CCA Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference 2021

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Don McClure Teaches at CCA International Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference

Story by Terry Flagg
Photos by Tom Price and Josh Larson

Follow Calvary Chapel Magazine as we publish summaries of the teachings at the CCA 2021 Calvary Chapel International Pastors' & Leaders' Conference at CC Golden Springs, CA.

In this installment, Pastor Don McClure of Calvary Way ministries and administrator of the Calvary Chapel Association, closes the conference urging the leaders to finish well the race God has set before them.
                  

Watch this teaching in its entirety at Day 4 / Don McClure

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In the final session of the conference, Don McClure focused on his longtime life verse, Acts 20:24: “But none of these things move me; nor do I [Paul] count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” He focused on Paul’s perspective—not his own. Paul was continuing his journey, serving the Lord, but those around him were trying to discourage him and talk him out of leaving, knowing they would see him no more.

He asked the pastors and leaders, “Who is God, what is He doing in the world, what is His plan?” He continued, “What moves you?”

He also emphasized the importance of our identities as servants of Jesus Christ. Paul knew he was where he was because God had placed him there; and even though he experienced pain and suffering, he finished well. Don stressed that it is Jesus who moves our lives, as He did with Paul, whose mission and call was to continue serving. As servants of Jesus Christ, we were bought with a price, which was God’s gift to the world.

Pastor Don shared that he knows from his own trials in life that his goal is to finish well. What happens when God takes things away, [allows] physical trials and [we] realize life will pass us by? he reflected. What will we do for him? God is purifying our faith through each trial and time of suffering.

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We might endure suffering, but through it, we are able to comfort others. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:4). Suffering loosens our grip on life, and as C. S. Lewis said, by nature we want to protect ourselves.

Christians always seem to be swimming upstream, Don joked. Like Paul, he has had spiritual people around him who have disagreed with him. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair (2 Corinthians 4:8). God is purifying our faith.

Yet, Paul had resolve, something immovable—he had a course to run. God ordained his course as He ordains our courses. God has something for everyone. Sometimes, we might walk alone as Paul did, but we belong to Him. He has a path for each one of us. Don further exhorted, “We are judged by [the] responsibility God gave us.”

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). He counseled the pastors and leaders to rejoice in suffering—tribulations take us on a journey, a glorious journey. I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church (Colossians 1:24). Don concluded with one final question: “What has the Lord called you here to do?” adding, “Whatever it is, do it with all your heart.”

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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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