1. Helping Teens Hear God’s Call

    April 18, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    youth-conference-2015

    Every year, as we host West Coast Baptist Youth Conference, we have several top prayer requests. One of these is to see young people called by God into full time Christian service.

    I know that God has a plan for every life and that His plan is not for every young man to become a preacher. But it is for some. Thus, we encourage surrender to whatever God’s call may be and ask the Lord to use the preaching of His Word to speak to individual hearts according to His will.

    And He does. During the 2015 WCBC Youth Conference this week, scores of young people made a decision to surrender to answer God’s call in whatever capacity it may be. And throughout the conference, I was blessed by seeing tweets of WCBC alumni who are now in the ministry, posting about the conference and sharing that they were called to preach at youth conference in previous years. Praise God!

    Youth Conference aside, every pastor longs to see young men and women of the next generation serving the Lord in the ministry. What are the elements involved in that taking place? Why do some churches regularly see God calling teenagers and then those teens being trained and serving in ministry as young adults, but other churches never (or rarely) do? (more…)


  2. What Confirmation Looks Like in a Baptist Church

    April 11, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    decision cards

    If anyone had a valid excuse to drop the ball on “follow up” after an evangelistic event, it was the Apostle Paul.

    Between an itinerant lifestyle and the ongoing pain he must have lived with, Paul had every reason to simply focus on the city he was in, preach the gospel, and move on to the next, leaving the “decision cards” behind him.

    But Paul didn’t do that. He couldn’t do that. For Paul had a passion to see people saved and growing in the Lord.

    And so, hours after he was stoned at Lystra, he got up and, with broken body, went on to Derbe to preach the gospel. From Derbe, he couldn’t forget those who had just been saved in Lystra. So he returned to the very city where he had just been persecuted to follow up on these new converts—to confirm them in the faith. From Lystra, he backtracked again to Iconium, and from Iconium to Antioch.

    And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.—Acts 14:21–22

    Everybody needs to be confirmed. They need someone to care enough to give them spiritual encouragement, support, instruction, and grounding. (more…)


  3. How a Christian Should Celebrate Easter

    April 3, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Cross

    If there is anyone in the world who has reason to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is a born again Christian.

    Although we actually commemorate the Resurrection as we worship as a local church body every Sunday, I appreciate a day—and a week preceding—to give this crowning truth of the Christian life extra emphasis.

    So how should we celebrate?

    1. Meditate on Christ’s sufferings.

    Before Christ rose from the dead, He allowed Himself to experience brutal injustice, horrific pain, and indescribable sorrow. And He did it all for our salvation.

    Meditate on the love of God expressed in this suffering. Read Isaiah 53, Matthew 26–27, Mark 14–15, Luke 22–23, and/or John 13–15.

    There is no way to properly celebrate the joys of the Resurrection without attaching them to the sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. (more…)


  4. 5 Consequences of a Critical Spirit

    March 26, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Anyone who attempts anything for God will be criticized. Although untrue criticism is hurtful and discouraging, it goes with the territory of leadership.

    Worse than being criticized, however, is developing a critical spirit. We’re called to be discerning (Philippians 1:10) and to prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and that requires a measure of critical thinking skills. And yet, even that is different than a critical spirit.

    A few weeks ago, my wife, Terrie, and I had lunch together after her weekly ladies Bible study. As she shared with me the lesson she had taught on that morning regarding a critical spirit, I asked her to write it as a guest blog post. (She posted it to her blog too, which I recommend you follow if you don’t already.)

    So here it is—a guest post by my very favorite person about one of the most needful aspects of the Christian life and Christian leadership—avoiding a critical spirit.

    parched-ground

    I enjoy cooking, finding recipes, and sharing new meals with my family and guests who visit our home. Because of my love for cooking, I get especially excited when I have the opportunity to visit a restaurant that I have read about or seen advertised. And, if I happen to have the chance to eat at one of these restaurants, I always look to see what the critics have said about the food, décor, and overall dining experience.

    (more…)


  5. The Role of Grace in Giving

    February 25, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    wallet

    You’ve read the testimony of the Macedonian Christians who gave sacrificially to the Apostle Paul:

    Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.—2 Corinthians 8:1–8

    Why is this testimony so powerful? Paul used it to encourage the Corinthian churches to be faithful in giving, and two millennia later, it motivates us today. Why?

    The significance lies in their motive. In God’s economy, the motive is as important as the gift. In other words, why we give is as important as that we give. (more…)