1. 10 Characteristics of a Healthy Church

    January 23, 2017 by Paul Chappell

    church-in-the-snow

    We know that God is more interested in the spiritual health of a church than its numeric growth. A spiritually thriving church will be reaching people with the gospel and seeing people added to the church, but a church focused only on growth may be seeing people added without true conversion or spiritual maturity.

    But what does a healthy church look like? What are its defining characteristics?

    No church “arrives” in spiritual maturity. Even as we as individual Christians must guard our hearts against coldness to the Lord or backsliding, so entire churches can become lukewarm spiritually. (See Revelation 3:14–16.) (more…)


  2. Where Grace Abounds

    January 9, 2017 by Paul Chappell

    Each year at Lancaster Baptist Church, we introduce a new theme for the year to our church family on Vision Sunday. Primarily we do this through the Sunday messages in which the theme is shared from a biblical text and then, in Sunday evening’s message, developed into ministry goals for the coming year.

    But one of the most memorable ways we introduce the theme is through teaching our church family a new chorus (typically written by our music team) based on the theme.

    Our theme for 2017 is “By Grace,” and below is a video from our 2017 Vision Sunday as the ensemble sings the new chorus “Where Grace Abounds.” (Click here for the sheet music.) I’d like to invite you to learn this song and come sing it with us at Spiritual Leadership Conference this year—June 11–14, 2017.


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


  3. 5 Free Resources for Your New Year

    January 7, 2017 by Paul Chappell

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    If you’re looking for encouraging, yet intensely-practical and thoroughly-biblical, resources to help you move forward for God in this New Year, here are five completely free resources that I believe could be a help to you: (more…)


  4. 7 Practices to Build into Your Annual Calendar

    December 26, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    planner

    If planning counts as productivity, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is my most productive! This is my week for setting goals and planning out the “big rocks” in my calendar for the coming year.

    I have found that if I am to wisely steward the multiple roles God has entrusted to me—including husband, dad, grandfather, pastor, college president, friend, and more—it helps if I set aside blocks of time for what is central to meeting these roles.

    In other words, I can’t just hope it will all get done or assume my calendar will clear throughout the year. I need to be intentional about carving out time for what God has entrusted to me to accomplish.

    Here are some I work in every year. (If you’re not a pastor, yours will be a little different, but hopefully this list will give you a clearer picture of what yours would be.) (more…)


  5. Growth Points 73: Preparing Gospel-Focused Christmas Messages

    December 17, 2016 by Paul Chappell

    With just eight days between now and Christmas, I’ve counted seven Christmas services yet remaining before I sit down for Christmas dinner with my family. It’s a blessing throughout the month of December to focus on Christ’s birth and what He means to us. And yet, it’s a challenge to keep every one of those services unique and effective for the gospel.

    In this Growth Points video, I’d like to share a few thoughts that I hope will be helpful as you head into the final stretch of the Christmas season as a communicator of God’s Word:


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