1. 3 People Who Can Use Christmas as a Gospel Launch

    November 28, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    Perhaps you, like me, have noticed that many people are more willing to come to church at Christmastime than at any other time. Sometimes it’s because they will come to see a friend or family member acting or singing in a Christmas program. Sometimes it’s because if they feel they should at least go to church for Christmas. Sometimes it’s because their heart is more tender to Christ in this season when we celebrate His birth.

    Whatever the reason, I’m thankful they come and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. And I see three takeaways from this observation: (more…)

  2. How to Teach Your Children Contentment

    November 25, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    We live in a world where “enough” is never enough. Whether we realize it or not, there is a constant pull on our hearts toward materialism and covetousness.

    But it’s not just adults who fight these battles. Our children are bombarded with the offer of more. They need more friends on Facebook. More style in their wardrobe. More entertainment. More money. More fun. More…of everything.

    Of course, more isn’t always bad. But it is harmful if we can’t be satisfied without it.

    In today’s materialistic society, however, it’s not difficult to see why our kids struggle with contentment. Children ages two to five see more than forty thousand commercials on television a year. No wonder they need more. (more…)

  3. 4 Ways to Make Family Devotions Work

    November 19, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    Parents are responsible not only to teach God’s Word to their children but to “teach them diligently.” Deuteronomy 6:7 describes the level of persistence with which we are to teach our children: “and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

    In other words, your home is to be an ongoing school of discipleship—a Bible school. The most practical way I know to obey the instruction to diligently teach God’s Word to your children is to read the Bible daily with your children. In our home, we called this time “Family Devotions.” Some call it “Family Altar.” But whatever you call it, do it. Have a time every day when as a family you learn from God’s Word together.

    If family devotions weren’t part of your own growing up experience, beginning them in your home may feel intimidating. But it’s not as hard as you think. Any parent with a real relationship with God—even a new Christian—can lead their child spiritually.

    Here are a few tips to help: (more…)

  4. Transitions, Ethics, and Saying Goodbye to Staff

    November 16, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    We don’t have formal commitment contracts for staff at Lancaster Baptist Church. I’ve always felt like I wanted the people who serve on our staff to be here because they want to be, not because they signed a commitment to be.

    That said, before someone comes on staff, we do have conversations about intent. If someone is joining our pastoral staff or leading a team, I would prefer that their intention at least is to stay long enough that I can invest in and train them and that they can become a real asset to our church family.

    Just over eighteen years ago, Tim Christoson and I had this kind of a conversation. At the time, he was in his last year of Bible college, engaged to Nicole, and looking to serve as an assistant pastor. When I interviewed him, I could see that he had a heart for the Lord and a desire to be used of God. I asked him if he were to come to Lancaster Baptist Church, if he would commit to stay at least ten years. (more…)

  5. The Christmas My Children Refuse to Forget

    November 12, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    The way I remember Christmas morning when our children were small was a row of eager children sitting on the couch—excited to open their presents, but first basking in the warmth of hearing Dad read the Christmas story. And of course, meditating on the grace of God in taking on human form and…

    Unfortunately, that’s not the way our old VHS tape preserved one of those Christmas morning memories.

    In one particular home video, rediscovered in recent months by our son, Larry, and watched with interest and delight by our other adult children, our four kids were not in a row (or even on the couch). I was reading the Christmas story—or rather, trying to—over Matt’s three-year-old interruptions. (more…)