For the last 6 years I lived in London, which initially was exciting, but is an often frustrating place to be. For numerous reasons I will explain in another post, I’ve moved back to Portsmouth 100 miles south, close to family and the sea where I am originally from.
The last 2 1/2 years of my time in London, I went to a Calvary Chapel church.
Here’s why I love the Calvary Chapel movement, which is a US flavour of church which has been spread all over the world.
- There are lot of Calvary churches world wide, this is not because numbers are important, but successful plants of churches in different places which has shown good fruit of the gospel being spread and people being discipled.
- Great biblical teaching. Always in kind way, but doesn’t avoid the tricky and challenging bits.
- Humble and approachable leaders
- Evidence of good fruit. Some countries in recent times like Hungary (My visit in 2018) has had a big spread of the gospel. Interesting as the Hungarian language is meant to be really difficult. From what I learned, Hungary has 13 churches from Calvary Chapel and the main one in Budapest has 3,000 people.
- They use both rented plain buildings or dedicated church buildings. My church rented a church building from another congregation, therefore having two different church congregations with distinct leadership who just share the same physical bricks and mortar. After all, we know that ‘church’ is the collective group of people rather than the stone fabric that sits around it. Having said that, the building we use has amazing stain glass windows, original teak pews and two organs which entices people just for the history.
- Actual church family. My congregation was small but had folks from Jamaica, Portugal, Poland, Ireland, Australia, Nigeria and more. Smaller churches like this, do have a special more intimate feel to them, and I think one people are settled, no one has to feel hard done by because of their background or look to some latest wokeness cause, with a good church with a great mix of different backgrounds.
- They support Israel. Often, in other churches in London, I would hear messages like “God is done with Israel and the Jewish people.” Seeing as I have worked with Jewish people for 14 years, and I’m often reminded by passages in the NT like Romans 11 “I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means…..” I know that pastors I respect the most (including all the leaders I know in Calvary Chapel) know the importance of Israel in the bible is still relevant today.
I’ve been part of Assemblies of God church, the Anglican Church and Messianic Judaism (from when I lived in Jerusalem, Israel) there’s been parts of all of those I’ve liked, and there are many splinters of different styles of each of them.
Whilst living in London, this is been one of the place I’ve been most proud to want to bring my Christian and secular friends along alike.