Paul Chappell’s Post-Election, Eight-fold Call to Baptist Pastors

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While visiting Morocco recently I observed grown men in their places of business falling to their knees to pray to Mecca. There was no doubt who they worshipped. It appears that Muslims are more ardent in their faith than the average American Christian.

Our hope is not found in any circle of Christianity or political party, our hope is in the Lord alone. The future of our nation rests not on the “elephant” or the “donkey,” but on the Lamb that was slain. Submission, purity, and humility prepare our hearts for revival.

Walk in Integrity

While we are commanded to preach the Word, we must also live the Word. If we fail in our personal lives, the message of truth with which we have been entrusted will be rejected by a cynical and doubting generation. “Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly” (Hebrews 13:18).

Get back to the Great Commission

When souls are saved, lives are changed. When enough lives are changed, nations are changed. A Christian nation is made up of Christian people. Yet our calling is not political. The Gospel brings people into the kingdom of God, and sets their citizenship eternally in Heaven.

We witness out of obedience to the command of Christ and response to the love of Christ’s demonstration on the Cross. We need no other motivation. Fleshly motivations can work for a season, but do not produce the spiritual, sustainable life of service God designed for us.

As America is slipping toward a post-biblical mindset, a spiritual revival with the fruit of soulwinning and discipleship could truly make the difference. We are not party boosters, but think with me how the cumulative efforts of Baptist churches in America could sway our nation.

There are approximately 45,000 Southern Baptist churches and 15,000 unaffiliated Baptist churches. Sixty thousand churches reaching and discipling ten adults a year for four years is 2.4 million people. This is approximately the difference in the popular vote of our most recent election. Again, what I am concerned about is the hearts of those who elect our leaders. The soul of our nation is swaying away from biblical Christianity and into the false promises of secular humanism. More important than the vote on a next healthcare bill is the eternal destination of millions of men and women in America.

As we witness, we have the opportunity to proclaim the love of Christ. I do not believe the vast majority of women voted for Barak Obama because they desire abortions. I believe they want a sense of understanding and help with their unique burdens. My job has never been to point men and women to a politician, but I can point them to a friend that sticks closer than a brother—to a burden bearer named Jesus.

Plant Churches in the Inner Cities

If your goal is to market to suburban yuppies, build new buildings, and reach people just like you, this point may not interest you. It’s time to radically rethink our missions strategy and look at our own inner cities as our mission field. The inner cities of America have largely been abandoned by Bible-preaching churches. (See this county-by-county map of primary denominations.) The souls of people in these areas matter to God. We must not wait for a denomination or fellowship to start new churches. Churches start churches, and it’s time to get our churches involved in the process. Lancaster Baptist has started the Victory Baptist Church in North Hollywood-Burbank and the Los Angeles Baptist Church, but we need a hundred more in these densely populated areas. We need far fewer conferences and much more action. As we pray and fast, the Holy Spirit will send laborers out of local churches. (See Acts 13)

Reach Every Cultural Group

Everyone in this country, no matter how they came here, are people in need of Christ. It is a missions opportunity and our responsibility to reach every cultural group in our community. With Hispanic communities growing throughout our country, few churches have reason not to begin a Spanish ministry. One of my great joys is being the pastor for over 800 Spanish-speaking people who gather on our campus every week. They love the Lord. They believe God knew John the Baptist in his mother’s womb and that God created Adam and Eve. Their allegiance is to Jesus Christ, and they are guided by the Holy Spirit in matters of family and public life.

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