1. 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…)


  2. 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…)


  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. What to Do When You Need Renewal—Part 2

    July 28, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    ocean

    In the previous post we looked at three steps to take when you find yourself empty and depleted. By way of a quick recap, here they are:

    1. Retreat—Make time to initiate a renewal process.
    2. Assess—Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart on every level.
    3. Repent—Respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, calling sin what it is.

    Identifying the problem, however—while a great start—isn’t enough. Where do you go from here. I have found two final steps to be needful:

    4. Realign

    It does little good to assess if there is no resulting change. Based on the assessments you made with the help of the Holy Spirit, what do you need to realign moving forward?

    And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.—Psalm 139:24

    For me, the realignment I need is usually in one of these four areas, and so I immediately look for potential adjustments in these: (more…)


  5. What to Do When You Need Renewal—Part 1

    July 24, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    ocean

    It’s easy to explain why we need renewal because all of us can easily identify with the all-too-familiar sense of depletion.

    But what do we do when we come to this point? How do we renew?

    When I’m aware that I’m running on fumes, I follow this five-step process. (We’ll look at the first three steps in this post and the last two in the next.)

    1. Retreat

    Renewal doesn’t happen on a treadmill. We need time out of the current to regain focus. Jesus Himself is our example in this. Even in busy ministry with people clamoring for His time, Jesus carved out time to spend with the Father.

    And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.—Mark 1:35

    How often should you retreat? Every day—minimum. This is your daily quiet time when you still your heart before the Lord and seek His face. Spend time in His Word, ask Him to search your heart, and evaluate the coming day in light of His priorities for your day. (more…)