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. WCBC Graduate Interview: Caleb Sargent

    April 1, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    In celebration of the twentieth year of West Coast Baptist College, I am posting interviews with WCBC alumni who are serving around the world.

    This month’s interview is with Caleb Sargent, who graduated from WCBC in 2010 with a major in Pastoral Theology and in 2011 with a Master’s in Bible. I’ve always appreciated Caleb’s heart for the Lord and his passion for making a real difference through serving in ministry. It is a joy to see him and his wife, Ruthie, impacting young lives in youth ministry.

    Caleb-and-Ruthie-Sargent

    In what ministry and role do you currently serve?

    My wife, Ruthie, and I currently serve at Christchurch Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas, under Dr. Johnny Pope. I came on staff in 2011 as the youth pastor, and my responsibilities have grown to include other assistant pastoral duties since then, such as our missions department, children’s ministry, and outreach efforts. My wife also works in our church offices as the administrative assistant and youth ministries secretary.

    What is a way in which you have seen God’s blessing in ministry over the past twelve months?

    In the last twelve months God has shown Himself strong on our behalf in our youth ministry at Christchurch. My greatest desire for any teenager is for them to grow from an inherited religion and scheduled regimen to a personal relationship with Jesus. This year, the theme for our youth ministry has been “JESUS>” (Jesus Is Greater Than). Every Sunday school lesson and sermon has been built around the truth that Jesus truly IS greater than any other friendship, activity, habit, or pursuit. (more…)


  4. 3 Biblical Purposes for a Church Soulwinning Program

    March 30, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    table-of-tracts

    I believe that as an ambassador of Christ I should be ready to seize every opportunity to share the gospel everywhere I go.

    But I also believe in setting aside scheduled time to do it—for myself and for our church family.

    Some people suggest that a church soulwinning program is an “extra” as long as people are ready to witness to their friends, neighbors, and coworkers. I believe both are necessary if we believe in taking the Great Commission literally.

    Because reaching a community with the gospel is such a clear purpose for the local church, I believe it should be approached with both passion and organization.

    Passion without organization will result in half-completed efforts. Organization without passion will result in little fruit.

    So what is the purpose for establishing an organized soulwinning program in a local church? I see three biblical purposes: (more…)


  5. 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…)