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. 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. 4 Ways Spiritual Leaders Build God’s People

    March 13, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    rual-church

    You’ve heard it said: “Use the church to build people, not people to build the church.”

    Of course, building people and building a church are not mutually exclusive. Both require partnering with Christ, the Master Builder, as He builds His church and His people.

    In fact, it is as we build people that they develop the spiritual maturity to also serve as co-laborers with Christ, building His church. Developing this maturity is the job of spiritual leaders in the local church:

    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:—Ephesians 4:11–12

    But how? How specifically can we intentionally invest in people? In what ways do we need to build? (more…)