything is lined up and ready to go: one-world government, one-world economy, and a cashless society where people cannot buy or sell without a proper ID. All the governments that are to be aligned with Gog and Magog (which is Russia) are already lined up. The main thing Jeff has seen is the willingness for the masses of people to follow and obey ungodly, wicked people and godless governments. He adds, “And if all this stuff is already upon us, how close must we be, as the bride of Christ, to hearing Jesus our Lord say, ‘Come up here!’ This could be at any moment.” Jeff stated that at the Rapture of the Church, Jesus will immediately remove Christians from the world.

While the world has no hope, Holy Spirit-filled Christians do have hope. We know that everything is right on schedule with the Lord. We know where we are going when we die. While living in this world, we must remain faithful to Jesus and proclaim Him to others. Hold fast to the promises of the Bible because that is the only way we can get God’s perspective about what is happening. Jeff said, “I can guarantee that as we continue to minister God’s Word to God’s people, their fears will get turned into faith. We must never compromise the Word of God just to get along with the world.”

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Pastors, leaders, and their wives enjoyed the worship at the conference.

The End Times will be very bad. Demons are distracting us from reaching out to others. There is so much ungodliness around us, but where sin abounds, grace abounds much more. We should expect a big increase of false prophets, cults to be more active, and churches with “woke” propaganda to undermine God’s Word. Jesus said that nation would rise against nation; the word in Greek is ‘ethnos’, meaning ethnic groups. And the media are stoking the fires of racial divisions in our country and many other countries.

When the Antichrist signs the peace treaty with Israel to allow them to build the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the 70th week of Daniel will begin, which starts the seven years of the Great Tribulation. The Bible says that unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened. All the Jews living at the time of Jesus’ second coming will mourn for Him, the One who was pierced, and they will receive Him as their Messiah. When Jesus returns, His bride will follow Him riding on white horses. He will wipe out all His enemies, and He will establish His Kingdom on earth that will last 1,000 years.

We need to give thanks to the Lord, say, “Here I am, Jesus” and allow Him to make us into vessels of honor and fill us with the Holy Spirit. Don’t lose sight of what God has called you to do: Feed and tend My sheep.

                  

Follow this series at: Part 1: A description of the conference. 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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Four attendees relax, taking a selfie photograph, outside the conference building, Calvary Castle Rock.

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Impromptu prayer was common throughout the conference; here, three attendees encourage each other in the hallway.

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Two men enjoy one of many animated conversations that could be heard throughout the three-day conference.

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The sharing times were often filled with laughter.

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Leaders encouraged each other with Scripture during the sharing times.

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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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