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. What Do Pastors Do All Week?

    August 9, 2016 by Paul Chappell

     

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    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…)


  3. 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…)


  4. 4 Ways to Develop an “Everywhere Mentality” for Sharing the Gospel

    July 18, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    Starbucks

    I believe the Great Commission is worthy of—and even calls for—purposed times and strategic plans for spreading the gospel. Thus, we have several times and locations each week available to members of our church to meet up with a partner for the purpose of saturating our community with the gospel.

    And yet, there is a danger in using only those times for sharing the gospel.

    In reality, we are surrounded by people who need the Lord—some of which are our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We want to lead them to Christ as well, even if not on a Thursday night at 6:30 or a Saturday morning at 10:00.

    Acts 8:4 tells us of the early Christians, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”

    How do we also develop this “everywhere mentality” where we are ready to share the gospel at all times and are seeing fruit among our friends and family?

    In my recent book, Take It Personally: A Practical Guide to Owning and Obeying the Great Commission, I suggest four ways: (more…)


  5. 5 Traits Common to Leaders Who Continue

    July 15, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    The challenges to Christian ministry continue to mount. Between a cultural shift toward intolerance of truth, the decision fatigue of pastors, the opinion overload of society, and a host of other challenges, it’s no wonder that so many pastors and spiritual leaders are falling out of the ministry.

    Although I’m aware of and experience these types of challenges, I want to finish my race still serving the Lord. And I don’t want to stagger across the finish line—depleted and embittered toward the people God has called me to serve—either. I want to finish my race in love with Christ and fully engaged in His work.

    In a previous blog, I shared the Spiritual Leadership Conference session 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches. Our goal, however, is not just to build a ministry that continues, but to personally stay in the race.

    In other words, we cannot help others to continue if we give up.

    One of the characteristics of effective leaders is a practice of personal assessment. In the Wednesday morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at 5 principles of continuing leaders with a challenge to personally assess how we’re doing in each area.


    (watch video | download audio | download notes)

    Each of these five principles were thoroughly developed scripturally, and the lesson included many practical action items. But for an overview of the lesson, here are the five main points: (more…)