1. 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…)


  2. 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…)


  3. When Stress Renews

    August 7, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    It doesn’t take long for the ministry to wear us out—to break down our strength and bring us to a point of exhaustion. Physically, emotionally, spiritually—the ministry is draining.

    In my last post, I highlighted the importance of taking periodic time out of the current to renew from the rigors of ministry. But the truth is, God’s process of renewal doesn’t always come through less stress or work. In fact, if the Apostle Paul is an example, renewal often comes, not through relaxation, but through rigor. God sometimes brings stress into our lives for the very purpose of renewing us in His strength.

    In this video, a morning sermon preached during Spiritual Leadership Conference, Dr. John Goetsch brings us to 2 Corinthians 12 to discover God’s four-fold process of rigorous renewal.


    (If you cannot see this video in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here. If you would like to download an audio mp3 of this message, you can do so here.)

    Note: All messages and videos from Spiritual Leadership Conference 2014 are available here.


  4. 7 Blessings I Found out of the Current

    August 4, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    vacation

    One of the blessings of serving the Lord is the grace that He gives in intense seasons of ministry. And the older I get, the more conscious I am of my need for and the sufficiency of God’s sustaining grace during these busy seasons.

    Because of the nature of being a pastor and of specifics related to our ministry here in Lancaster, December through June seems to move at breakneck speed from one outreach or ministry event to the next. It’s a joy to be part of what God is doing here, but by the end of June, I’m running on fumes!

    Over the last few years, in particular, the Lord has been teaching me the necessity of periodically stepping out of the current, disengaging from the busyness of ministry to refuel for the road ahead.

    Over the past few weeks, it was a blessing to take some time for vacation with Terrie and our family, followed by a season of focused study and preparation for the fall. Yesterday, was my first Sunday back in my own pulpit, and what a joy it was to be back with our church family!

    Looking back over the past few weeks, there are at least seven specific blessings the Lord gave me through these days out of the current: (more…)


  5. Vacation Bible School Patriotism Disallowed by US Military

    August 1, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    American-flag

    Since the inception of our nation, churches have supported the American military in its efforts to bring and preserve freedom. Since World War I, one way this has been shown has been by placing American flags in our church auditoriums.

    While I am aware that there is a larger discussion related to patriotism in the church, I am a patriotic American who is grateful for the biblically-rooted American belief of liberty. And I do believe that expressing that in church has its place.

    Yet in a strange twist of logic and the devaluing of American pride, as our nation seems bent on moving as far as possible from God and Christian values, federal leaders of our military apparently feel threatened by churches’ support of the military.

    Just last week, a church in Carthage, Missouri, received what amounts to a “no thanks for patriotism” message from the National Guard. In a news article posted a few days ago, reporter Todd Starnes shared a deeply concerning story. A Baptist church who chose a patriotic theme for Vacation Bible School “invited troops from the nearby armory to drop by with one of their Humvees” to honor and thank the service members.

    Earlier in the week, local paramedics, the fire department, and the sheriff’s department had all come and visited with the kids. But the National Guard said they couldn’t come. And it wasn’t because they were engaged in other duties. It was because a federal regulation is protecting their freedom from religion. To quote the pastor in Starnes’ article: (more…)