1. When Seventh Graders Surrender to the Ministry

    April 25, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Matthew's-Ordination

    Last night was a highlight for Terrie and me and our church family as we had the ordination service for our youngest son, Matthew.

    I remember almost fifteen years ago, as I prayed through a stack of decision cards from teens at our youth conference who had surrendered to full-time gospel ministry and came a name that brought great joy: Matthew Chappell.

    yc-decision-cardI look back over the years since then, and I know that where Matt is today is the fruit of so many investments. It’s the fruit of every Sunday school teacher, Christian school teacher, youth worker, West Coast Baptist College faculty and staff, and the Lancaster Baptist Church deacons and church family who have loved our family and encouraged our children.

    After high school, Matt attended West Coast Baptist College where he met his wife, Katie. For the past five years, Matt and Katie have served with my brother, Pastor Stephen Chappell, in Oceanside, California.

    As my brother attested to last night, Matt has been diligent in his calling, and the hand of God and fruit of ministry is evident in his life. Matt and Katie have led dozens of teens to Christ through public high school ministry. They’ve established Bible clubs in area high schools. They’ve developed a youth ministry at Coastline Baptist and invested in teens to nurture their walk with God. (more…)


  2. Thoughts on a Miracle Night from the Heart of a Pastor

    March 7, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    continue-banquet

    Sunday night, March 6, 2016, will go down in the history of our church as a miraculous and memorable night.

    For the first time in the history of our church, we had the facility to hold an all-church banquet on our property (a result of the generous giving of God’s people in the March 2014 and 2015 offerings). But not only that, in this one evening, our church family gave a large and sacrificial cash offering toward campus developments that will shape the future history of our church.

    So here it is Monday morning, and I’m rejoicing in God’s goodness and in the miraculous blessings of last night. But I think I see them in a different light than anyone who is not the pastor can.

    The amount of the offering is truly a miracle answer to prayer. And it will enable construction to begin on a much-needed, multi-phase project that will provide space for our Spanish and children’s ministries.

    But the amount is not the greatest miracle I see. Allow me to share what a miracle looks like through a pastor’s eyes: (more…)


  3. 3 Profound Ways Curtis Hutson Influenced Me

    March 2, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    with-Curtis-Hutson

    Without a doubt, Curtis Hutson was one of the great independent Baptist influencers of the past generation. Great in the sense of both quality and quantity.

    I remember as a young pastor how excited I was for him to come preach for our church that first time and how thankful I was for his gracious mentoring in my life. I have a book in my office with the many letters he wrote me over the early years of our ministry in Lancaster.

    Dr. Hutson died of cancer twenty-one years ago this week, and I still miss him. (He would be eighty-one now, were he still alive.)

    I was thinking this week of a few of the most significant ways Dr. Hutson influenced me. There are many more than these, but these are three that predominantly stand out: (more…)


  4. Update from Spiritual Leadership Conference Asia

    February 3, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    SLCAsia16

    It would be hard to describe the level of prayer, planning, and preparation that preceded Spiritual Leadership Conference Asia.

    And it would also be hard to describe the level of blessing God is placing on it. It’s overwhelming to see what God is doing.

    I plan to write more later, but I wanted to post a quick update now to share what the Lord is doing and thank partners who have been interceding with us for the conference this week in Manila. (For snapshots moments of what the Lord has been doing, see the pictures I’ve been posting to Twitter and Facebook.)

    Several months before the conference, we chose the theme “striving together for Asia and beyond.” I have been so encouraged by the real striving together that has taken place leading up to and during this conference. This hasn’t been “striving together” in name only, but in Spirit-filled reality. (more…)


  5. Transitions, Ethics, and Saying Goodbye to Staff

    November 16, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    We don’t have formal commitment contracts for staff at Lancaster Baptist Church. I’ve always felt like I wanted the people who serve on our staff to be here because they want to be, not because they signed a commitment to be.

    That said, before someone comes on staff, we do have conversations about intent. If someone is joining our pastoral staff or leading a team, I would prefer that their intention at least is to stay long enough that I can invest in and train them and that they can become a real asset to our church family.

    Just over eighteen years ago, Tim Christoson and I had this kind of a conversation. At the time, he was in his last year of Bible college, engaged to Nicole, and looking to serve as an assistant pastor. When I interviewed him, I could see that he had a heart for the Lord and a desire to be used of God. I asked him if he were to come to Lancaster Baptist Church, if he would commit to stay at least ten years. (more…)