Since West Coast Baptist College opened its doors in 1995, our goal has never been students, but graduates. Although graduates must first be students, our focus is getting laborers out to the harvest field.
By the grace of God and to His glory, there are currently almost 1,600 WCBC alumni serving the Lord around the globe. After today’s commencement exercises, that number will jump to over 1,800 alumni. We praise the Lord for the opportunity today to send the largest graduating class yet into the Lord’s harvest.
As I was praying for this graduating class of 2014, I reviewed our college purpose statement and thought, with thankfulness, of so many of our graduates who are living this out in their ministries today:
We exist to develop servant leaders with a heart for God who are committed to the Word, compassionate toward the lost, and compelled to change communities for Christ.
Indeed, we need these kinds of leaders today:
One of the core values of WCBC is servant leadership. Although we believe in strong, causative leadership, we also strive to teach and model that the privilege of spiritual leadership is the opportunity to serve.
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.—2 Corinthians 4:5
With hearts for God
Biblical ministry begins with a heart that is following after God fully and fervently. Our primary goal for West Coast Baptist students is that they would have yielded hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. And our prayer for our graduates is that they would faithfully continue “doing the will of God from the heart” (Ephesians 6:6).
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.—Psalms 57:7
Who are committed to the Word,
God’s Word is the only sure foundation for ministry in the twenty-first century. We don’t need to change the Word, we need it to change us. We challenge our students to preach the Word and to use it as a blueprint for local, New Testament church ministry.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.—Hebrews 4:12
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.—2 Timothy 2:15
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.—2 Timothy 4:2
Compassionate toward the lost,
A spiritual leader who has a heart for God and sound doctrine will also be filled with the compassion of Christ. We believe in a real Heaven and a real Hell and that salvation is only available through the blood of Christ. These convictions in a heart tender toward God will stir the Christlike compassion that compels faithful and fruitful soulwinning.
And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.—Mark 6:34
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.—Mark 16:15
And compelled to change communities for Christ
New Testament ministry is not merely beginning social programs or community initiatives. It is preaching the gospel through the local New Testament church. We believe every community needs a Baptist New Testament church that uplifts sound doctrine, loves people, and reaches into the community with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We want to see laborers for God plant local churches across our nation and around the world—touching communities with the compassion of Christ and seeing lives changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.—1 Thessalonians 1:9–10
I praise God for the privilege of training laborers for His harvest through West Coast Baptist College. I thank God for the pastors around the world who have allowed us to partner with them in investing in the young people whom they have already… And I rejoice in every WCBC graduate—including the 210 receiving their diplomas today—who are serving the Lord in His harvest.
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.—Matthew 9:37–38