CCA Leadership Conference—Part 3

CCA Leadership Conference—Part 3
CCA Leadership Conference—Part 3

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Foundations: CCA Regional Leadership Conference—Part 3
Pastors & Leaders Gather for Spiritual Encouragement

Story by Jonathan Erdman
Photos by Christian Rodriguez and courtesy of CC Golden Springs, CA

This is Part 3 of a three-part series about the Calvary Chapel Association Regional Leadership Conference held May 21-22 at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, CA. The conference, themed Foundations, encouraged nearly 1,000 participants in the calling of God in their lives. In this installment, we feature the teachings of pastors Garid Beeler and Wade O’Neill. To read Parts 1 and 2, click here. All of the teachings are available on the Somebody Loves You Worldwide playlist on YouTube.

(This article sponsored by Pritchard Websites and Calvary Web. Click here to read more.)

Man at podium

Garid Beeler, associate pastor of CC Golden Springs, prays as he addresses pastors, church leaders, and their wives at the CCA Regional Leadership Conference in May.

Garid Beeler: Participating in the Body & Enduring Suffering

Garid Beeler, senior pastor of VISION City Church in Irvine, CA, discussed the importance of being part of the body of Christ and enduring through suffering, focusing on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5. He acknowledged that the previous year had been very challenging for churches in the Calvary Chapel network. The season of isolation was especially difficult for the pastors, including himself. But from 2 Thessalonians 1:1, he affirmed, we learn that “the foxholes of life bring such a tremendous bond between warriors that are fighting in the spiritual realm side-by-side.”

The apostle Paul included in his salutation the names of two brothers in Christ who served by his side faithfully during his ministry. Garid pointed out that Paul struggled, too—but he never struggled alone.

Man praising God

Garid Beeler prays and worships after he soaks in the teachings of the other pastors at the conference.

Pastor Garid challenged the leaders to remember that it can be easy to fall for the lie that what they do may seem insignificant. “What you are doing in your community, in your church, in your ministry is important,” he exhorted. “If you’re doing the work of the Lord, it’s not about who may know you out there, or who recognizes your ministry, or who says you’re doing a good job.” He reminded everyone, “There is no such thing as an insignificant work for the Lord.” When Peter replied to Jesus that he loved Him in John 21:17b, Jesus said, “Feed My sheep.” Feeding sheep may seem like a small task, Garid related, but every act of ministry is an act of love for the Lord.

Man praising God

A key element of the conference was worshipping the Lord.

Spiritual growth is a painful process, which often includes suffering; pastors are never immune. Pastor Garid shared from his own testimony, referring to 2 Corinthians 12:10, ESV, where Paul resolved, For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Garid had recently walked through a time of deep spiritual hardship and came to this conclusion: “As you are suffering, your spiritual life [can thrive].” He explained how the suffering we face is often difficult because “our flesh does not like it.”

If we are faced with hardship or difficulties, we ought to take heart, as it [can be] evidence of God working in our lives, Pastor Garid affirmed. Suffering may seem like a horribly painful thing in the moment, but it is a beautiful work of God to strengthen our faith. “As you walk through the fiery trials,” he concluded with resolve, “Jesus is with you.”

Man at podium

Wade O'Neill, associate pastor of CC Golden Springs, teaches about the reality of spiritual battles and how to fight them.

Pastor Wade O’Neill: Foundations of [Spiritual] Warfare

Expounding on 1 Samuel 17, Wade O’Neill, an associate pastor at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, CA, emphasized the reality of spiritual battles and how we are to fight them. He used the story of how David, the lowly yet faithful shepherd boy, defeated Goliath to encourage all of us to persevere in our own spiritual battles.

Church leaders have been called to the “front lines of spiritual warfare,” Pastor Wade declared. Rather than entering the struggle with discouragement, we can be confident when we battle because we already know how it’s going to end. According to 2 Corinthians 10:4, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. David was perplexed by the weak faith of his fellow Israelites. Wade shared that David had seen first-hand how God can deliver His people when earlier in his life he had defeated a bear and a lion. The young shepherd learned in the lonely fields how Satan uses fear as a tactic, but David also learned who God was in those lonely times. We can learn the same when we feel isolated or alone. In Psalm 27:1, David wrote, The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?

Man with guitar singing

A guitarist leads the conference attendees in worship.

Pastor Wade concluded his message with an exhortation to face battles rather than run from them. “We will never be sufficient,” he stated, “but our sufficiency is in Christ, … and we are more than conquerors through Him.” David finished the battle well, and we must also be committed to finishing our battles. While there will be many battles, it’s important to remember that even if we are beaten or crushed, we will not be defeated (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Pastor Wade challenged everyone to remember, “When you’re in the midst of a trial … it’s good to say, ‘Lord, You’ve gotten me this far.’”

Men praying

Two men join together in a sweet moment of prayer at the conference.


People praising God

A man praises the Lord during one of the worship sessions.


People praising God

The conference was open to men and women, pastors and leaders, serving in Calvary Chapels. Attendees came from California, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas.


People praising God

Men worship together at the 2021 CCA Regional Leadership Conference at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in May.


All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. 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.