1. 7 Essentials of an Adult Bible Class

    August 26, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    adult-Bible-class

    I believe the key reason for adult Bible classes in the local church is the organization to fulfill the purposes of the church. Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, “The Sunday school is the church organized to fulfill the purpose of the church.”

    Whether you call it Sunday School, Adult Bible Fellowships, Connection Groups, or something else, it is vital that you have clearly defined purposes and processes for this vital area of church ministry.

    At Lancaster Baptist Church, we now have over fifty adult Bible classes, and we work to make sure each class includes these essentials: (more…)


  2. 5 Questions to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Your Gospel Witness

    August 22, 2016 by Paul Chappell

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    We cannot always measure effectiveness by visible fruit. Some of my favorite testimonies of salvation are of people who trusted Christ after repeated witnessing attempts by multiple people.

    Even the Apostle Paul experienced times when he witnessed and the fruit wasn’t immediate.

    I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.—1 Corinthians 3:6

    So if we try to measure the effectiveness of our witness on fruit alone, we may miscalculate. Perhaps during a season when we are diligently sowing seed, we won’t see fruit. On the other hand, we may be in a season when we are reaping another man’s labor and are seeing great fruit although our own witness may or may not be effective.

    The bottom line is that God grades on faithfulness, not evident fruitfulness.

    So how do we measure faithfulness? Is it simply by our heart to continue? Is it because we are open to sharing the gospel if the opportunity arises? (more…)


  3. 6 Ways Teachers Prepare for a Life-Changing Year

    August 15, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    books

    I think of teachers much like I do of nurses—heroes. Like nursing, teaching is an unsung job that requires tremendous amounts of personal investment in other people’s lives. And, also like nursing, teaching has the potential to make a tremendous difference as well.

    Teachers have a unique ability to influence moldable lives. I still remember the names of and specific lessons from many of my teachers, and I’m guessing you do as well.

    So, as a new school year begins, how can you as a teacher—in any teaching setting—use your influence to effect life change in your students? (more…)


  4. What Do Pastors Do All Week?

    August 9, 2016 by Paul Chappell

     

    empty-auditorium

    I think one of the most common misconceptions of those who have not served as a senior pastor is that a pastor’s work is only the work of preaching. If you look at it that way, it would seem the pastor hardly works at all—perhaps for an hour two or three times each week.

    Yet, when Paul described the “office of a bishop” (pastor), he specifically called it “work.”

    This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.—1 Timothy 3:1

    It was a joy a few months back to preach the ordination for our youngest son, Matthew, who will be planting Rock Hill Baptist Church in Fontana, California, in a few months. I chose 1 Timothy 3:1 as my text, and in the message, I noted four aspects of the work ministry.

    If you have ever wondered what your pastor does all week, here it is. And if, as a pastor, you’ve ever wondered what aspects of your job you should focus on, here are four core responsibilities. (more…)


  5. 8 Characteristics of an Effective Discipleship Program

    August 1, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Wednesday-night-discipleship

    One of the core ministries that God has greatly blessed in our church is the organized discipleship on Wednesday evenings. Not only are there new people continually being enrolled in discipleship and others completing the course, but the biblical grounding and personal mentoring that takes place during the weeks of discipleship continues to bear fruit in people’s lives years after they have finished.

    At our church, we use the Continue discipleship book and have found it both helpful and fruitful.

    But it’s not just having a course or a program that makes a discipleship program effective. It’s much more than that.

    Discipleship, whatever means you may use, is one of the components of the Great Commission (“teaching them to observe all things,” Matthew 28:20). It is the responsibility of the local church to ground new Christians in the faith while teaching them how to grow in a daily walk with God.

    So having an organized discipleship program is a good start, but it’s not enough. What are the characteristics of an effective discipleship program? (more…)