The Calvary Chapel Distinctives

"What makes Calvary Chapel Distinctive? It's always good to have a grasp of the distinctive work that God has done in our fellowship. If Calvary Chapel is exactly like the church across the street it would be better to simply merge the two. But, if there are qualities that make us different, then we have a unique and special place in the plan of God. Certainly there are churches that share many of our beliefs and practices. But God has done a wonderful work of balance in the Calvary Chapel movement that does make us different."
- Pastor Chuck Smith (Founder of Calvary Chapel)

1. The Church

At Calvary Chapel Crossroads, we look to the book of Acts as the model for the church. It is a church filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. The four basic functions of the early church are found in Acts 2:42.

• Acts 2:42 – “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (NKJV)

• Matthew 16:18 – “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (NKJV)

2. Church Government

At Calvary Chapel Crossroads, we believe that the lead pastor is ruled by the Lord and aided by a Board of Elders to discover the mind and will of Jesus Christ for His church. Complementing the lead pastor are the assisting pastors, who minister to the spiritual needs of the congregation on a daily basis.

• Ephesians 1:22 - “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church,” (NKJV)

3. Empowered by the Holy Spirit

We believe that there is an experience of the empowering of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer that is distinct and separate from the indwelling of the Spirit that takes place at conversion.
We acknowledge the three positions of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer:
”Para” – come alongside
“En” – in you
“Epi” – upon (overflow)

• Acts 1:8– “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (NKJV)

4. Building the Church God's Way

At Calvary Chapel Crossroads, we have a relaxed, casual style (we don’t strive for the professionalism of the church). We don’t get involved in a lot of spiritual hype. We don’t try to motivate people carnally, and we are not apt to shout at the congregation. We make our aim to trust in the work of the Holy Spirit, and of Jesus Christ who is building His church as He said He would.

• Zechariah 4:6 – “Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” (NKJV)

5. Grace Upon Grace

We realize that without the grace of God, none of us would have a chance. We need the grace of God in our lives daily (moment by moment). We believe in love and grace that seeks to restore the fallen.

•Hebrews 13:9 – “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.” (NKJV)

• John 1:16– “From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.” (NKJV)

6. The Priority of the Word

We endeavor to declare to the people the whole counsel of God. The teaching ministry of Calvary Chapel Crossroads is expositional (book by book, chapter by chapter, verse by verse) in nature. We read the word, give sense of the word, and cause people to understand the meaning of the word.

• 1 Timothy 4:13 – “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.” (NKJV)

7. The Centrality of Jesus Christ

Another characteristic of Calvary Chapel Crossroads is the centrality of Jesus in our worship. We don’t allow any practice or behavior during our service that would distract people from focusing on Him.

• 2 Corinthians 4:5 – “For we preached not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord.” (NKJV)

8. The Rapture of the Church

We believe that Jesus Christ will come for His church (a biblical event known as the “Rapture”). Then a seven-year period which the Bible calls, “The Great Tribulation” will begin, followed by the Millennial (1,000 year) reign of Christ upon the earth.

• Titus 2:13 – “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (NKJV)

9. Having Begun in the Spirit

Calvary Chapel Crossroads is a work that was begun in the Spirit. Every new and great movement of God is born in the Spirit. Movements can go into a rut…

• 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 – “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (NKJV)

10. The Supremacy of Love

Without love, all the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit are meaningless and worthless.

• John 13:35 – “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (NKJV)

11. Striking a Balance

While we have strong Biblical convictions, it is our desire not to divide God’s people over non-essential issues. When the Bible speaks clearly, we must as well. But on other issues, we try to recognize the spiritual validity of both sides of the debate and avoid excluding or favoring those on one side or the other.

• 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (NKJV)

12. Ventures of Faith

It is always exciting to give God a chance to work. God wants us to be a part of what He is doing. God doesn’t want to stop working, so it is important for us to discover what He wants us to do.

• Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NKJV)