1. The Challenge of Christmas Curriculum

    October 24, 2014 by Paul Chappell

    A Season to Celebrate

    The last six weeks of every year—from Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s—are full of incredible reminders of God’s presence and goodness.

    But these weeks also tend to be incredibly busy and demanding. It’s easy to spend these weeks pulled from one special ministry event or family celebration to the next with no time to breathe in between. For many the season simply passes by in a blur of activity and hurry.

    Add to that the pressure as a teacher or preacher of preparing holiday-themed lessons or messages—multiple years in a row to the same people—and there is another demand on a full calendar season.

    Yet, for Christians, Thanksgiving and Christmas ought to be two of the most celebrated and reflected upon holidays of the year. And the New Year ought to be approached with renewed dedication to the Lord, not frazzled leftovers from a stressed out month.

    It is for these reasons that I recently wrote a brand new adult Sunday school curriculum—A Season to Celebrate: Experience God’s Grace in the Busyness of the Season. I am so excited about releasing this mini-series, and I pray it will be a help and blessing to teachers and students alike. (more…)

  2. Growth Points 45: The Seed of Hope

    December 24, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    Isn’t it amazing how the news of Jesus, which brings such peace and joy to our hearts, is increasingly troubling to the world in which we minister? This has been the case since the very first Christmas when Herod “and all Jerusalem with him” were troubled at the news of Christ’s arrival.

    In this growth points video, I’d like to remind you that when the seed of hope is planted into the hearts of troubled men, great things spring up for the glory of God.

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

    Make sure you get all future Growth Points videos by subscribing to the Spiritual Leadership Podcast.

  3. Ten Tips for the Next Ten Days

    December 16, 2013 by Paul Chappell

    10 Tips for the Next 10 Days

    It’s amazing to me that during such a wonderful time of year as Christmas—a celebration that is so significant to our faith—there are Christians who don’t benefit from the season. It’s incredible that we are willing to settle for “getting through” it rather than celebrating it and benefiting from the focus on Christ.

    Here we are, just a few days now from Christmas. And I’d like to recommend ten tips to make these next several days memorable, enjoyable, and focused on Christ.

    1. Enjoy the season.

    Celebrate what Christ has done for you. Don’t let Christmas pass without taking time to worship Christ and to ponder His gracious gift of Himself.

    2. Live a reconciled life.

    Determine that you will not enter the New Year harboring resentment toward even one person. Romans 12:18 instructs, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (more…)

  4. Making the Most of Christmas: 10 Ways to Enjoy an Effective Christmas Season

    December 7, 2013 by Paul Chappell


    Christmastime may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also pass in a flurry of frenzied activity, with no time to enjoy the significance of the season.

    Below are ten suggestions for making the most out of Christmastime.

    1. Die to self. Let your personal expectations go. Mortify your fleshly tendencies. And surrender yourself anew to serve the Lord this season.

    Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.—Romans 6:11–13

    2. Seek the filling of the Holy Spirit. Do you want the peace, love, and joy that is supposed to come with Christmas? Remember, it is a fruit of the Spirit. Yield yourself to Him, and His fruit will fill your Christmas. (more…)

  5. How to Unwrap Christmas

    December 24, 2012 by Paul Chappell

    Don’t make the mistake of enjoying the wrapping of Christmas—activities, time with family, gift exchanges, traditions—without enjoying what is behind the wrapping—the gift.

    Quite simply, Jesus is the gift of Christmas. And, with Paul, we exclaim, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

    How do we unwrap this Gift?

    Receive the Gift

    I pretty much assume that regular readers of this blog know Christ as Saviour. But perhaps you’ve stumbled across this post by accident—or by God’s purpose—and don’t know Christ personally. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” A gift, however, must be received. If you haven’t made the choice to receive Christ, I’d encourage you to follow this link to discover how you can.

    Enjoy the Gift

    Salvation is just the beginning. But sometimes Christians—including we who are in ministry—become so consumed with the functioning aspects of the Christian life or ministry that we fail to personally revel in who Jesus is to us. (more…)