I was in the third grade. I was standing backstage at the Knott's Berry Farm Good Time Theater. I was just a little kid in a children's play called, "Psalty the Singing Song Book". I only had two lines to memorize in the whole production, but I definitely liked to move my feet to the choreography. I have been told I "used" to be pretty animated. We were so excited to be up on stage, but even more excited that we could go and ride the roller coasters after the shows were over.
When the show had ended, the principal of my school, which was Maranatha Christian Academy came back stage. I was so surprised that standing alongside of him was my Pastor, Chuck Smith. There he stood as large as life, with a smile that was beaming from ear to ear. Although I had been going to Calvary Costa Mesa since I was two years old, this was the first formal introduction I can remember. I remember getting a big hand shake and a hug. I was so excited that he came back to talk to a little wired third grader.
Little did I know how much of an impression my Pastor had made upon me. Oh there have been times since third grade that I have spoken with him. I find the longer I walk this path of a Shepherd of a flock I am increasingly thankful for his example. I learned to teach the Bible by listening to his Bible studies. There are many church planting models surfacing that are great and have things to offer. But for me, I am thankful for my heritage. My Pastor has modeled and continues to model what it is to be a servant leader. He walks in humility and takes the lower place to serve. I only pray that I can follow His example and love the sheep, feed the sheep, serve the sheep and please my Savior the way he does.
The above portrait was taken 4 years ago when Calvary Chapel San Juan Capistrano was dedicated to the Lord. I felt like a third grader all over again when Pastor Chuck and his wife Kay came to our church. When he had finished preaching, they stayed and ministered to the people. Anyone who has been part of the Calvary Chapel Movement is blessed to have a great example in our Pastor and his wife.