1. The Role of the Church in Christian Education

    August 25, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    Christian-School

    At 8:00 this morning, Lancaster Baptist School begins its twenty-sixth year of cultivating hearts for God and minds for Christ.

    As I look back over these past twenty-five years, I thank God for the investments we’ve made in the lives of young people, many of which are still serving the Lord and are now raising their children for God.

    I often tell parents, “Christian education doesn’t cost—it pays.” I believe this is true, not only for parents, but also for the local church that invests labor in building the Christian school as a ministry of the church. Truly, the rewards for our efforts over the past twenty-five years have been beyond measure in the lives of our graduates.

    God’s desire for young people is that they would cultivate a heart for Him and develop the mind of Christ. And God instructs parents to invest in their children to that end:

    And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy 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.—Deuteronomy 6:6–7

    The local church also plays a tremendous role in this development as pastors and teachers team with parents to encourage young hearts for God and provide biblical teaching for the home. (more…)


  2. Moving the Arm of God through Social Media

    August 23, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    smart-phone

    You know the traction-gaining tool for social media: hashtags. Whether it’s #WeAreN or #icebucketchallenge, people turn to hashtags to use their Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram posts to make a difference.

    Why? We want to use social media to effect change. With or without a hashtag, we post because we have something to say that we want someone else to read—and we hope our words will find a place in their attention, if only for a moment.

    Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    But could I remind you of a form of posting that always works? It’s called prayer, and it is guaranteed to move the arm of God. (more…)


  3. What You Shouldn’t Be Good At

    August 19, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    five-loaves-and-two-fish

    Here’s a faith-building exercise: Take one of the miracles of the Bible—any miracle will do—and write a list of reasons why it couldn’t be done.

    For instance, let’s take the feeding of the five thousand. That one’s easy because Philip and Andrew already told us why it couldn’t be done:

    Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.—John 6:7

    There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?—John 6:9

    “We don’t have enough money” and “There are too many people.”

    Philip and Andrew were right, of course—they didn’t have enough money, and there were too many people.

    We can never do ministry to the “exceeding, abundantly above” level that God desires for us—and God doesn’t expect us to. He wants us to come to the end of ourselves and then look to Him to do something bigger than we are capable of. (more…)


  4. Just Do It!

    August 14, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    book-review-buy-the-field

    This summer I read Pastor Rob Fleshman’s book, Buy the Field: Find, Follow and Finish God’s Will for Your Life.

    One of the aspects about this book that I loved was its biblical bias for action. Like Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan, Pastor Fleshman challenges readers to carefully consider a field and then buy it. Jump in—all in—and get to work.

    Sometimes we become so cautious and hesitant that we miss following through on the great opportunities God places in front of us. And sometimes, because we see personal cost or sacrifice involved in following God’s plan, we’re unwilling to step out in faith. But if we would just “buy the field,” acting on the opportunities and directions God lays before us, we would discover great treasure. (more…)


  5. The Science Behind What Gets Done

    August 11, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    getting-things-done

    If you’re like me, not everything on your to-do list or project list gets done. And yet, if you’re like me, it’s vital that certain projects do get done.

    Of course, the difference in what gets done and what doesn’t get done fundamentally relates to the choices we make in preparation and execution. But just what are those choices that make a difference?

    Some years ago, I read six of the principles below in a book or article that quoted Gary McIntosh (I believe from his book The Exodus Principle) and then added one of my own to the list. I don’t remember how each principle was described, but below is a description of how I’ve seen it work in my life and our ministry.

    What preparation decisions can leaders make regarding what gets done? Here are seven. Obviously, not all seven of these principles relate to every project or need, but the more that can be applied, the better the chance something has of getting done. (more…)