Church Planting Conference in Panama

What is the purpose of the church? Pastor Bruce Zachary, from Calvary Nexus in Camarillo CA, and the director of CCPN, began his teaching session with that question to an audience of pastors and leaders in Margaritas de Chepo, Province of Panamá. The question caught them by surprise, because although its one of the most important things we as Christians need to know, not all believers out there have a clear understanding of what is Gods plan for His church. At the conference we considered the need to reach the lost, make disciples, and develop leaders to fulfill the purpose of the church. What a joy it was to see pastors enjoying the teaching of the Word of God, because many of them came from different denominations and never had a chance to be trained for the work of the ministry.

We at Calvary Chapel Panamá prayed for this opportunity, so to actually see this taking place was such a blessing. God used Pastor Bruce to encourage the pastors to teach the Word of God and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The conference ended with a time for questions and testimonies and we were left with the impression that the teaching was greatly welcomed. A Calvary Church Planting Network Manual was given to all pastors in attendance and what a joy it was to see them blessed to have such a great material in their hands. We pray that pastors and leaders who attended the conference will continue to reach out to the lost, to make disciples and to train leaders; teaching the Word of God and being guided by the Holy Spirit. The final outcome exceedingly surpassed what we anticipated, truly our God is faithful and His ways are past finding out.
We thank God for Pastor Bruce and for the CCPN. We can see how these materials are making an impact in Latin America. We hope to see healthy churches, especially Calvary Chapels, planted and established in each province in Panama, and throughout Central America. Well continue to pray for future opportunities to serve the Lord together and for the possibilities to do the same in other countries in Central America as well.
Pastor Bert Almazan and his wife Veronica went as missionaries to Panama in 2008 and have been used to establish Calvary Chapel Panamá, in Port Of La Chorrera, as well as other churches. Pastor Bert can be followed on Twitter, @panamabert.

CCPN Regional Gatherings

As part of our commitment to relational support, mentoring, and church planting, CCPN is offering an opportunity for face-to-face informal gatherings in various regions for mentors, planters, and spouses. These gatherings will offer training on various topics, opportunities for Q&A, sharing ideas, triumphs, challenges, and to dialogue on enhancing church planting in the CC movement.

These gatherings provide opportunities to be encouraged, equipped, and develop relationships. The gatherings will include a meal, meaningful prayer time, and assessment guidance. Please find the nearest gathering and register today.

Join us if you can…

  1. SoCal — 3.12.14 @ Calvary Nexus, Camarillo, CA – hosted by Pastor’s Bruce Zachary & Miles DeBenedictis
  2. Philippines — 4.10-12.14 @ CC Dumaguete City – hosted by Joseph Jo and Bruce Zachary
  3. Northern California — 4.22.14 @ CC Fremont – hosted by Tim Brown and Bruce Zachary, RSVP Here
  4. Baja California, Mexico — 5.3.14 @ CC Rosarito – hosted by: Mike Vincent, Jonathan Domingo and Bruce Zachary, RSVP Here
  5. Pacific Northwest — 5.6.14 @ CC Portland – hosted by Terry McNabb and Bruce Zachary, RSVP Here
  6. Central Florida — 5.8.14 @ CC Melbourne – Hosted by Dave Folkerts, RSVP Here
  7. Northeast— 5.10.14 CC Old Bridge, NJ: Lloyd Pulley, Shawn Frasher, RSVP Here
  8. Southwest — 5.22.14 Calvary Community Church, Phoenix, AZ: Mark Martin, RSVP Here
  9. Midwest — 6.5.14 @ Crossroads Church of Denver – hosted by Tom Stipe and Ed Taylor, RSVP Here
  10. Mexico City — 7.17-19.14 – hosted by Bruce Zachary, Mike Vincent and Jonathan Domingo, RSVP Here
  11. East Africa — 8.22.14 @ CC Githurai, Nairobi, Kenya – hosted by: Ed Compean, and Murigi Kariuki, RSVP Here 
  12. Northwest Florida — 8.22.14 @ Coastline Gulf Breeze – hosted by: John & Neil Spencer, RSVP Here 
Some of the topics we’ll be discussing:
  1. Assessment – who should plant
  2. Teacher training
  3. CCPN vision
  4. How to know where you are called to plant
  5. First year planters triumphs & tragedies
  6. Creating a core team
  7. Scouting an area for a new church
  8. Transitional leadership
  9. Creating an effective prayer strategy for planters
  10. Evangelism/outreach
  11. Leader development
  12. Help for church-planting wives
  13. Business matters

ReEngage Nairobi 2013 Pt. 2

a vision to reach Africa for Christ through the expansion of the Calvary Chapel movement by bruce zachary

During the recent Re:Engage intensive in Nairobi, Kenya I had the opportunity to meet with several leaders in the CC movement in Africa to discuss a vision for reaching the continent of Africa for Christ through the expansion of the CC movement. There is a great need to establish more healthy Bible teaching, Spirit-filled churches throughout Africa.

Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries. Some countries are friendly to the gospel (essentially Christian), some are essentially neutral to the gospel, and unfortunately some are clearly hostile to the gospel (fundamental Islamic states). Another relevant dynamic on the continent is the displaced resident aliens. Essentially, people are displaced from their ancestral homeland as a result of famine, economic hardship, military turmoil, political tension, and religious persecution. The situation is reminiscent of the persecution of the church and the edict expelling Christians from Rome. God used the circumstances to draw people to Ephesus as a hub in Asia Minor where Paul could mentor them at the School of Tyrannus [Ac.19:9], and then send them out to support the churches of Asia Minor and ultimately return many to Rome once circumstances allowed [Rom.16].

Presently, there are about fifty-five (55) countries in Africa, and there are Calvary Chapels in ten to fifteen (10-15) of the countries.

In light of the present circumstances, how can we effectively expand the gospel and CC presence on the continent? Here is one proposed part of the solution:

1) Utilize the several existing healthy “larger” CC churches in Africa as training centers. These churches provide a model for “catching” the core values (philosophy of ministry and theology) of CC plus provide a location where prospective church planters can serve in internship program.

2) Establish intentional training through Schools of Ministry [SoM] and Church Planter Training classes, as well as Bible Colleges where feasible.

3) Share the vision to reach the nations of Africa [nation states, and people groups] through the African CC churches, the CCPN site, and

4) Send called men: those with a burden for areas without a CC presence including, but not limited to, men seeking to return to their ancestral homeland to plant. Encourage planting in cities of influence [e.g. Ephesus] while not limiting or discouraging those called to rural or remote areas.

5) Establish church plants with the DNA to establish their own SoM and church planting training classes as they mature. In essence, the church plants have the core value [DNA] to replicate. It would be most be beneficial to encourage missionaries who are mature in their faith, and very familiar with Calvary Chapel core values to support the church plants. Missionaries with these skills would be a great benefit to the core team and would likely be capable of assisting in leadership development including teaching curriculum such as SoM or church planting classes.

6) The new healthy church plants will thus become hubs in previously unreached countries and areas to expand the gospel and the influence of the CC movement throughout the continent of Africa. Keep the training biblical, relational, and Calvary-centric.

7) Therefore, leverage healthy CC churches in Africa as training and sending churches to expand the CC influence in Africa and help reach the continent for Christ.

ReEngage Nairobi 2013 Pt. 1

Re:Engage church planting conference Nairobi, Kenya October 18, 2013 by bruce zachary 

I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the the intensive in Nairobi, Kenya along with our host and East Africa core leader Ed Compean pastor of CC Githurai in Nairobi, and Demitri Nkiforos pastor of CC Cape Town and core leader for South Africa.

It was exactly one year since our first conference at Twin Peaks, California [Re:Engage 2012] when CCPN was birthed in earnest. In the last year, God has generated significant interest in church planting in the CC movement in the Untied States and globally. In the last year, over 450 CC Pastors and potential planters have registered with the CCPN, and many are presently being mentored as planters, and some have already have gone out to plant.

Pastors and prospective planters gathered from various areas in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Barundi, and some nomadic Masai people. The sessions focused on: who should plant a Calvary Chapel, what Calvary is (our unique philosophy of ministry and core values), and how to: mentoring – Jesus’ method of preparing church planters.

One of the pastors in attendance was Matt Pottenger. Matt, his wife Peggy and their two young daughters, came to Kenya as missionaries more than five-years ago. They are presently supporting pastor Stephen Otieno of CC Lakeside, a church at Lake Victoria in Kenya that was planted out of CC Githurai in Nairobi. Pastor Stephen read the Calvary Church Planting Manual [CP manual] as part of his post launch preparation and caught the vision for replicating CC churches on the continent of Africa. Matt is now training a group of 10 men at CC Lakeside using the CP manual.

Dave Zavala, the pastor of CC Nairobi, the director of the CC Bible college in Nairobi, and a CCA leader in East Africa, was also in attendance at the conference. Dave shared how he caught the vision to utilize the CP manual to implement a church planting component at the Bible college.

I was so blessed to meet pastors and prospective planters at the conference. There were so many that were excited, encouraged, and empowered to reach their continent for Christ and His gospel through the expansion of healthy Calvary Chapel church plants. So many of them expressed the great need for healthy Bible teaching churches in a land where “hyper-Pentecostalism,” prosperity preaching, legalism, and the cults are so entrenched. Nevertheless, what so many men expressed to me was their great joy regarding the relational aspect of the Calvary movement.

