March 21, 2014 by Paul Chappell
This year marks my twentieth year to pastor what researchers call a megachurch—a church averaging over two thousand people in weekly attendance.
Statistics on pastoral tenure in churches suggest that for a pastor to remain twenty-eight years in the ministry, let alone in one church, is unusual—especially when twenty of those years are overflowing with the needs of a large congregation.
As I recently realized that this is my twentieth year to pastor a “megachurch,” I jotted down twenty lessons God has taught (and still is teaching me) through these years.
So many of these lessons were learned through painful experience. Most of them I did not (and could not) learn in Bible college. Many of them would have been easier had older pastors shared them with me in advance.
Each of these lessons end in the word anyway. Why? Because serving and leading people by faith is always an uphill, seemingly contradictory battle. Evidence and experience suggest it’s time to let up, to give in, or to wash out. But faith presses forward…anyway!
So here they are—in no particular order—twenty lessons from megachurch life: (more…)
Category: Ministry Leadership
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October 14, 2013 by Paul Chappell
When we began the Love Works outreach a few weeks ago, we weren’t sure what the response would be. After twenty-seven years of our fall outreach being doorknocking alone, it was exciting to see what would happen when we combined doorknocking with serving our community.
In a word, the response was incredible!
I can’t begin to describe what the Lord has done in our church and our community these past two weeks. I’m sure we haven’t yet seen a fraction of the fruit to come, and what we’ve already seen has been amazing.
Yesterday morning we had our Love Works Sunday with a Neighborhood Barbecue following the service. I want to share what God did for us—how His love worked! (more…)
Category: Ministry News
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October 10, 2013 by Paul Chappell
Thirty-five years ago, my parents went to South Korea as missionaries. I was a young teenager at the time, and this was a difficult transition for me. I missed America, and I wasn’t excited about living in Korea.
As time unfolded, however, this move proved to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. In Korea, I surrendered my heart more fully to the Lord, and God confirmed His call on my life to serve in ministry. Additionally, lifelong friendships were forged that continue to this day. God gave me a love for Korean people and a broader perspective of the harvest fields of the world.
It has been a joy for us to train a large number of Korean students at West Coast Baptist College. Last week, three of our finest graduates—Jonah Seo, Jimmy Pak, and Paul Choi—were ordained at Bible Baptist Church in Gardena, California. I was honored and delighted to be invited by Pastor Timothy Choi to preach their ordination service.
All three of these men have the hand of God on their lives and are already seeing fruit in ministry as soulwinners and preachers of the gospel. Jonah Seo is already pastoring, Jimmy Pak serves as an assistant pastor at Bible Baptist, and Paul Choi serves as youth pastor now while preparing to plant a church in Irvine, California, next year. (more…)
Category: Ministry News
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September 7, 2013 by Paul Chappell
It’s that time of year once again, and our campus is filled with college students! Our nineteenth year of West Coast Baptist College began on Monday. It was a joy to greet returning students and welcome new students. We praise the Lord for these students and for the opportunity to partner with their home pastors and parents in their education.
As I met new students and their families on Monday, I couldn’t help but think of the many mentors who have invested in my life. Dr. Tom Malone, Dr. Curtis Hutson, Dr. Lee Roberson, Dr. Don Sisk, and others—so many men have given of themselves to me. I’m thankful for their influence, and I’m grateful to be able to invest in the lives of others.
As I preached in college chapel this week, I sensed in our students a genuineness to learn all that God has for them and an eagerness to serve the Lord with their whole heart. I thank the Lord for the privilege of investing in the lives of men and women as they prepare to spread the gospel message worldwide. (more…)
Category: Ministry Leadership, Ministry News
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June 9, 2013 by Paul Chappell
Twenty-seven years ago, God allowed my family and I to embark on a tremendous adventure of faith as we came to Lancaster, California. At the time, none of us—our family or our small church—had any idea how God would bless our obedience. We just knew that we needed to follow Him in faith—to launch out at His Word.
In fact, our church theme for 2013 has been just that—“Launch Out at His Word.” Over the past six months, we’ve often considered the words Jesus spoke to Peter on the shores of Galilee: “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets.”
Peter obeyed, and the rest is history—a miraculous history.
To me, this is a similar picture of the history at Lancaster Baptist Church. Those of us who were here twenty-seven years ago could never have envisioned the miracles God would do in and through our church. He took a handful of people who were willing to “launch out” in faith at His command, and He has done exceeding abundantly above what we could ever dream!
Over the past twenty-seven years, we have watched God bless our church with miracle after miracle. And each blessing has followed a similar pattern to Peter’s experience on the Sea of Galilee. (more…)
Category: Christian Life, Ministry News
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