Your Labor is Not in Vain

Pastor Garid Beeler encourages believers to resist Satan’s attempts to distract and disqualify them from their ministries and to hold fast through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In mid-September, 1,100+ pastors, leaders and their wives gathered at the 2022 Calvary Chapel Association (CCA) West Coast Pastor & Leaders Conference at CC Golden Springs, CA, for refreshing in the face of increasing ministry challenges.

Over the coming months,
Calvary Chapel Magazine will present summaries of the conference teachings by presenting pastors. Our desire is that these inspiring messages will encourage and bless all believers.


Story by Jim Culhane
Photos by Josh Larson & Tom Price

Pastor Garid Beeler Teaches—Your Labor is Not in Vain

Garid Beeler, senior pastor of VISION City Church in Irvine, CA, opened the conference with a teaching that reminded the leaders that their work—regardless of the ministry’s size or location—was not in vain, offering words of encouragement and warning.

Garid Beeler, senior pastor of VISION City Church in Irvine, CA, encouraged pastors and leaders at the CCA West Coast Pastors & Leaders Conference in September. He taught from Nehemiah 6:1-3, sharing, “The enemy went after Nehemiah because if he can get the leader, he can get the leaders’ followers; so the enemy continued to harass Nehemiah, seeking to instill fear in him and to ultimately get him to quit the work of the Lord.”

Pastor Garid taught from Nehemiah 6:1-3: Now it happened when Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies heard that I had rebuilt the wall, … that Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together ….” But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you?”

Garid explained, “The enemy went after Nehemiah because if he can get the leader, he can get the leaders’ followers; so the enemy continued to harass Nehemiah, seeking to instill fear in him and to ultimately get him to quit the work of the Lord.”

Men and women come forward to dedicate or rededicate themselves to the Lord and His work as speaker Ryan Ries concludes his teaching later in the conference. Ryan’s ministry, The Whosoevers, reaches youth with the Gospel.

Nehemiah’s response to his enemies was that he was doing “a great work.” Maybe this is a specific word for you today, that the Lord’s work is great regardless of the size of the ministry or its location. Your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58b).

Satan will attack you before you start ministry, when you’re beginning, you’re halfway through, at the end, and when you’re finished. He will never, ever rest.

If you’re looking at pornography or are into [things] that you shouldn’t be, you’re being deceived. If you’re being tempted in areas of sin, it means that something in your flesh or thought life is being enticed. The enemy would seek to exploit it, but your Savior would have you strengthened as you conquer it. Each time you say No to the lusts of the flesh, each time you resist the devil, you become stronger because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4b). Never forget that.

The conference was held at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, CA. Here, the church’s worship leads participants to passionately praise God.

Pastor Chuck Smith had written how for over 17 years he was in a ministry where he felt extremely discouraged. Garid said that when he read this, his eyes popped out of his head. Chuck wrote, “It was an ineffective ministry.” A group of Christian friends were praying for one another; they prayed for Chuck. God gave them a prophetic word. The ministry that God was going to give Chuck and how the church would be blessed and grow seemed at the time so totally unlikely. Yet God would make him the shepherd of many flocks.

Before Chuck came to Costa Mesa, people were in prayer about him coming. They asked him to come take over Calvary Chapel. They felt the Lord speak to them that Chuck would come—the Lord would bless the church abundantly; they would outgrow that facility; God would bless the worldwide church; and there would be a national radio ministry.

Pastors and leaders come to the conference for encouragement from teaching and worship as well as for renewed fellowship opportunities.

But what if you’re saying, “Well, that was great for Pastor Chuck that somebody prophesied those great things over him, but I haven’t had any such things. I haven’t had anybody encourage me in my ministry or in my calling.” You have the Word of God to guide you and encourage you. If you’re under spiritual attack, it means you’re doing what God has called you to do.

There are some of you leaders just starting out in ministry and you’re charging ahead. Might I just say as a big brother in the Lord: Beware of comparison. Beware, it is so easy, especially because you’ve grown up in the Instagram and Facebook age where everybody is showing everything that’s going on.

A conference attendee worships the Lord. During Garid’s teaching, they were reminded that the power of the Holy Spirit would enable them each day to be holy, not overcome by temptations.

There will always be someone doing something better or newer or more exciting or different—and it’s great to learn from others. You can draw inspiration, improve, and learn from other people’s mistakes and from things that they do well. But when you become discouraged because your ministry doesn’t look like somebody else’s, watch out. Young men, you do what God has called you to do and let them over there do what God’s called them to do.

All of you big brothers in the Lord: For the sake of all the young pastors and leaders that you don’t even realize look up to you, please continue to do what is right in the sight of the Lord. Don’t cut corners. Don’t forsake the truths of Scripture, even in practical things, because we need you to keep going strong, to keep blazing the trail so we can follow in your footsteps. Beware of exhaustion.

Two attendees from Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, CA, relax during a quiet moment at the conference. Fem Ontiveros (left) is the fellowship’s administrative pastor, and Riley White (right) serves as the high school pastor.

Some leaders are at the end of their ministry and you’re passing the baton. You have a legacy far and wide. Please beware of letting your guard down. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, Paul says, But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

There’s a lot of disqualification taking place right now. It’s heartbreaking because the enemy doesn’t care where you are in your ministry. He will look for any opportunity he can to destroy it. The rule for pastors is to be holy as God is Holy, says the Lord. Because we’re seeing how in an instant an entire reputation of ministry can vanish. Don’t allow that to happen—you are the pillars that future generations stand upon.

Ray Jaramillo, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Rio Grande Valley in Belen, NM, is among many who took time away from ministry to be encouraged in the Lord.

In the long run, it goes well for the righteous and very poorly for the wicked, so hold fast to your faith and your good conscience. That’s a powerful thing to have, a good conscience. Don’t allow anything that the wicked one may throw at you to cause you to sink down. It may hurt or be discouraging, but you have the power of the Holy Spirit enabling you each day to not be overcome by those things.

Pastor Garid’s message to the leaders, ranging widely in age, included advice and warnings for both young and older participants. Garid urged the younger pastors to continue in what God has called them to and challenged their older “brothers” to continue strong in their Christian walks as examples.

Garid encouraged, “And guess what? If you don’t sink down, don’t disobey, and don’t get distracted, then that great work that the Lord is doing—in you, in your marriage, in your family, and in your ministry—will not cease.”


Visit the website of Pastor Garid Beeler’s church: VISION City Church, Irvine, CA
Watch Pastor Garid’s teaching in its entirety at: Garid Beeler, CCA West Coast Pastor & Leaders Conference


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