by Chuck Smith
and Tal Brooke
Original file posted August 4, 2001 at CalvaryChapel.com.
Reformatted on April 13, 2012 by The Geeky Christian.
For more free Chuck Smith books in this format
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Table of Contents
1. In the Beginning
2. Drought Before the Harvest
3. As Far As the Eye Can See
4. Greg Laurie: Opening the Wrong Door
5. Steve Mays: A Heartbeat from Hell
6. Jon Courson: Fire & Rain
7. Raul Ries: From Fury to Freedom
8. Jeff Johnson: Drug Dealer to Shepherd
9. Skip Heitzig: A Quest for Psychic Powers
10. “Bil” Gallatin: Vision of Destruction
11. Joe Focht: Meditating Undercover
12. Mike MacIntosh: Neither Dead nor Alive
13. Principles of Growth
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One of the constant frustrations that we as Christians
face is that of seeking to know the unknowable. We
would like to figure out God’s ways. Yet God Himself
has said, “My ways are not your ways; My ways are
beyond your finding out.”
When God desired to bring the nation Israel to the apex
of its power, He chose an unlikely person to lead them
to this place of glory. From the house of Jesse, in the
city of Bethlehem, He anointed the youngest son, a boy
named David, whose only qualifications were that he
was a shepherd who loved God and reflected on His
greatness as it was revealed in nature.
When God wanted to raise up a mighty army for
David, He gathered those who were distressed, in debt,
and discontented. These unlikely soldiers became
David’s mighty men and through them, God achieved
When Jesus wanted to turn the world upside-down by
bringing the message of God’s love to all mankind, He
chose unlikely candidates. Of the twelve, most were
fishermen and one was a hated publican. These are
certainly not the choices the average person would
have made for the task. When God wanted to make an
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impact on our society, He again chose the foolish things
(as far as the world is concerned) to confound the wise;
He chose the weak things to confound the mighty.
For instance, in raising up pastors to shepherd Calvary
Chapel churches with thousands of members, God did
not necessarily look for Phi Beta Kappas from Yale or
Harvard. He did not look for magna cum laude
graduates with impressive resumes. Instead, God chose
people like a Mexican street fighter who had dropped
out of high school, a hippie who had gone insane on
drugs, a drug dealer who was into sorcery, and a
motorcycle gang member to build His churches in the
Calvary Chapel movement. God has used many such
unlikely leaders to turn worn traditions upside down.
In these pages, you are going to read the incredible,
indeed, almost unbelievable accounts of men with
varied, wild, and even Satanic backgrounds, with one
thing in common. They were touched by the grace of
God and now are being used to touch thousands of
other lives. As you read, you will no doubt wonder
how these men, who for the most part had no formal
education for the ministry, were able to go out and
build churches ranging in size from several thousand to
ten thousand members.
What are the common factors? What are the things they
learned that enabled them to experience such
phenomenal success in their ministries? The stories you
will read are only a sampling of the scores of others
that we have watched come into our church over the
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years, but are uniquely representative of the
transforming work of the Spirit of God.
We are convinced that the concepts that the Lord has
taught us in forty years of ministry are transferable to
others. If followed, these principles can help build
strong churches all over the country.
In the book of Acts, we read that at the birth of the
Church 3,000 souls came to Christ the very first day.
Then the Lord continued to add daily such as should be
saved. We are convinced that when the Church
becomes what God intended it to be, God will do
through the Church what He has always desired to do.
Through the power of His grace He will bring in a
harvest of souls that can only humble our loftiest plans.
Indeed, His ways are not always our ways. He desires
to bless us if we will only but hear His voice.
Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa