Last night was a highlight for Terrie and me and our church family as we had the ordination service for our youngest son, Matthew.

I remember almost fifteen years ago, as I prayed through a stack of decision cards from teens at our youth conference who had surrendered to full-time gospel ministry and came a name that brought great joy: Matthew Chappell.

yc-decision-cardI look back over the years since then, and I know that where Matt is today is the fruit of so many investments. It’s the fruit of every Sunday school teacher, Christian school teacher, youth worker, West Coast Baptist College faculty and staff, and the Lancaster Baptist Church deacons and church family who have loved our family and encouraged our children.

After high school, Matt attended West Coast Baptist College where he met his wife, Katie. For the past five years, Matt and Katie have served with my brother, Pastor Stephen Chappell, in Oceanside, California.

As my brother attested to last night, Matt has been diligent in his calling, and the hand of God and fruit of ministry is evident in his life. Matt and Katie have led dozens of teens to Christ through public high school ministry. They’ve established Bible clubs in area high schools. They’ve developed a youth ministry at Coastline Baptist and invested in teens to nurture their walk with God.

It was my joy last night to preach Matt’s ordination service from 1 Timothy 3 on “A Good Work.” The ministry is a work, as verse 1 of this chapter notes: “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.”

Later this year, Matt is planting Rock Hill Baptist Church in Fontana, California. Please pray for Matt and Katie as they launch out by faith in this endeavor.

Terrie and I thank and praise the Lord that both of our sons are serving the Lord as preachers of the gospel and that all four of our children are passionately following the Lord in ministry. We know it is by God’s grace and the fruit of many loving investments in their lives.

If you invest in children or teens in any capacity, be encouraged at God’s unfolding work in their lives. We don’t always see it immediately, but over time, it bears fruit. Keep investing!

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