You know who I wish could be at the twentieth commencement exercise for West Coast Baptist College this week? Leo Walther.
And even though in my head I know that Heaven is infinitely better than college graduations, in my heart, I sort of think Leo would like to be here too—or at least to watch from the grandstands of glory.
WCBC alumni, and current upperclassmen as well, know exactly what I mean. If there was ever a man who loved West Coast Baptist College and its students, it was Leo Walther.
I remember the day Leo Walther first came to Lancaster Baptist Church. He was fifty-seven years old, and he wasn’t in church because he had a hunger for truth. For years, Leo’s wife, Evelyn, had prayed for his salvation and had asked him to attend church with her. He wouldn’t go, however, saying he would be a hypocrite to attend church because of the business he owned—a liquor store.
But when Leo and Evelyn’s son and daughter-in-law moved to Lancaster and two soulwinners from Lancaster Baptist came by their home to welcome them to the community, the young couple agreed to attend church. When they called to tell Evelyn, she convinced Leo that she and Leo needed to drive the sixty miles from Sunland to Lancaster and go to church to support their children. He grudgingly agreed to attend “this once.” (more…)
In every work of God, there comes a point when a leader must ask, “Am I content to move forward in maintenance mode, or will I continue to build?”
In theory, this question sounds simple. Who wouldn’t want to continue building, especially when you are co-laboring with Christ in building that which He has promised to bless?
In experience, however, this question can be challenging. The truth is, building is strenuous. Messy. Tiring. Problem-laden. It draws criticism and stretches you as a leader.
Maintaining, on the other hand, while not necessarily easy, is more predictable. And it certainly is less demanding.
But Christ has plainly stated His intent is—not simply to maintain—but to build: “… I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). And He invites us to build with Him: “For we are labourers together with God…” (1 Corinthians 3:9).
So what does it take as spiritual leaders to move from maintaining to building? What kinds of leaders stay on the construction site, rather than simply occupying office space in the completed structure? (more…)
When Paul wrote to young Timothy, he emphasized the importance of the ministry—specifically of serving as a “good minister.”
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.—1 Timothy 4:6
Our hearts’ desire at West Coast Baptist College is to train up a new generation of men and women who will be good ministers—servants—of Christ.
We believe that ministry really does matter. And because it matters, we believe the following four areas matter as well:
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Your Spiritual Life Matters
The most gifted spiritual leader can’t ignore their spiritual life—not without repercussions. (more…)
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…)
Eight years ago this week—at a West Coast Baptist Youth Conference—God called my niece, Amie Richard, to missions. And this past Sunday night, we had the opportunity to send her out as a Lancaster Baptist Church missionary.
After that Youth Conference eight years ago, Amie came to West Coast Baptist College to train for missions. During her freshman year, God confirmed His call on her life, and after her junior year, she had the opportunity to travel to Thailand where the Lord impressed on her heart that this was the field in which she should serve.
Amie graduated from WCBC in 2013 with a degree in elementary education, and she began the deputation trail shortly after graduation—with extreme diligence. Before completing deputation, Amie had been in over one hundred churches to share her burden for Thailand. (more…)