So many of them expressed the great need for healthy Bible teaching churches in a land where “hyper-Pentecostalism,” prosperity preaching, legalism, and the cults are so entrenched.

Africans in general are far more relational than their counterparts in the west. Time is often perceived as a river that seems to flow forever – a never ceasing supply. So, time is invested into relationships more than task per se. The Calvary movement has emphasized the relational aspect of our network – it is a distinctive. The men at the conference were encouraged on so many levels, but especially by the enhanced relational nature of the mentoring process that CCPN seeks to develop during training as well as post-launch coaching.

The men at the conference were encouraged on so many levels, but especially by the enhanced relational nature of the mentoring process that CCPN seeks to develop during training as well as post-launch coaching.

So, we praise God for the work that He is doing in our movement, and through CCPN, and look forward to expanding His kingdom together.

ReEngage 2013: Nairobi recap

We’ve had a very successful run of ReEngage intensives so far (and still have 1 left) in 2013! So far, ReEngage intensives have happened in 5 U.S. states, 4 countries, on 4 continents! The whole world needs to see and hear what God is doing through the faithful teaching of God’s Word! Here’s a recap of ReEngage Nairobi from Pastor Ed Compean…


In God’s sovereignty Calvary Chapel was birthed in one of the most privileged American suburban settings in a time of great cultural change. By the power of God’s Spirit that privilege was leveraged to spread God’s word through the planting of Calvary Chapel churches that then planted healthy Calvary Chapel churches far from those origins. While having the honor to host the Calvary Church Planting Network ReEngage 13 Conference in Nairobi, I considered how God is continuing to spread that influence in diverse places. At this conference I could see great honor and reverence for the early work of the Spirit in the movement, but I could also see the future of Calvary Chapel is beginning to look much different.

At ReEngage Nairobi we were asked questions that were likely never considered in the Southern California settings of our founders. A young Masai church planter working among a group of pastoralists began the question and answer session by asking, “If we follow the shepherds with their cows and only meet under a tree, is that still a Calvary Chapel?” It was not long ago that meeting in school cafeterias, the use of electric guitars in worship, and pastors wearing jeans raised legitimate questions for churches in the suburbs of our origins. The questions being raised for the next generation of churches are just as legitimate and is evidence of God spreading the influence of Jesus through the Calvary Chapel Movement for another generation.

“If we follow the shepherds with their cows and only meet under a tree, is that still a Calvary Chapel?”

As God continues to use our movement among some of the least reached and hardest to reach peoples, these and others will be real questions for church planters and mentors to work through. Some of the questions will be challenging our methodologies like working through our idea of verse by verse Bible teaching among peoples that do not have a Bible translated into their mother tongue. Other situations reveal the depth of sin like when one pastor asked, “What can we do when someone comes into the church with multiple wives?” He continued to ask if baptizing a polygamist is permissible.

A few generations ago God used the Calvary Chapel Movement, and others, to draw drugged and burned out hippies to Himself in what some have called a beautiful and unique work of the Spirit. There is still much work to be done, but it is my belief that God is again doing a grand supernatural move of His Spirit in reaching the final peoples very far from that original work. As I consider the churches and, Lord willing, future churches of our movement here in Africa, I praise Him that He is again using our movement in a mighty way. There was a day when barefooted hippies and surfers forced people back to the Book of Acts to define church. It is exciting to again go to the Bible to consider what the next generation of Calvary Chapel churches will look like among tribal peoples, urban slum dwellers, pastoralists and in dense African cities.


We wanted to give you a visual of our latest ReEngage intensive that happened in Nairobi, Kenya on October 18. Pastors Ed Compean (Calvary Chapel Githurai) and Bruze Zachary (Calvary Nexus) led the intensive. The turn out was great and God moved in a powerful way as they sought to train up more church planters and equip mentors. Here’s a look at our Kenya intensive…

ReEngage Aurora Recap

In case you’re not aware, we have 10 1-day church planting intensives happening on 4 different continents this year (click HERE for a map and more info)! We’re so excited about the potential behind these, and so far, we’ve seen great turnouts for each one. Since I was at last weekend’s ReEngage in Aurora, CO, I thought I would give a quick recap…

In Aurora, ReEngage was held at and hosted by Calvary Chapel Aurora. Pastor Ed Taylor and his team were very gracious in setting up and providing breakfast, snacks, and lunch for the day. We kicked off at 9am with some worship, then I taught the first session.

SESSION 1: Kevin Miller – WHO Should Plant and WHY…

I spent the first half of my session discussion WHO should plant a church. Someone who is 1) called by God, 2) qualified for ministry, 3) supported by a network, and 4) not afraid to work. Each of those are key components to the call and work of a church planter, and those supporting a church plant.

