CCA International Pastors’ & Leaders’ Conference: Joe Focht Teaches Session 1
Story by Trinity Grau
Photos by Tom Price and Josh Larson
This week, follow along with 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. The teachers, noted CC pastors, will analyze current world situations through a biblical lens and reaffirm our core values—to enable attendees to leave with a refreshed relationship with Jesus and a renewed vision and greater passion for the work God has called them to.
This teaching can be viewed in its entirety at Day 1 (November 8, 2021)
The audience of more than 1,500 laughed as Senior Pastor Raul Ries of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs opened up this week’s pastoral conference with a few short quips, before he turned to prayer on a serious note. “We’ve come here to be broken by the Lord,” he stated. The message of the conference could be summed up in his prayer: We need revival. The CC Golden Springs worship team led worship, and the audience sang enthusiastically, hands lifted high, despite the lateness of the hour.
Pastor Joe Focht of Calvary Chapel Philadelphia, PA, began the first message of the week on Monday night by reading from Acts Chapter 1. He opened by discussing how much has changed over the last two years and lightheartedly noted how he anticipates the coming of the Lord. He particularly emphasized how the book of Acts is relevant in our current circumstances as the Church once again finds itself in times of great change and persecution
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.” Acts 1:7
Joe followed through on his point by connecting Luke’s Gospel to his narration of the early Church by drawing attention to the importance of walking with Jesus. Luke gathered data, talked with witnesses, and then said in Luke 1:3-4: It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. It is interesting that Luke wrote with an understanding of how the Church saw individuals. Theophilus, believed to be a higher-standing member of society, was addressed as a brother. In God, we are made equals.
“The vehicle that God left here to bring that message [of the Gospel] is the Church. And the way that message is to be delivered is [through] the Holy Spirit. Not in our own wisdom, not in our own power, not in our own esteem, not in our own strength,” Joe declared. Luke emphasizes the importance of the discipleship of the apostles. Joe observed how our importance as the Church and as believers relies on a close walk with Jesus and a powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
We were empowered for a purpose. “It has to be on fire; it can’t just be data, not even truthful information—it has to be life,” Joe continued. The apostles were in the best seminary in the world for three years, but that teaching was for a purpose; Jesus is the baptizer, He is the one who gives us the Holy Spirit. “We don’t come to Jesus with a plan of being welcomed into this larger body, being part of this mystical plan. But that is an essential nature of salvation, we realize as we are taught.
Luke talks about a constant renewal of the Holy Spirit within us. Joe again drove this point home by exhorting listeners to remember their purpose. “The Church doesn’t need to be ‘woke’; the Church needs to be awakened. … If we stop every abortion, what does it matter if those women still go to hell? If we get every person within the next two generations to not be racist, but they still go to hell, that’s not our mission. We’re seeing people come into churches because they’re tired of the division, they want to see Jesus.
Joe finished by sharing a testimony of how Billy Graham changed completely after being touched by a true over-washing of the Holy Spirit. He emphasized that the core of the message for pastors is the Gospel message; he then closed by praying for an overwhelming spiritual renewal.
Photo Gallery: Day One
Enjoy photos from Day One of the Pastor’s & Leaders” Conference.
Pastor Bob Grenier and his wife Gayle pray for Pastor Bobby Hargraves (kneeling). The congregation was given time to pray for others on the first night of the conference.
In the front row (left to right): Pastor Tony Clark of Calvary Chapel Newport News, VA; his wife Jenice; Peggy Brown, and her husband Pastor Gerry Brown.
The congregation is invited forward to be filled with the Holy Spirit Monday night following the teaching of Joe Foche in the first session.
Pastor Johnny Zacchio (right) of Calvary Chapel of Grace and Truth in Yonkers, NY, welcomes Alex Guttierez to the conference.
Old friends, pastors Bill Stonebraker (left) and Gerry Brown enjoy a reunion. Gerry founded and runs the U-Turn for Christ ministry, an addiction recovery program based on God’s Word. Bill is speaking Tuesday at the conference.
Many pastors came forward with their wives for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit.
A small group prays over Bill Goodrich (center) of Horizon Christian Fellowship in Indianapolis, IN.
People are excited to see each other as the conference is a time of reunion for many.
Prayer is central—and essential–at the conference.
Bobby Hargraves of Calvary Chapel Hudson Valley, NY, worships the Lord.
The worship team leads praise to God before a full house of Calvary Chapel pastors, leaders, and their wives
Raul Ries (center) of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, CA, does a live interview with two of his assistant pastors. CC Golden Springs is hosting the conference.
Jerel Hagerman (center, in black), senior pastor of Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, CA, greets attendees.
Pastor Tony Clark (left) talks with Pastor David Trujillo of CC South Los Angeles (SOLA), CA.
Attendees worship Monday night.
Joe Focht, senior pastor of CC Philadelphia, teaches Monday night.
A couple prays together as the entire room prays for more of the Holy Spirit.
A large group gathers to pray for more of the Holy Spirit.
People pray after the Monday night service.
Jerel Hagerman (center) joyfully embraces two attendees at the conference.
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.