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Page history last edited by PBworks 18 years, 2 months ago

How are Pastors Ordained At Calvary Chapel?


The Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship produced a booklet in ©1982, 1980, called Church Incorporation, that said:


We recommend that each fellowship also include in their Bylaws a provision that allows the church to ordain pastors and other religious workers. Such a provision will enable the church to function as a completely autonomous religious organization. (p. 5)


This booklet, on pages 22 and 23, describes the following:


1. principles of ordination

2. qualifications for ordination

3. procedure for ordination

4. Certificate of Ordination,


The recommended bylaws present a procedure by which a new pastor (in the case of a vacancy) may be selected which includes the following procedure:


* Elders shall constitute a nominating committee

* That committee shall seek, find and nominate a candidate

* The final election shall be by a 3/4 vote of the membership


The recommended bylaws also present a procedure by which a pastor (may be terminated).


* 2 Elders can call a meeting of the elders

* 3/4 of the elders must agree that the pastor needs to be terminated

* A 2/3 majority of the voting membership must agree


The Senior Pastor appoints assistant Pastors. The Senior Pastor has the authority to fire an Assistant Pastor.


Calvary has an "unusual" system of ordination of their pastors. Bet you did not know that Hank Hanegraaff is a pastor in Calvary Chapel. Mostly because Hanegraaff wanted a tax exemption for his "housing income" which effectively shelters his CinC book income. Hank was a special case, where ordination required Pastor Chuck's calling to get him ordained as a pastor. Ordination can then be obtained if you are a personal friend of Chuck Smith (witness Hanegraaff and Chuck Missler). BTW, I became a "minister" in the Universal Life church in the mid 70's for $1 and a ppd. envelope, so I have seen the other extreme of this. Anyone remember Simon in Acts 8:18?


Any denomination must deal with the problem of who ordains the local pastors. Smith uses a mixture of the "fruit" method and the "calling" method. The "fruit" method requires people to go out and plant a CC of their own. Once it reaches a certain critical mass, they can then petition to become a part of the denomination. Chuck makes a determination about their worthiness and the risk factors associated with them. He then can make them a member of the denomination and they can carry the CC name.


The second alternative would be to attend CCBC or the school of ministry at CCCM. After the 2-year period of time is completed they may or may not be ordained as a pastor depending upon the opinion of Chuck Smith.


It is not clear to us whether local Senior Pastors have the independent authority to ordain their own assistant pastors as well as other Senior Pastors, or if either of these can only be done by Smith himself. Taylor conveniently skips all details of the actual process that Calvary uses in his article. If the local Senior Pastors were to "ordain" a pastor on their own, the question then arises "what if the person did not tow the theological line?." The pastor that ordained him then runs the risk that his church will be booted out of the denomination (if it was an assistant pastor he ordained).

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