1. 3 New Testament Essentials for Nurturing Growth in New Christians

    October 14, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    One of the great joys of an intense season of outreach, such as our church just conducted for Open House Sunday, is following up on new Christians.

    There is nothing more rewarding than to come alongside a new Christian and help ground him in God’s Word, encourage his faith, and guide him in new patterns of Christian living.

    And there is nothing more needed for that young Christian either. Spiritual maturity, like physical maturity, doesn’t take place overnight. Neither does it take place the moment a person is baptized or attends three church services in a row. It takes long-term commitment from spiritual leaders to help someone grow in their faith.

    Young Christians need an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement. Throughout the New Testament, we see specific ways to nurture growth in young Christians. (more…)

  2. 5 Things to Remember When God Changes Your Schedule

    October 10, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    Every Sunday afternoon, I take time to review the previous week and plan the week ahead. It is a discipline that has been a tremendous help to me over the years in being proactive with my responsibilities.

    Sometimes, however, a well-planned week gets rearranged by an emergency or an all-consuming need. I’m in the midst of such a moment as our community mourns the loss of LASD Sergeant Steve Owen who was killed in the line of duty. Our church has the privilege to serve his family and the law enforcement community in response to this tragedy, and we are grateful.

    Changes of plans don’t only happen to pastors. They happen to all of us at different times and in different ways. What do you do when you are in the midst of an already-full week and circumstances outside of your control slash through your schedule? (more…)

  3. 6 Places to Find Soulwinning Prospects

    October 6, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    We know that Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). But sometimes we forget that He actively sought those who were lost.

    For Jesus, gospel outreach was no passing interest or occasional hobby. He looked for lost people and personally brought them the message of salvation through Himself.

    And He calls us to do the same: “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23).

    We know that everywhere around us there are people in need of the gospel. But where specifically—or how specifically—can you find people with whom you can share the message of salvation? (more…)

  4. Make Today Your Masterpiece

    October 3, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    Coach John Wooden used to say, “Make each day your masterpiece.” I read that statement recently, and it got me thinking.

    When you’re a kid, you’re asked from time to time, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” If you’re like me, your answer to that question changed from year to year, but it always included big dreams. You wanted to do something great—something honorable and noble…or at least noteworthy.

    If I asked you today, “What is your greatest life goal?” or even “What is your next big goal?” your answers would probably include a plan or an event—something you want to do to make a difference for the cause of Christ.

    But if I asked you, “How are you going to make today great?” could you answer?

    I have been thinking a lot about the everyday—what we sometimes call mundane. All of us have repetitive duties, and most of us don’t have particularly glamorous moments scheduled each day into our planners. (more…)

  5. 4 Ways You Can Promote Grace in Ministry

    September 29, 2016 by Paul Chappell


    Would you like your ministry to be full of grace? Your life? Your relationships?

    Over the past few posts, I’ve shared the importance of motivating by grace, letting God’s grace work, and hindering grace. This is the last in what has turned into a mini-series on grace.

    In the previous post, we noted four ways we hinder God’s grace. We boiled them all down to one—pride—and saw then that the answer is to humble ourselves.

    But if we could name several manifestations of pride that hinder God’s grace, are there not also several ways we can express the humility that invites God’s grace? (more…)