As we enter this thirteenth year at West Coast Baptist College, I recently spent some time to reflect on the some of the basic core values that were important as we established this institution thirteen years ago. I shared these principles recently with our staff and some college supporters, and I thought I would share it with you today.
Greetings from Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College! We are praying that God will bless your fall season of ministry with His power and with many souls for the harvest!
This year, West Coast Baptist College enters its thirteenth year of ministry. We are thankful to the Lord for His blessings and the privilege we have to enter into the labors of hundreds of pastors across America as we train the next generation of Christian leaders for the glory of God.
As we entered the “teen years” of the college, I recently shared ten core values with our staff and faculty which we have emphasized throughout the years and will continue to emphasize in the days ahead.
A college is a place for learning. We have done our best to develop strong academic standards, but I am convinced that without a Bible-based philosophy of education, academics alone will never bring revival to our land.
As you pray for the ministry of West Coast Baptist College or consider sending young people to this place, it is our heart’s desire to communicate to you the values and principles that are emphasized here for the purpose of glorifying God.
The ten core values I recently reviewed with our staff are as follows:
We must uplift sound doctrine.
1 Corinthians 14:8 — For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
We are committed to rightly dividing the Word of Truth in the pulpit and in the classroom. We believe biblical preaching will present strong doctrinal content in a fashion which is not confusing. Furthermore, we will not follow the current trends that diminish doctrine in order to make the truth palatable to the unregenerate man. It is vital that we teach and preach sound doctrine, which includes our biblical Baptist distinctives and the biblical principles for ecclesiastical separation.
We must emphasize servant leadership.
2 Corinthians 4:5 — For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
We believe in the biblical role of the pastor as the overseer of the church. We also believe that godly pastors should follow the example of our Lord Jesus (Philippians 2:6-7), by modeling servant leadership in their congregation and in their communities.
We must model Christian teamwork.
Philippians 1:27 — Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
It is imperative that we recognize God’s desire for us to strive together, as a team, for the faith of the Gospel.
As a college we must strive together with the home pastor.
It is our belief that we are entering into the labor of the home pastor. We will not attempt to replace his role in the lives of the students. We are privileged to have great influence on the lives of the college students, but we are not the only influence.
Furthermore, we must have a spirit of teamwork with the parents of the students. The parents who send students to this college deserve to hear from us when their students excel or have a trial.
Finally, it is our desire that the students will observe—in our faculty and church family—the joy of serving together as a team in ministry.
We must strive for biblical balance in ministry.
Proverbs 11:1 — A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
All of us have observed the tragedies of imbalanced lives. We believe that Jesus Christ must be at the center of all Christian ministry. It is our desire that the Word of God will bring a proper balance into the lives of our students. We will do our best to balance grace and truth, rules and relationships, holiness and helpfulness, and doctrine with obedience.
We must maintain sincere approachability.
Titus 1:7 — For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
Self-willed leadership is limiting and unapproachable. We believe spiritual leaders in this era must be easily approached. It is our desire that pastors know we want their input, and we welcome their phone calls. Furthermore, we want students to sense that they can come and ask questions or seek counsel throughout their years at West Coast Baptist College.
We must model consistent soulwinning and discipleship.
Matthew 28:19-20 — Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We believe soulwinning is not only to be “taught,” but it must also be “caught,” as the leadership provides the example in faithfulness. Therefore, as a college, it is our philosophy that the faculty will model soulwinning through their faithful, weekly involvement in reaching others. We have no interest in lifting up musicians or theologians who are not actively involved in reaching the lost. It is our desire that instructors be soulwinnners who bear fruit that remains. Furthermore, it is our prayer that these soulwinners be motivated by the Holy Spirit as He develops a disposition of compassion and faithfulness within their hearts for the Saviour.
We must cultivate hearts for God.
Psalm 57:7 — My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
While we do not apologize for the old-fashioned guidelines and rules that exist on our Bible college campus, we also must not be so foolish as to believe that outward conformity will lead to a spiritual heart. Our primary goal is not outward conformity. Our primary goal for West Coast students is that they would have yielded hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is our prayer that they would leave West Coast Baptist College “doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
We must model Christian living before our students.
Philippians 4:9 — Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
We believe in the necessity of modeling the Christian life and mentoring our students in the service for the Lord. It is vital that our students observe the leadership around them “doing the work of God.”
We must lovingly lead our families.
1 Timothy 3:4-5 — One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Ephesians 5:25 — Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
We want our college students to see that God requires ministry families to be spiritually healthy and vibrant. Let us remember that our first ministry is in the home—to our spouses and children. We do not believe the concepts of a vibrant, growing church and a loving family are mutually exclusive.
We must walk in the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-25 — But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
We cannot, by ourselves, produce the fruit that evidences mature Christianity. Each of us must yield to the Holy Spirit. The Christian life is a holy life, and as we endeavor to take the “high road” in the Christian life, we will only find true success in the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit. We must be dead to self in order to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. We will walk in the Spirit as we die to self, yield to God’s Holy Spirit, and emphasize the necessity of spiritual music in our lives.
This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but I do believe it shares the heart and core values of the ministry at West Coast Baptist College. This is a local church Bible college. It is a place where students learn the truths of God’s eternal Word and then experience those truths in the local body of one of America’s dynamic, soulwinning churches.
I truly covet your prayers as we plan to occupy the new academic building on October 12. This building will house nearly one thousand students per hour and will allow us to continue training young people in this needy day.
Thank you for your kindness in reading this lengthy letter. Your faithfulness to the Lord and prayer on our behalf are greatly appreciated. May God richly bless you as you serve Him!
For the Faith,
Dr. Paul Chappell