There are many ways to use your life, but there are only a few ways to invest it.
One of the greatest joys of my life is training young men and women in the ministry through West Coast Baptist College.
Today we had the privilege of graduating almost two hundred new laborers for the harvest. Within ninety days, graduates of the 2013 class will be serving the Lord in twenty-five different states and thirteen foreign countries.
It has been a joy to invest in the lives of these students, making a joint investment in what parents, home pastors, teachers, and others have already poured into their lives.
Is training people in the ministry difficult? Yes. Is it time consuming? Yes. Are there disappointments? Yes.
But is it rewarding? A thousand times, yes! (more…)
When we first launched the Spiritual Leadership Conference twenty years ago, it was obvious to me that there was a need for emphasis on a biblical model of leadership.
Not the kind of leadership where pastors write and circulate mean letters about one another. Not the kind where leaders are known for sharp criticism. Not the kind where we lift ourselves up.
We wanted a conference that was based on a common understanding that we need the Holy Spirit’s filling in our lives. An understanding that if we would walk in the Spirit as leaders, we would not fulfill the lusts of the flesh expressed through carnal leadership. An understanding that it is only by pride that contention comes.
God has blessed the emphasis of spiritual leadership in this conference. This year, in particular, I’m praying that God will bring about revival in our hearts through the conference. I’m praying that the spiritual leadership in our churches will come to a new dimension by the grace of God.
In this growth points video, I share three aspects of the conference that are emphasized every year: spiritual leadership, servant leadership, and soulwinning leadership.
(If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
The longer I serve in ministry, the more I recognize the value of working with young people. In fact, the longer I serve, the more I believe we should pour more of ourselves into serving our youth.
Some of the most significant decisions of my life I made as a teenager. I sensed the call to preach as a thirteen year old at camp. I made the decision to attend Bible college as a sixteen year old when Dr. Jack Baskin took an hour to personally invest in my life.
It’s obvious that young people make significant life decisions in their teen years. But what we sometimes forget is the pliability of their hearts and the opportunity we have to influence them in these decisions.
I clearly remember specific people who influenced my life as a teenager. It meant so much to me when an adult would just notice me, let alone make a significant investment of time or care into my life. Decades later, I still remember them.
Think about it—you remember those people too. You have a mental list of a handful of people who made an impression on your heart when you were young and especially impressionable.
This is what the West Coast Baptist Youth Conference is all about—investing in young lives. It is our opportunity to serve the leaders of tomorrow’s generation. (more…)
The ministry schedule here at Lancaster Baptist seems to sometimes bring periods when multiple events happen in back to back succession. This is one of those seasons. Resurrection Sunday took place two days ago, and tomorrow begins the West Coast Baptist Youth Conference when we will welcome thousands of teenagers to our campus and do our best to minister to them.
When I look back over the last week leading to Easter, as well as to the Easter Sunday services, I am truly amazed to see what God continues to do here in the high desert of Northern Los Angeles County.
First, I am always humbled to see the heart of service from the members of this church. Throughout the week—and often late into the night—there were people cleaning, decorating, setting lights, preparing live stream, practicing music, and a variety of other activities in preparation for the Easter services.
Second, I was overwhelmed by the obvious working of the Holy Spirit on Sunday. In each service, I sat next to people who wept as they considered the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the Cross. God gave us the privilege of serving well over a thousand first-time guests, and scores of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Of the many events of Resurrection Sunday, there was one text I received that really summarized the ministry for me. It was from a young married man who was recently saved in our church and who we have recently been discipling. Here is his message (although I have removed his name for security reasons): (more…)
Since the doors of West Coast Baptist College opened in 1995, the Lord has assembled a godly, dedicated team of skilled staff and faculty who serve our students. I’m thrilled today to introduce a new addition to our college administration—my dear friend, Dr. Jim Schettler.
After spending nearly twenty-five years ministering to college-age young people, Dr. Shettler became senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Santa Maria, California, six years ago. God used him in a great way at this wonderful church. It has been a joy to labor with him on our side of the country over the past several years.
And now, we are excited to welcome Dr. Schettler and his wife Marilee to Lancaster. Dr. Schettler will serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs at West Coast Baptist College. I know that his heart for young adults and his fervor for soulwinning and local church ministry will be a blessing to our students. I’m looking forward to serving with the Schettlers on our team!