In celebration of the twentieth year of West Coast Baptist College, I am posting interviews with WCBC alumni who are serving around the world.
This month’s interview is with Caleb Sargent, who graduated from WCBC in 2010 with a major in Pastoral Theology and in 2011 with a Master’s in Bible. I’ve always appreciated Caleb’s heart for the Lord and his passion for making a real difference through serving in ministry. It is a joy to see him and his wife, Ruthy, impacting young lives in youth ministry.
In what ministry and role do you currently serve?
My wife, Ruthy, and I currently serve at Christchurch Baptist Fellowship in Houston, Texas, under Dr. Johnny Pope. I came on staff in 2011 as the youth pastor, and my responsibilities have grown to include other assistant pastoral duties since then, such as our missions department, children’s ministry, and outreach efforts. My wife also works in our church offices as the administrative assistant and youth ministries secretary.
What is a way in which you have seen God’s blessing in ministry over the past twelve months?
In the last twelve months God has shown Himself strong on our behalf in our youth ministry at Christchurch. My greatest desire for any teenager is for them to grow from an inherited religion and scheduled regimen to a personal relationship with Jesus. This year, the theme for our youth ministry has been “JESUS>” (Jesus Is Greater Than). Every Sunday school lesson and sermon has been built around the truth that Jesus truly IS greater than any other friendship, activity, habit, or pursuit.
Through this study, we have seen a growth in the lives of our young people that has been unparalleled by any other theme or study we have done. The truth that choosing Jesus every day is the best decision you’ll make all day has refreshed the freedom found in the Christ’s overwhelming compassion, forgiveness, and grace. The centrality of those truths has led to an overflowing of deeper commitments to the fundamental ingredients for consistent Christian growth, like devotions and Bible study, witnessing, and maintaining a consistent prayer life.
We are excited to see what God has in store for us in the upcoming months and even years!
Describe a time when you saw God’s supernatural provision for a dream you wanted to accomplish for Him.
When my wife and I began serving at Christchurch, we immediately started asking God to doing something big in the hearts and lives of our teenagers. We had moved to Houston and started ministry at the end of the summer of 2011, so we were excited about our first opportunity to personally take our young people to summer camp almost a year later in June of 2012.
Every youth pastor knows how God can use summer camp as a point where He changes the tides in young peoples lives. That year we took a group of fifty-four teenagers to camp with us and watched as God poured out His Spirit on them in the heat of an open-air tabernacle.
God began doing a mighty work, so that at the end of the week we had five teenagers saved, seven young men surrender to preach, and over thirty young people surrender to the will of God for their life, whatever that may entail.
As a youth pastor, that truly is a dream come true! The most awesome part was just sitting back and watching God work, knowing that truly only He could get the glory for the work He was accomplishing.
What is your favorite memory of your time at West Coast Baptist College?
Ahhh…memories! While my mind is inundated with memories from my time at WCBC, stretching from dorm devotions, to Sugary Donuts and soul-winning teams, to classes with Brother Lester, my favorite memories are from chapel.
Without a doubt, the chapel services are the DNA of West Coast Baptist College. I loved and appreciated the time and finances it took to regularly schedule speakers who would challenge the hearts of students effectively. I remember making specific, course-altering, life-changing decisions during chapel services. Truly, remembering chapel services bring back my fondest feelings of WCBC.
What is the greatest ministry truth or principle you learned while at Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College?
The spirit of Lancaster Baptist Church and West Coast Baptist College truly is a model from which much can be learned. In every area of ministry, I appreciated and learned to value the truth that God is not interested in a half-hearted, lazy, or unprofessional approach to ministry. Rather, I watched as God accomplished ministry that was worthy of His name through the pouring out of His Holy Spirit into differing individuals, personalities, and spiritual giftings.
The truth that an individual should never be turned away from the gospel by our lack of attention to detail or inability to overcome obstacles has become a guiding principle for both my personal life and public ministry.
From the gospel literature that Lancaster Baptist Church produces, to the cleanliness and beauty of the campus, everything done is a first class representation of our Saviour. I am thankful to have learned this truth and to strive to put it into to practice daily in our ministry here.
You are bringing a group to the West Coast Baptist Youth Conference in April. What are you praying God will do in their lives through Youth Conference?
I am bringing a group of twenty-two teenagers to Youth Conference this year and we truly are excited to see what God will do! We regularly strive to get our young people under premier preachers of the Word of God, including our own Pastor, Dr. Johnny Pope.
Mainly, our prayer is that each teenager will remain open to the leading of the Holy Spirit throughout the conference. Specifically, we are asking that each young person would truly understand how much greater saying “yes” to Jesus is than saying “yes” to themselves, the world, or anything else. Pray with us as we ask God to stir up any fallow ground in the hearts and lives of those who attend the conference!
What specific prayer requests can I, fellow alumni, and readers of this blog pray with you and your family for over the next 12 months?
Pray with us as we minister to the youth and families of Christchurch. Our daily prayer is for wisdom and discretion, a Christ-like abundance of charity, and the infilling of the Holy Spirit of God. We truly believe the greatest days of ministry lie ahead of us. Thank you for being willing to pray that God will fulfill those hopes and dreams He has placed within our hearts!
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