1. Overcoming the Natural Drift toward Apathy

    August 21, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    In the previous post I pointed out seven symptoms of one of the most dangerous spiritual diseases—apathy.

    A diagnose without a cure, however, is unhelpful.

    The direct counsel Christ Himself gave to the church at Laodicea was to humble themselves in repentance and recognize their need for Christ:

    Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.—Revelation 3:17–19

    How can you as a pastor lead a church in applying this counsel to the areas where apathy is beginning to manifest itself?

    The first step is to recognize the need. The second is to humbly cry out to God—for direction as you lead and for His conviction in those you lead.

    From there, here are some practical applications to help combat the natural drift toward apathy that every Christian and church battles. Each of these relates to the symptoms mentioned in the previous post. (more…)

  2. 7 Early Symptoms of Spiritual Apathy

    August 17, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    “The nice thing about apathy is you don’t have to exert yourself to show you’re sincere about it.”—Anonymous

    The bad thing about apathy, however—at least, spiritual apathy—is everything.

    There are few things a pastor or spiritual leader fears more than apathy. (And if we’re wise, we fear it creeping into our own hearts as much as we fear it undermining the spiritual growth of those we lead.)

    How do we recognize and diagnose apathy before it’s too late? Below are seven symptoms of spiritual apathy in the local church: (more…)

  3. Becoming a Team-Building Leader

    August 13, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    God has not only called us to build with Him. He has called us to build with one another as well.

    We’re “labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9) and are called to “stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).

    This type of cohesiveness on a team requires a leader who intentionally builds others and builds the team.

    At Spiritual Leadership Conference this summer, I taught a general session on becoming a team-building leader. We looked at how to build teams for ministry as well as what types of leaders build people and cohesive teams. You can watch the session below as well as download the session notes.

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Download mp3 audio | Download session notes

    In this session, you’ll learn: (more…)

  4. Building Lives in the Local Church

    August 10, 2015 by Paul Chappell


    As local church leaders, it is imperative that we keep God—not numeric growth—as our primary goal.

    When it comes to the local church, Jesus is the Builder; the church is His habitation; and we are His co-laborers, called to labor in winning souls and building lives.

    We’re instructed, though, “But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon” (1 Corinthians 3:10). At Spiritual Leadership Conference 2015, I taught a general session from this verse on building lives in the local church. You can watch the session below as well as download the session notes.

    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)

    Download mp3 audio | Download session notes

    In this session, you’ll learn: (more…)

  5. 5 Kinds of Critics, part 2

    August 6, 2015 by Paul Chappell

    keeping score

    This is part 2 of a guest post by Dr. R.B. Ouellette. In part one he described complaining critics, casual critics, and crazy critics and listed helpful responses for each. In this post, we pick up with the final two types of critics:

    Career Critics

    Ralph Nader exemplifies this type of critic. Nader wrote a book critical of the Corvair titled Unsafe at Any Speed. While I have never owned a Corvair, I have ridden in them on several occasions with no negative effect.

    Nader went on to make a career out of criticizing. He criticized business, politics, and products that businesses produced. But so far as I know, Ralph Nader never produced anything himself. He never contributed to the economy in any substantial form. Nader never brought a new product on the market that made the lives of American citizens better or easier. He spent his life attacking those who were doing something rather than accomplishing something himself.

    Long before I went into the ministry, I became aware of career critics. Their sermons were more concerned with pointing out the faults of others than they were with helping people know how to live for God. Any publications they had were filled with the errors and flaws of other of God’s servants and contained little to encourage people in actually winning and discipling souls. Some of these career critics spend time investigating websites, examining bookstores, and combing sermons in order to “find fault.”

    How do you respond to career critics? (more…)