I am currently attending a private conference hosted by Pastor Chuck Lind and CC Olympia
The speaker is well known author and teacher Gayle Erwin
The conference is very casual…almost like sitting around a living room listening to your grandpa tell stories from long ago.
Gayle has been pretty candid about his opinions regarding worship, preaching, and the direction of Calvary Chapel as a movement.
In Session #1 of Day 1 Gayle spent a great deal of time dealing with worship. He believes that worship has become too slick and professional. Too many lights, loud sound systems, and songs no one but the leader knows. Some of this is opinion based upon his age and background. But we would be wise to evaluate our corporate worship to ensure that we aren’t losing the simplicity of adoring Jesus in the midst of our techy show. He also pontificated about plants and pulpits in the sancturary. He believes that we should remove any barriers between us (the preacher) and the congregation. Apparently that includes the cheesy fake greenery that is as much a fixture in evangelical churches as a cross. Personally I like to use a pulpit. We are in the process of having a new one made out of metal that will be much more modern than our current wood model so I think I will just agree to disagree with Gayle on this one. As to the plastic plants…yeah those should be burned along with any and all Left Behind movies.
In session #2 Gayle shared about preaching. He believes pastors should employ humor but only humor that doesn’t make anyone besides yourself the brunt of the joke. This pretty much puts my humor out of business.
He recommended puns and slap stick. Hmmm. I don’t think I am willing to stoop to that level to get people to laugh. I will just stick to my sarcasm and self-deprication.
He made some great points about connecting with people; making the Bible come alive by placing yourself in the story, using personal illustrations instead of canned stories from a book, and keeping things simple so that even children can track with you. Gayle has always modeled these principles well in his teaching and it was a good reminder for me in my desire to make the Word come alive for each and every person listening to me.
In the last part of the second session Gayle talked at great length about the Calvary Chapel movement and his desire to see us return to simply loving Jesus and pointing others to Him. He doesn’t understand why our movement is so infatuated with the Emerging/Emergent Church.
“If it wasn’t for Calvary Chapel their 15 minutes of fame would have been up a long time ago…we’re keeping that thing going by talking about it all the time.”
I couldn’t agree more. Just preach Jesus and Him crucified. Let Jesus take care of His Church.
He also warned against being content with what has happened in the past and not pursuing our own move of God in the present. Amen Gayle! I don’t know about you but I wasn’t even born during the Jesus Movement. And while I praise God for the heritage I’ve been given, my desire is to see God do something amazing and fresh in my own generation.
Stay tuned…Conference Day 2 tomorrow.