The second half of my session was spent discussing WHY we should focus so much on church planting. Of course there are many reasons, but one of the main is that church planting is one of the most effective ways to preach the Gospel and impact a city.

SESSION 2: Ed Taylor – Calvary Chapel’s Philosophy of Ministry

Pastor Ed began by telling everyone there to “Open your Bibles to…anywhere. Anywhere you flip you will find Calvary’s philosophy of ministry.” His point was simple: we believe in the authority and value of Scripture, so Calvary Chapels, although they are distinct and personal, they are based on the principles found throughout Scripture. He covered 14 Calvary Chapel “distinctives” including having an emphasis on grace, verse-by-verse expositional teaching, the priority of prayer, the importance of unity, and much more. With 14 years of church planting experience, Ed spoke from personal experience as well as Biblical principle.

SESSION 3: Bruce Zachary – Mentoring Jesus’ Way

Pastor Bruce led the 3rd session by discussing a very practical way to train up and teach prospective church planters. Using the Church Planters Manual (download it for free HERE), he walked us through Jesus’ method of training men for ministry and how that works today. He even shared that after he spent 2 hours per week for a year with 9 guys, 6 of them went on to plant churches and the other 3 are now on staff with him at his church! That’s great statistics!

The intensive wrapped up with lunch and some Q&A with all three speakers.

Over all, the day was very successful, insightful, and encouraging to all who attended. We hope you’re able to attend one of our intensives this year, but even if you aren’t able, we would love to get in touch with you and know how we can support you! The best way to do that is to register HERE.

Calvary Church Planting in Mexico

I just returned from a well-attended 1-day conference for pastors and potential church planters hosted by Horizonte, a Calvary Chapel in Ensenada. Pastor Juan Domingo, a church planter, founded the church. I believe that Juan was the first Calvary pastor to plant internationally. Juan has planted several churches in Mexico that continue to thrive.

Jonathan Domingo, Juan’s son, is now the lead pastor, and is continuing to advance the good work. Jonathan has a heart for Mexico and church planting, as his father before him. With 75+ Calvary Chapels in Mexico, it has the highest number of CC churches outside of the U.S.A. That number is likely to expand exponentially soon! Here are some reasons why:

1. An earnest desire to advance the Kingdom through establishing more healthy Calvary Chapel churches. I’ve been blessed to meet several Calvary pastors in Mexico and the sense that I have is that they are far more interested in building the Kingdom than their own local church. This liberates people, resources, and opens doors. These pastors can clearly see that there are countless communities, small and large that need a healthy Calvary Chapel, and they are willing to help alleviate the need.

2. Influential leaders with a heart for church planting.  I was privileged to share the teaching sessions with Jonathan Domingo and Mike Vincent from CC Rosarito. They gave inspiring and encouraging messages focused on, “Who should plant” and, “What Calvary Chapel is and why we should plant.” Like Juan Domingo and Fermin Caballero, these men have great influence in the CC movement in Mexico. These men understand the importance of church planting and the need to be intentional to equip, encourage and celebrate church planting, and the establishing of more healthy CC churches in Mexico. When leaders with great influence catch a vision for church planting it creates great leverage in an area and a movement.

3. Effective resources to equip. The Calvary Church Planting Training Manual has recently been translated into the Spanish language. This provides a comprehensive resource that can be used as a tool to train planters and team members in their native tongue. Similarly, an assessment survey is also available in Spanish to assist existing pastors to determine if potential planters are ready to participate in a training program. These resources, and others, are presently available on the CCPN site for free []. [Btw – the manual is being translated into Portuguese and should be available in April 2013].

Church planting intensive in Mexico

Most people don’t realize the God is doing an amazing work of church planting in Mexico there are now over 70 Calvary Chapel churches in Mexico (The most of any country outside the us) and many of those churches also have a vision to plant more churches. Our church is in the process of planting a church in Acapulco and beginning to look to other large urban centers to plant some Jesus-loving Bible-teaching Spirit-Filled Gospel-centered churches. The cool thing is that God is sending faithful church-planters, put also fruitful church planters. One of my best friends planted Raul Garduño a church 3 years ago in Mexico city, and in the first two years grew to about 200 people. In the last year it has grown to about 600 people! Raul is 26 years old; he is one example of the great and glorious things Jesus is doing in Mexico.

This March 16 we are going to have a one day intensive church planting conference in Ensenada Mexico.

How can you be involved?

  1. Pray: We are hoping to ignite passion for discipleship and church plant in each of the attendees, pray that God would instruct those who have a desire to go out but lack some direction or focus.
  2. Invite: The conference is located about an hour a half from San Diego, so if you know Spanish speakers that would be interested in church planting or pastors wanting to network with church planters, invite them.
  3. Download: All the teaching will be recorded and uploaded to you can download these, send links to Spanish speaking church planters you know or share on your social media account.