1. 5 Consequences of a Critical Spirit

    March 26, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    Anyone who attempts anything for God will be criticized. Although untrue criticism is hurtful and discouraging, it goes with the territory of leadership.

    Worse than being criticized, however, is developing a critical spirit. We’re called to be discerning (Philippians 1:10) and to prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21), and that requires a measure of critical thinking skills. And yet, even that is different than a critical spirit.

    A few weeks ago, my wife, Terrie, and I had lunch together after her weekly ladies Bible study. As she shared with me the lesson she had taught on that morning regarding a critical spirit, I asked her to write it as a guest blog post. (She posted it to her blog too, which I recommend you follow if you don’t already.)

    So here it is—a guest post by my very favorite person about one of the most needful aspects of the Christian life and Christian leadership—avoiding a critical spirit.

    parched-ground

    I enjoy cooking, finding recipes, and sharing new meals with my family and guests who visit our home. Because of my love for cooking, I get especially excited when I have the opportunity to visit a restaurant that I have read about or seen advertised. And, if I happen to have the chance to eat at one of these restaurants, I always look to see what the critics have said about the food, décor, and overall dining experience.

    (more…)


  2. The Role of Grace in Giving

    February 25, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    wallet

    You’ve read the testimony of the Macedonian Christians who gave sacrificially to the Apostle Paul:

    Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.—2 Corinthians 8:1–8

    Why is this testimony so powerful? Paul used it to encourage the Corinthian churches to be faithful in giving, and two millennia later, it motivates us today. Why?

    The significance lies in their motive. In God’s economy, the motive is as important as the gift. In other words, why we give is as important as that we give. (more…)


  3. 7 Practical Ways to Strengthen Your Hands for the Work

    February 17, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    building-brick-wall

    What spiritual leader hasn’t drawn encouragement from Nehemiah 2:18?

    Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.—Nehemiah 2:18

    But for that encouragement to be more than an emotional boost, we need specific ways to put it into practice.

    Just how does a person strengthen their hands?

    There are many possibilities, but here are seven starters: (more…)


  4. 15 Real Ways to Honor Your Wife

    February 13, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    holding-hands

    I’ve read 1 Peter 3:7 hundreds—if not thousands—of times.

    Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.—1 Peter 3:7

    This verse is rich with marital counsel to husbands, and I use it often in counseling.

    • Dwell with them according to knowledge: Really know what her needs are as well as her likes, dislikes, and preferences.
    • As unto the weaker vessel: Remember she has special needs, and be sensitive to them.
    • As being heirs together of the grace of life: Treat your wife as an equal—as heirs together of God’s grace.
    • That your prayers be not hindered: If a husband is not being sensitive to his wife, he is limiting his access to answered prayer.

    But while I was meditating on this verse several months ago, a phrase that I had not given much thought to hit me like a lead pipe:

    Giving honour unto the wife…

    That’s contrary to how men think. We think it is our wives who are to give us honor. But in that moment, the Holy Spirit said to me, “You don’t honor Terrie as much as you could.” (more…)


  5. 5 Building Supplies for a Soulwinning Church

    February 6, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    building

    We’re in the midst of constructing the largest building to date on our campus. Every foot of construction progress represents multiplied hours of preparation and planning.

    Buildings don’t just happen. And neither do churches. As spiritual leaders, undershepherds of Christ’s churches, it is our responsibility to labor with purpose and intention.

    One of the greatest indicators of the health of a church is its heart for souls and diligence in outreach. Christians who love the Lord and are grateful for their salvation want to share the gospel message with others!

    So if we want to labor with Christ to build a soulwinning church, what are the supplies necessary? (more…)