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Passion4Christ Summit

Truth | A Passion4Christ Report

Truth: a debatable idea; a negotiable commodity; a historical relic? Is the idea of truth as a sure and certain reality lost and gone forever? This incredible question with profound implications for the 21st century church is what we gathered to consider at Passion4Christ 2016.

Our attendance was a bit lower, but joy and love in Christ were in no way diminished as we gathered on October 26 to relax, pray, interact, learn, and worship. We enjoyed good food, inspiring decor, unusual theme dinners, reflection, fellowship, and instruction from God’s Word. We were served by a volunteer staff who “set the table” so to speak. They did this with joy so the attendees could focus on the Word.

We came to meet with God; to hear from Him; to be challenged to engage and confront a culture of darkness and death with the light and life of the Gospel.

What shall we use to confront a skeptical world. The Scriptures are the only adequate tool we have. We also addressed the question of the existence of God and the absolute necessity of moral absolutes woven into human conscience and the truth of Scripture. These questions were addressed by Charles Cavanaugh and Matt Shackelford. And Daniel Cavanaugh challenged us to be ready to confront the culture by following Paul’s example on Mars Hill.

In the midst of these sessions, we stopped to have our first ever Q&A at P4C. The response was positive with good questions indicating thoughtful listening. Then Dewey Novotny urged us to consider why we are here, to live our lives to the glory of God. This was followed quite naturally by the challenge that we are created in the image of God which gives meaning to the answers to all these questions.

If we are to face an unbelieving world with confidence, we must invest our lives, our futures, and our eternal hope in that which is of ultimate value. This was our closing exhortation. Our lives are not valued by temporal and earthly investments or achievements but in the eternal truth of the Gospel, for which we must be willing to give our lives. We were challenged to “Buy the truth”. All of the things we enjoyed at P4C2016 were for this; to believe in, embrace, and give our lives for the truth in Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters left with this ringing in their ears. May we all live it in the days ahead.


Providence (Guest Post by David Teruel)

“What’s the least I can believe and still be a Christian?” The question may seem quite reductionist and presumptuous to those who hold the Word of God as life giving, awe-inspiring, and actually words from God. How many women want a perspective in potential suitors or their husband that asks, “How little do I need to know about you and do for you and still claim your commitment?” It is a magnificent statement of self-ism and a betrayal of true love. Yet, these words are the title of a book considered in the broadest sense to be a “Christian” book.


Certainly this is not the tenor of spirit in faithful and God loving Christian homes, at least not overtly. What does overtly mean? Well, in this context I mean what I have had to confess to God many times in my walk with God; when I don’t understand the significance of certain scriptures or don’t like the conclusions that biblical authors take us to, it is easy to ignore those portions of scripture for the lower hanging fruit. We neglect the beautifully complex order that feeds that fruit of biblical knowledge that I enjoy easily. We are, rather, quite pleased with ourselves that we are in the Word. But are we really “in the Word” if we are refusing to study biblical truths that eventually make our minds hurt for their complexity? Aren’t we really just picking and choosing what we want to consider in our Christian walk? In these moments we are acting quite in step with those who want to strip the Bible of the clear truths that clash with our culture’s current perspectives. The difference is that we have chosen not to be that overt about our rejection of truth. No, that would not be the response of a biblically centered, Christ honoring and Kingdom seeking Christian.


But what of truths like the one we are studying in this conference? Providence. Do we even know what it is? Do we understand how it works? Do we even know how it helps the believer? Last year marked one of the most trying years of my married life. The trial was not because of sin. Marjorie, my wife and best friend, went in for her regular mammogram only to find out after a couple of days that she had breast cancer. After a bi-lateral mastectomy, full reconstruction, and more knowledge about women’s breast cancer than we wanted to ever know, we are finally done. Where was the relief? What was the theology for which to call out to God? Where was the hope, where was the joy, where did we satisfy the hard questions that spring from this disease?


Providence… You may not be in the storm right now, but I assure you, you will be. Many around the world are in egregious conditions. What anchoring will you have? What anchoring can you give if you were asked by one of the loved ones of a Christian brutalized at the hands of ISIS, “where is God?” Join us at this year’s Passion For Christ Conference as we begin a journey of unpacking that anchoring truth of God’s providence. I look forward to the journey with you.


David Teruel





Dave Teruel will be a plenary speaker at P4C14.  He currently serves as preaching pastor at Westwood Church in Evansville, IN. He is married to his wife Marjorie of 16 years and they have three children.

Why Should I Attend #P4C14?

As we live our daily lives, there is one theological issue that affects the life of the believer more than any – Providence. What you believe about God’s sovereignty and His infinite goodness to His children will determine how you respond to life’s struggles, temptations, and trials. It’s not a matter of if you will encounter them but when. And when you do, you will be tested in the solidity of your conviction and belief in the biblical foundation of God’s sovereignty. You are what you believe, and the testing grounds of this life will reveal the biblical foundation that you are built upon. So the question remains: what will be revealed in you.

At Passion4Christ 2014, we will be digging deep into the biblical understanding of God’s ‘Providence’.  We do not want to talk about a dry, stale understanding of the sovereignty of God. We want to leave you with a biblical understanding that encourages and equips you to face whatever our loving Savior has deemed good for you and His glory. So join us on a theological journey that will not only inform your thinking but infuse your passion for living this life for the glory of God.

Join us and many other young adults as we share in fellowship that is built around the person of Christ, worship that is both founded in the word of God and expressed in song, and activities that will create lasting memories and friendships to come. We hope to see you there!


For more on how to register visit the P4C14 page!


Daniel Cavanaugh

Greatness Defined



We have this funny notion in our society that greatness is all big, over the top stuff! We are surrounded by the wrong idea of greatness from the media, which largely shapes the thinking of this world. I am afraid this thinking has also crept into our Christian community.


I saw a quote on Facebook by Ann Voskamp. I’ll quote the part that struck me: “Your most meaningful work in the Kingdom of God may not be the big things you do…” Psalm 92:5 says, “O Lord, how great are your works! And Your thoughts are very deep”. This Scripture was clear and real to me this past weekend. Our family ministry was asked to do a Family Leadership Conference in another state. The conference was not attended with big numbers, but the Lord was doing great things.


One young lady came up to me after the conference and told me how the Lord had blessed her. Some things she had been praying about were answered through this conference. Yes Lord, “how great are Your works”! A young man who had attended our Passion4Christ Summit in October was also attending this conference. I got an unexpected blessing. The mother of this young man shared with me how the Lord had changed her son’s life completely through the Passion4Christ Summit. She thanked me, and my family, for ministering to him at the Summit.


I wept with joy at the goodness of The Lord. If only one person out of so many was changed and blessed by God, then we have done a great work for Christ’s glory.


Matthew 20:27-28 says, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant. Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” I truly believe that when we get to Glory we will all be surprised by what greatness really looks like. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Wherefore, seeing we also are compasses about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” This, my friends, is true greatness. To God be the glory.


Pam Cavanaugh


[Image by Leah Christine Imagery]

Now That’s a Great Conference!

How many conferences have you been to?  I am sure that you have heard of many, been to many, and received the reports of how wonderful they were.  Every conference or retreat is the best one ever!  However, if you look over the years and the conferences you have been to, how much can you really recall that you heard or learned?


I could give you a glowing report of #P4C13.  It was good.  The fellowship was deep and refreshing, as always.  The food was good.  And, it was the most people we had every had at a P4C Summit [126 people total].  The preaching was even incredible and challenging.  But, I do not want to give you another glowing report.  I want to tell you how the teaching has turned into application.


Passion4Christ’s theme this year was ‘The Body: God’s Plan for the Church’.  It was our desire to stir and cultivate in the heart of those who attended a renewed love for the bride that Christ loves so much.  We wanted people to walk away with a biblical vision to love that which Christ loves – His body.  And we wanted to put flesh and bones to it.  The church is not just some nebulous idea but organic and living.  It is communal with a purpose of living and spreading the gospel to the far reaches of the world.  It is the living, breathing, and functional local church in the communities across our land and the world.  We wanted people to go back to their communities and churches and be the church.


I have to say, the response to this year’s theme was incredible.  I just didn’t hear people talking about how great it was, I heard testimonies of people actually applying being the church.  Facebook and Twitter were alive with the hashtag #P4C13 as people shared testimony of how they were returning and being the church.  They were giving actual examples, which is awesome!  Now that’s a great conference: an event were the Spirit of God moves upon the people as they return to live and be what they learned from biblical and powerful preaching of God’s word!  That encourages and gets me excited!


So, I encourage you to take the time to listen to the messages from #P4C13. They are available to you as a free download here.  Don’t just listen to the messages.  Receive from the preached word and go be the church.  Apply what you learn.  Learn to be effective in the place that God has sovereignly placed you in.  Don’t just be a hearer of the word – be a doer!


Daniel Cavanaugh

Is Church Important? – An Interview with Emily Craig

We are excited to introduce to you the next episode in the series ‘Is Church Important?’  Building up to P4C13, we are working to develop the concept of the importance of the local church from a personal level – interviews with real people from a real local church.  Why?  Because this year’s theme is ‘The Body: God’s Plan for the Local Church’.


This episode is an interview with Emily Craig, a recent college graduate and member of Westwood, home church of the Cavanaugh family. Emily and Daniel explore the question, ‘Is Church Important?’



Breanna Mendenhall


P.S.  We still have room for a few guys to attend P4C13 (registration for girls is full).  Check our website for details or email us with questions.

Is Church Important? – An Interview with Ben Russell

We are excited to introduce to you the next episode in the series ‘Is Church Important?’  Building up to P4C13, we are working to develop the concept of the importance of the local church from a personal level – interviews with real people from a real local church.  Why?  Because this year’s theme is ‘The Body: God’s Plan for the Local Church’.


This episode is an interview with Ben Russell, an Associate Pastor at Westwood Church, home church of the Cavanaugh family.  Ben explores the question, ‘Why Church is Important?’



Breanna Mendenhall

The Recap: Passion4Christ2012

The end of October brings falling leaves, chilly temps, thoughts of Christmas, and the Passion4Christ Summit – an event where Christian singles gather for fun, fellowship and the challenging proclamation of God’s Word.  It was a blessing to welcome a record number of 96 registrants along with 22 staff to one of the best weeks one could have.


We thank the Lord for a volunteer staff who serves with Vision4Living to make it a blessed week for everyone.  Wonderful meals, housing, and a general atmosphere of joy are the result of God’s grace ministered to and through these dear friends in Christ.  That joy carried over to our two theme dinners: one, a Mexican Hacienda; the other an Oscar Gala from the past and a red carpet event; the first casual, the second formal, both a ton of fun.


Each day provided an abundance of opportunities for physical refreshment and exhaustion: hiking, zip line, volleyball, late night talking and playing cards, and plenty of good food.  The fellowship in Christ was encouraging, uplifting, and nourishing.


The week’s extracurricular activities culminated with Saturday evening and the annual campfire stories and volleyball tournament championship.  After laughing ourselves silly at the campfire, we headed to “the barn” for intensity of emotion and sound (how does 90 decibels sound to you?).  Cheerleaders lead the yells (I had to hold my ears) and the wave, linemen watched the ball, judges watched the net, and the match went down to the wire.  Green beat Blue 3 to 2.


As much fun as all of these things were, nothing could match the worship of God and the Word of God.  Our hearts were led to worship as we sang songs and hymns old and new with Biblical truth and powerful heart-felt expression.   The small ensemble of instruments blended with eth voices of God’s people, ascended to the throne, and enriched our souls with thoughts of worship that followed us home.  It was simple incredible.

We were all challenged to ask and answer the question of what it means to obey Christ’s command to go and make disciples.  The preaching of God’s Word was the central part of our week, while the community groups gave each one the opportunity to personally interact with what was heart.  Two breakout sessions (one for men and one for women) rounded out the hours of encouragement for our walk with Christ.  Such a time of encounter with God is not possible without the blessing of God and the ministry of His Holy Spirit, for which we give Him glory.


It is hard to believe it’s over.


The Lord willing, it will not be long before we go there for P4C13.  We hope to see you there.


In Christ,

Charles Cavanaugh


To see more photos, click here to view the full Passion4Christ2012 Slide show put together by our friends, Britton and Erica Felber of Photography by Britton, who graciously agreed to photograph the Summit.


You can also download full audio recordings of all of the sessions here.